Do Not Toss That Hard Drive!

November 30, 2018

Town, Playground....and a time of reflection.

Christmas has come and gone, and many of you may have gotten a shiny new computer from Santa Claus this year. But before selling or giving away your old computer, you must prepare the hard drive for disposal. That means properly erasing all your files, to ensure that no confidential or sensitive information remains that is easily accessible.

Data is almost always at least partially recoverable. Recently an author bought a hard drive on eBay that had been used by a clinic. It had more than 30,000 credit card numbers on it. Drives purchased this way usually contain confidential data. Deleting your files or even reformatting the hard disk is not sufficient. Why?

Your hard disk has an index like the table of contents of a book. Say you do not want Chapter 6 anymore, and you delete it. Your PC just marks Chapt. 6 in the Table of Contents as empty. In other words, the area on the disk occupied by Chapt. 6 is now marked as available for other files.

But note that nothing else has happened. The actual data forming Chapt. 6 is still there, happy as a clam, in the same place on the disk. Much the same thing happens when you reformat your disk. In short, deleting files or reformatting the disk just removes the references to the data in question, not the data itself. This is why deleted files can be recovered with specialized software such as Disk Investigator. Data can even be recovered from reformatted disks. So what to do?

Before putting that old computer out with the trash or giving it away, go to one of these sites for a program that will wipe your individual files or entire hard drive. Note that some of these programs will erase Windows as well; in that case, of course, your old computer will be unusable.

http://www.heidi.ie

http://www.killdisk.com

There are many other similar programs available. Drop by your favorite search engine, and rummage around. These programs will ensure that your data is beyond recovery, for all practical purposes.

On a related note, you should also take precautions before sending your PC to the repair shop. Even if you trust the technicians with your stuff, your files may be deleted during the repairs. If your machine is working, back up all your important or sensitive files. Use a handy USB thumb drive or external hard drive, or one of many online (and free) storage services.

Personally, I prefer to use my own storage devices. This way, the data never leaves my hands. Whatever backup method you use, check that it successfully copied your files. Then delete those confidential files from your hard drive. You can reinstall them when you get your computer back from the shop.

18 Comments

  • Cyrus Kondwani November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks

  • Jens Karlsson November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Your a life saver man

  • Djaygizmo November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you so much for this knowledge <3 <3 <3

  • Xenomex November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Can someone help? I dragged a beat I bought into the recycle bin about a few months ago because I didn’t think I was gonna use it. Now I found out that I should use it but it’s not there. How do I recover it?

  • carlos blanco November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    This is the only video that’s actually got my beat back, listen to it on lil_motive_ on ig

  • TREVA ARMANDO November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Wwwwwooooorrrkkked God bless you man…..

  • Matej Timarac November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Saved me <3

  • guimir normalo November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    YOU SIR HAVE SAVED ME ALOT OF TIME ALONG WITH MY SANITY THANK YOU

  • Sonny Asa November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Yo bro wtf every time I try save something or recover a backup something pops up on my screen saying that the project was saved while fl studio was in trial. Wtf that mean? I definitely bought it cause 90 came out my account can anyone help???

  • Gang Gang November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I have a backup folder with projects, but FL didnt autosave my beat when I made it. The time interval is 15 minutes, but once my FL crashed I went to scope out the backup files and it didnt save for an hour. Anyway I can look into the FL deleted files and see if they deleted my backup?

  • Anthony Sanchez November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    You actually have to do this while it’s like 24 hours fresh. If it got corrupted like mine did. Look up FL Studio Diagnostics Tool. Takes you to links for the official website. forum image line. Scroll down then download that link “Windows – Download the diagnostics tool by clicking here” highlighted blue like a link should. You have to have purchased and not pirated the studio. You are gonna need email and password for your FL studio.

  • Stephen Rasle November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    what if you didn't save the project at all in the first place and your computer crashes?

  • RobotReacts November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Yo i was working on this song..but the beat vanished..it said it couldnt have been recovered..wat do i do

  • Arnaud Braem November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    PLEASE HELP!!! I know i'm late but, i made this epic song and my laptop died! Now i follow these steps but when i try to open it it sais there is an error, i can't open them. PLEASE HELP!!

  • Marcus Mata November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    thx bro

  • AyeNeon November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    wtf back up is empty im done fl studio

  • Crypto Savage November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Is there a way to backup an older file?

  • Trezone Beats November 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    i see you I SEE YOU

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