FIXMYPCUK Computer Repairs

Around the Manchester area

How to prevent Identity Theft when selling your old computer

Question: I have an old computer I’ve kept around for a long time just because I don’t know how to get all my personal information off of it. How do I dispose of the computer and ensure nobody can get to my confidential files?

Inside the computer is a little box called the hard drive and its about the size of a piece of bread.It stores all files on your computer and it. 
All the documents you have created, any pictures or music you have stored, programs you have installed, and the Windows operating system itself are all stored on that hard drive.

My favorite method of removing personal files from the computer was to just remove the hard drive from the computer entirely.
This achieves two basic needs; it completely and 100 percent ensures nobody will be able to retrieve files from your computer, and the hard drive that has been removed can serve as a backup in case you decide you want to access your files at a later date.

To remove the hard drive from the computer you should be comfortable with opening up the computer. However, since this computer is going to be discarded, this is the perfect time to do it especially if you aren’t comfortable with doing so. Depending on the computer manufacturer and model of the computer, taking it apart varies greatly. The majority of the computers have a side panel that you unlatch from the back either by a lever or screws. If you can’t figure it out you can look your computer model up on the Internet and see if you can get instructions on how to take it apart.

Once you have access to the inside of the computer, you will be looking for a box about the size of a piece of bread as mentioned before. Virtually all hard drives have the same dimensions which are roughly 5.75” long, 4” wide, and about 1” high. There are two cables connecting the hard drive to the computer. You can remove these cables with your fingers, but they may be a bit snug. Once the cables are removed you may have to search for the screws holding the hard drive to the chassis. This is the trickiest part of removing the hard drive because getting to the screws could require further dismantling of the computer case.

Gently slide the hard drive out of its resting place and place it in an anti-static bag (which you can get at an electronics store) until you decide to access it later.

If you want to sell the computer with the hard drive - you will always get more money this way,
We can securely shred the hard drive making certain that there is no personal information left on it.

If you wish we can just shred any personal information on the drive, leaving a clean copy of Windows installed so you can sell a working computer safe in the knowledge that nobody can retrieve any of your old personal information/filoes/pictures. Use the contact us page.

Posted on February 23rd 2013