View Full Version : Deleting Files

11-06-2002, 06:59 PM
I want to delete some files completely from my system. (ie. so that they can never be recalled)
I am looking to sell my present system and thus would like to ensure that certain files cannot be retrieved by any new buyer

11-06-2002, 07:20 PM
Well Kelly there is only ONE true method of deleting data. Destroy your Hard Drive with a hammer.

Ok this may sound extreme but really there is no program out there that will 100% fully delete your files. For example in Windows 9x deleted files are only marked as being able to be written over, and are hidden from the user. This can be easily retreived and unmarked.

Even with more sophisticated software, files have been known to been retreived.

So really the best you could do is remove the hard drive before you sell it if your really concern about your data.

Benny Yuen

11-06-2002, 08:21 PM
Being realistic, after all you arent expecting the FBI to be looking at your HDD are you?
If you are going to be selling the computer with legal software, ie original disks + licence etc. then fdisk, format and carry out a basic install so that the potential buyer can see it going. Then the buyer can instal what he wants to.

If you're selling just the machine, either do the same, making it plain that the software on it is just to demonstrate that the machine goes, or demonstrate with your existing set up and then fdisk and format immediately prior to sale.

11-06-2002, 08:22 PM
Hi Kelly

Benny's advice is a bit severe but quite correct if you fear forensic analysis of your computer.

If you are just concerned that an ordinary computer nut will untangle your secret files, there are plenty of disk washing programs that will put them beyond the reach of ordinary mortals.

If you wash your disk then reload your operating system then for all practical purposes you are safe.

I'm not familiar with the program names but they have been described many times on Press F1 so either do a search or repost asking for disk washers and you should get an answer. I know IBM has one on their website.

Alternatively, do a search on Google for 'disk washer' or 'data eraser' (or similar combinations) and you are sure to get what you need.

Resale value of your PC will depend on the buyer seeing it operating with an intact OS.


Billy 8-{)

11-06-2002, 10:05 PM
Following on from what Billy said, if you really want to scrub files, there is a good freeware DOS file wiper that write zeros to a file, encrypts the name and make recovery pretty well impossible for ordinary mortals.

You can get it from Simtel at:


12-06-2002, 07:50 PM
Maybe this item in the NZ Herald mite be of help for you Kelly.

Cheers John.