Throwing away your computer?

Protect or Destroy Your Hard Drive Data

I sometimes need to visit the recycling convenient center to drop off junk electronics. Every once in a while, there will be a desktop or printer sitting there in pretty good shape, so I’ll pick it up and take it home for diagnosis.

It’s amazing to me that people don’t take better care of deleting their hard drive data before allowing a computer to enter the public domain, trash or not.

I found a desktop last week and brought it home, it was missing two memory cards, which I had on hand, and it powered right up into windows 7 home premium. A password was set for the default user, but this is not a real problem for a hacker.

On this 500 GB hard drive was this personal data

  • Driver’s license
  • Three Birth Certificates of children
  • Three¬† ID cards for those children
  • Medical Lien documents
  • 1000+ family pictures
  • Passwords to several accounts
  • etc

I’m a white hat, and will decommission the hard drive data after I contact the owner to ensure the computer wasn’t stolen. Interesting that the owner was not tech saavy, yet the memory cards had been removed. I’m deducting that an offspring needed an upgrade, and used the parent’s device as the source. The parents must have deemed the computer dead, and took it to the dump.


Improper disposal of hard drive

Lot’s of personal hard drive data to see.

Hard Drive that was disposed of improperly