Old But Not Forgotten?
(Paul Watkins 08/04/09)

    When you're ready to replace that old PC, where does it go? In the garbage? To some stranger in a garage sale? Over the years you've stored lots and lots of information on the PC. Probably lots of personal information too. So what happens to that personal information? Whoever ends up with the PC now has YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. Unless you've removed it.

    Don't make the mistake of giving away your personal information with your old PC. Before you're ready to throw it out, make sure you've gotten all your info off the hard drive. There are lots of ways to do so; some better than others. Deleting everything from your "My Documents" folder and the "Shared Documents" folder is a start. But only a start. There are lots of other places info may reside, depending on the PC and how you've used it.

    You might take it to a computer store and have them reformat the hard drive and re-image the system. You could re-image it yourself with the manufacturer's re-image process. Almost every manufacturer has a way for you to do this. The re-image process will wipe out the hard drive and restore it to the out-of-the-box condition. (The important part there is the wiping out of the hard drive.) Check your owner's manual or the manufacturer's website.

    If you don't care about leaving it in working condition, just format the hard drive to wipe it all out. (If you don't know how to do this, get a geeky friend to help you.) One of the tools I like to keep handy is a free bootable CD called "The Ultimate Boot CD". It has a couple of utilities for wiping a hard drive clean. You can download it from one of the places listed here. UBCD download

    If you live in the area I can do it for you for a small fee. If you want to just get rid of the computer I might even take it in exchange for the fee. If you don't live in the area, I might be able to walk you through formatting (wiping out) the drive over the phone for a small fee too. Whatever the method, be sure you get rid of your personal info before getting rid of that old PC.
I Kings 8:39 (NIV) ...then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men),

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