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Old 05-26-2011, 07:05 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Getting Hard Disk Repaired

I am taking my computer in for hard disk repair. If they replace the hard disk they won't return the old one. I'm trying to figure out what I should remove from my computer before I take it in. Considering that this is Windows 7, I figured I would:

1. go to User/Username/ and remove the contents of all folders but leave the folders .

2. Empty trashcans

Anything else?

   
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:25 PM   #2
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Might want to clear browser caches, remove contents of temp folders ... think about browser cookies, history and the like. Might want to have a shredder utility overwrite the blank space with zeros.

All depends on what's on the computer, how much you trust the folks at the shop, and what they'll do with the old disk if they replace it. (Our local computer recycling place drills holes through unusable hard drives with a drill press -- then sends them to be shredded.)

Seems curious that they won't return the old disk.

Have you considered replacing the disk yourself?

   
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure the browser cache is stored in AppData, which is one of the folders in the path I mentioned.

With replacing the hard disk, I've always done my own in the past. But this is a laptop, and it's under warranty. And it was doing things like making a ticking sound and freezing. It doesn't sound like a hard disk tick though. So I figure I should just take it in.

Just thinking here, maybe I should remove the password from my wireless network connection.

   
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:47 PM   #4
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Why won't they return the drive? It's your property. You bought it, and you bought its replacement.
I would question this practice in the first instance. A failing drive may not be much use to you, and you may prefer them to get rid of it for you, but that's different.

As for the contents: I would wipe the drive.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:14 AM   #5
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If they price their services on the basis of getting the old unit (to cannibalize for parts, for instance, then this is a valid practice). You might be able to pay more to keep the old unit, but they seem to have been upfront in telling him they will keep the old one.

Of course, you do want to make sure you are getting a new drive, and not a reconditioned one out of someone else's system.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benwiggy View Post
Why won't they return the drive? It's your property. You bought it, and you bought its replacement.
I would question this practice in the first instance.
If he's getting this done under warranty, then the drive may NOT belong to him, since he is not going to be paying for the new one. Also, it's quite possible that the shop is going to have to return the defective drive to the manufacturer (this is sometimes done to make sure that they are not being billed for phony repairs)
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:15 AM   #7
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Have you considered using Windows Easy Transfer which will pack everything you want into a windows zip file and then reload that after your computer is fixed?

   
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:33 AM   #8
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The Mac OS has a secure erase feature — maybe Windows does as well. It overwrites the drive 3, 7, or 30 times.

You can also do a fresh installation of the OS two or three times.

   
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:42 AM   #9
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I have a secure erase utility. My problem is deciding what to erase. I can't turn over the computer with nothing on the hard disk. There is a good chance they will say this voids the warranty. Tech support ain't what it used to be.

   
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew B. View Post
I have a secure erase utility. My problem is deciding what to erase. I can't turn over the computer with nothing on the hard disk. There is a good chance they will say this voids the warranty. Tech support ain't what it used to be.
So what if you install a fresh copy of the OS? That ain’t nothing! You could set up a folder with a single document that says Boo!

   
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