Recycling computers/deleting memory

I am going to take my old computer to the recycling centre for parts, is there some way of removing memory stored, a part to remove inside? I know if you delete files they can be restored and there are letters and financial data and family pics. Its just a desktop old tower type of computer, it still goes. Thanks

geek_retrogold, Jun 22, 9:13 am

The hard drive/s.

geek_ross1970, Jun 22, 9:15 am

you can reuse the harddrive just fit it ina usb housing and you can use it on any other computer till it dies , personally i run computers till they are dead then pull stuff out and build a new one .

geek_intrade, Jun 22, 9:19 am

Thanks, what I mean is how to physically remove the part where the personal info/files is on it before I give it away, anyone can restore the deleted files, what does the hard drive look like? I haven't looked inside it before but I can.

geek_retrogold, Jun 22, 9:51 am

geek_king1, Jun 22, 10:03 am

geek_rz_zone, Jun 22, 10:04 am

Not memory. Hard drive.
And no, they can't always retreive deleted files.
Zero the drive:

or remove it.
Not that anyone cares about your pics etc really. not being rude, but unless it's a drive from some govt dept or corporation, no-one really cares. and certainly not at recycle places. Worked at one, they rip it apart (totally) sort out the bits into steel, plastic, copper etc and bin it.
No time never mind, inclination to hook drives up to another PC and try undeletes.

geek_lythande1, Jun 22, 3:22 pm

1. Remove your harddrive.
2. Smash it with a hammer.
3. Clean up mess.

geek_marte, Jun 23, 7:39 pm

Certainly effective and 100% reliable.

But downloading a decent "disk wipe" utility means you give away a computer that can still be made functional again.

The reason that old files can be recovered is because a delete, and even a format only mark the pointers in the directory structure to say the blocks of data are "free" to be reused. They don't actually remove the data, so it's possible to retrieve them.

But if you run a disk wipe program, the PC sits there for 1/2 a day writing random data to EVERY block of the disk, several times. If you go back and try and recover anything all you get is random data, basically like static on a TV.

Then the recipient can reload the operating system from CDs and have a working PC again.

geek_ianab, Jun 24, 10:33 pm

An excellent and much-used disk wipe program is Dariks Boot n Nuke.

You download it (free) and from the iso file downloaded burn a boot cd.
Boot the computer from the cd. Takes a while. Will over-write the disk the number of times specified, up to the seriously paranoid 35 over-writes.

It's dubious whether any more than maybe one or three wipes is any better. I use three. Even that is verging on overkill, I think.

geek_mark.52, Jun 24, 10:40 pm

Why on earth would you waste time and effort over writing an old hard drive?
Take it out, smash it with a big hammer, throw it in the recycling.
It's an old drive going to recycling for its metals, not recycling as in being used again as a functioning hard drive.

geek_ross1970, Jun 24, 11:31 pm

geek_velenski, Jun 25, 10:50 am

If it's going for recycling, then fair enough, a quick hammering does the trick.

We are talking about machines that aren't being scrapped. Lots of old computers get replaced when all they really need is a clean out and reformat of the disk. If you are giving an old PC to a teenage relative or a friend, at least give them a functioning but blank hard drive in it.

geek_ianab, Jun 25, 11:14 am

why not sell it people like me turn the towers in to art peaces like letterboxes

geek_jackiechan3, Jun 29, 5:00 pm

Nice idea, got any pics?

geek_marte, Jun 29, 6:15 pm

sell cheap brought an mac today for $40 which i will be tuning into a letter box and selling what parts i can of to people on here. but if its just a every day p.c put on for $10 up depending on if it still has power, just list as honestly as you can
like model numbers and make the year of it, whats wrong with it, you never know who might buy it , if i lived near you i would take it of your hands but as im not and i cant afford to get it shipped, just list

geek_jackiechan3, Jun 29, 6:44 pm

Yep I get a lot through here like that.
Surprising how many of the afore mention "old hdd's" I Dban & sell again.
If it survives a Dban run, it's good to go again.

geek_mrfxit, Jun 29, 6:59 pm

I went to the local recycling with some old electronics today, the whole area had just been hosed down to stop people taking things away.

geek_black-heart, Jul 11, 3:13 am

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