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Monday, November 12, 2012

Wiping out your Hard Drive-on Purpose

PICTURE of a Hard Drive
A friend recently asked me this question: "I want to give my computer to someone else, but I need to back up and then wipe out the Hard Drive first. How do I do that?"


First you need to back up all of your information from the hard drive. You need to think about any software that you have purchased or downloaded and your own files. Since you will be deleting all of this you will want to make sure you have a way to transfer them to another computer. If you have your new computer you can just transfer files from one computer to the other. You can see my post about backing up to learn more.

Also delete all of your files and folders from the computer. Most of these are probably in My Documents, but you may have saved things in other places like the Desktop. To delete you right click on the file and choose "Move to Trash" or "Delete". If you are using a Mac after everything is deleted you can empty the trash to get rid of the files from there.

Next use the Disk Utility that is included in a Mac to securely erase your computer. To get it go to Applications>Utilities and look for Disk Utility. If you choose the Secure method it will overwrite your hard drive so that the files cannot be accessed. You can run it several times to be sure that everything is clear.


First you need to back up ALL of the information on your hard drive. To do this you can use a software program like Nova Back Up. You probably need to do this onto a separate Hard Drive. You can see my post about backing up to learn more.

Find the disks and licensing numbers (OEM number) that you used to connect to your printer and to install Windows. 

If you are giving away this computer you can use a program like Erase to wipe the machine so that your files cannot be found on it. 


If you are planning to reinstall and reuse the computer yourself here are some things to remember:

Be prepared to install dozens of patches after everything has been installed. It's very important that you do all Windows updates after installing a fresh copy of Windows on the computer.
Have installation discs or be prepared to download an antivirus immediately after installing Windows.
Finally, realize that re-installing any operating system to the point of completion is going to take several hours to complete.

Friday, November 9, 2012

An Update

I have been working on a post about "Wiping Out a Hard Drive on Purpose", but it is not done yet and I want to make sure to get something up by Friday every week. 

So, today I have decided to talk to you a little bit about how it has been starting a business. 

There are ups and downs. When someone calls and says they want to hire me that is exciting. When I talk to people and they like the name of the business that makes me feel good. However, there are days when there is not much going on and I have to force myself to keep working on it. When does the "word of mouth" begin?

One thing that a friend who is in business for herself suggested was to take advantages of any chance I had for networking and that has been really fun. I have met lots of new people and seen new things. I am going to start listing some of the start up businesses of others I have talked to on the sidebar of this blog. Yesterday I attended the Innotech Conference at the Austin Convention Center. I learned a lot of new things and met interesting people. One thing that I especially learned was about Windows 8. I have seen ads on TV showing how different it is, so I really enjoyed trying it first hand and going to a session where they talked about it and I could ask questions. If you are upgrading and need some help with Windows 8 I will be ready.

I also learned about a software that will allow me to work with people virtually. We could connect on the computer and communicate that way and then if I needed to I could, with your permission of course, have access to your computer. It is called Link and would cost me a small monthly amount, but you would not have to pay anything.

Other things I have been doing are substitute teaching at University of Texas Elementary School, volunteering with Trinity Child Development Center, making phone calls for Lloyd Doggett (a local candidate for Congressman) and working the Election Day Polls. That was an experience. 

So, next week you can look forward to Wiping Out a Hard Drive on Purpose. Please send along any suggestions for topics.