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Data Storage Device Discarding?


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As I have an older computer that has a hard drive which is nearing the time for discarding, I was wondering what people are doing in such situations to be sure that there is nothing that can be retrieved by some nefarious person after you get rid of it? 

On media such as a thumb drive I have always just crushed them but nowadays with the popularity of cloud storage, that also brings up a security issue. Because there are several organizations that supply cloud storage, if you use it and then choose to change to a different supplier, how do you make sure that you leave nothing behind in the previous cloud?

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20 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

As I have an older computer that has a hard drive which is nearing the time for discarding, I was wondering what people are doing in such situations to be sure that there is nothing that can be retrieved by some nefarious person after you get rid of it? 

On media such as a thumb drive I have always just crushed them but nowadays with the popularity of cloud storage, that also brings up a security issue. Because there are several organizations that supply cloud storage, if you use it and then choose to change to a different supplier, how do you make sure that you leave nothing behind in the previous cloud?

You might consider that any cloud would have back up storage . 

I've always figured that once you put anything 'out' there' it'll be there forever . 

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That is not a problem nor costly. You really do not need to crush anything. Just do a complete reset of your computer. Make sure you select to change settings before you click on start, and change it to delete and clean all drives which will do a complete wipe of all drives. But those can still be recovered. So before the reset, make a throwaway email account somewhere to only access as webmail not on your computer or as an account in your email program. Then reset Windows to wipe all drives and once it is ready to start again go through the setup Windows process with that throwaway email address. Once windows is up and running with that new Windows account and password log in and then download CCleaner free here: ccleaner.com/ccleaner/download/portable. All of these steps are in this video with screen shots so you can pause it as you do each step: 

 

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9 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Has anyone heard of or used DBAN and open source drive cleaner?

For cloud services, what about Nextcloud?

Kirk CCleaner is a free drive wiper the same as any other. They overwrite data with ones and zerosYou are mixing apples and oranges talking cloud storage and wiping hardware drives HDD or SSD. If you have your data in the cloud you can access it with your new computer.

If you are asking about erasing cloud data I am afraid that once on cloud servers forensically your data can be retrieved at a high cost. So unless you have high value crimes or industrial data subject to espionage all you need do is wipe your drive. One pass for most and as many passes as you want.

Nothing wrong with the expense of replacing drives and used HDD drives are available here for 15 bucks for a working 1TB 3.5" desktop internal drive, and 20 bucks for a 1TB 2.5" drive for a laptop. I just had a friend who bought a Drive dock get a bunch of storage used drives for his use at a friend's a block away who is still running a computer repair biz.

I do not do cloud storage not even for free. My local hard drives, both 2.5" drives in external cases and loose 3.5" drives, total over 20TB of storage. My problem is keeping them organized. My security data is air-gapped on USB thumb drives. And my systems are all imaged regularly. I stopped keeping clones except for the first year of my desktop systems when new. But I can't rep-lace the SSDs in my Surface devices so they only get images once the system is built. and tested, then regularly.

Keeping data safe is neither costly nor requires my kind of background if one can read. (Or watch YouTube videos!)

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, RV_ said:

You are mixing apples and oranges talking cloud storage and wiping hardware drives HDD or SSD. If

Not really. I asked 2 very different questions. Hard drives I have dealt with in the past but it has been a while. Thus I was wondering if anyone has new and better ways.

 

The second question was about cloud storage. One of the considerations I have is what happens if I use and then change locations? I have only used it for picture storage when we travel but I know that many people and many businesses use it extensively. 

Edited by Kirk W
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