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Thread: Privacy Question

  1. #1
    Well, After a couple hours on the phone with tech support, it turns out that my hard drive is BAD!

    They're going to send me a new one, and want me to send mine back to them, now for my question..

    CAN they, or WILL they get into the hard drive I send back to them? I have some stuff in there I don't want them see (bank account #'s and stuff like that, oh, and maybe some porn)

    I did a system restore on it, and it gave me a warning basically saying all will be lost, so I clicked OK, AND I deleted the partition..

    It seems like there wont be any stuff left on it after this, but I just wanted to make sure.

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    It should be empty, but you might want to try reformatting just in case.

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    zapjb's Avatar Computer Abuser BT Rep: +3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Another reason to burn porn & not leave it on my HDD.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    I'd reformat it another two times or so. But I'm paranoid.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    skelley521's Avatar puter ghost
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    They will be able to see anything on the disk that didnt get written over. Will they look....who knows.
    Formatting does not erase data on the simply makes the 'puter unable to see the info that is there.
    Even when you delete something, windows doesnt reconize the info, but it will stay there until that space has been written over.

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    By me using my restore cd, is that like re-writing over what's there previously?

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    skelley521's Avatar puter ghost
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Not unless the restore cd filled up the entire hard drive.
    I normally format, re-install windows and fill the hard-drive with junk, old movie etc.
    Then just format and re-install windows and leave it at that.
    I wouldn't really worry about it....these people see hundreds of hard drives.
    Besides, they don't know you and for them to admit to retrieving the information would be an invasion of privacy.
    Its not like they will find any top-secret government files that they could report to the feds....will they???

    Rest w/easy my friend, all is well.

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    the typical method of reformatting a hard drive DOES NOT get rid of all the data that was on it. it only destroys the file system and marks the sections of the drive as available for writing. with data retrieval software, it is possible to recover old files from a hard drive that has been reformatted.

    the only way to be completely sure that your old files are gone is to do a full format which converts all the ones and zeros to nothing but zeros. so it really depends on what program you use to reformat the drive... but as far as i know, using fdisk from a windows startup disk will not completely erase the hard drive.

    but as skelley said, i really doubt the tech support people would waste their time spying on your stuff. i'm sure they'll just check to see whether it's broken or it works, figure out whether the damage is due to defect or abuse by the owner, then toss it in the trash. anything they might see on your drive would probably not surprise them at all. a much better reason to completely erase the drive would be if you have any personal information stored on it, that could be used to commit a crime against you (home address, social security number, credit card number, etc).

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    Once again, you guys have been great!!

    I can't believe I've read posts about people here not being helpfull.

    Much thanks to all!!



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