People pay close attention to the physical conditions of the personal computers before putting them up for sale. From ensuring that the casing is in tiptop condition to ensuring that every component is functioning as it should be, it should come as a no-brainer. When you consider, however, that people spend so much time on the physical side of things before selling their computers off, it should come as a surprise that they don’t do the same when it comes to their security.
What this means is that they don’t go the extra mile towards ensuring that their personal files, data and information does not, somehow, end up in the hands of the buyer. When it comes to data security before selling, effective cleaning of hard drive is of utmost importance. Here is how you are supposed to do it:
Back Up Your Data
The first thing that you would want to do, before selling your PC, is to create a backup of all of the data stored on it. Considering the importance of computers in the contemporary world, you will hardly find a person who doesn’t have something of importance and magnitude stored on their hard drive. There are a number of means available for use when it comes to the backing up of your data. If there are only a few files that you need to hold on to, then you can take the route of storing them onto a cloud, such as Google Drive. However, if there is a considerable amount of data that needs to be backed up, then the usage of an external hard drive will serve as the best option.
If there is data on your hard disk that you need to recover, then now is the time to recover it, considering how it will be lost forever after you sell your PC. For this purpose, you can make use of a number of data recovery software available. Stellar Data Recovery and MiniTool are some of the best data recovery software that you can make use of.
Get Rid of Authorized Software
There a number of software programs that must be installed on your hard drive. Before you sell your PC off, therefore, it is imperative for you to get rid all of the software programs that might be installed, especially the ones that require authorizing. Programs—such as Adobe Creative Suite—need to be removed from your hard disk in order to ensure that there is no software installed with the authorization to do something on its own. While you are at it, it would be a wonderful idea to get rid of the services where you have got the two-factor authentication enabled. It is true that the chances of someone having your password are slim; the fact of the matter is that you can never be too careful. Taking care of this detail from the start will ensure that it is impossible for someone else to log into your personal accounts. We all would love such security, right?
Format Your Hard Disk
We all know how there are a number of procedures for you to choose from when it comes to wiping your hard drive clean, but nothing does the job quite like good, old formatting. If you think about it, you NEED to format your hard drive if you are to wipe it clean and, truly, start from scratch. The procedure is time-consuming, no doubt, but the fact of the matter is that it is worth every second of it. Or would you like your personal information to remain on your hard drive, so that it might be accessible by the stranger who has purchased your PC?
When you speak of formatting your hard drive, it is imperative for you to do it in the “correct” manner. The right manner of hard drive formatting is pretty simplistic, requiring the usage of the right software and a bit of skill. If your hard drive has got a version of the Windows Operating System installed, then it is advisable for you to format the hard drive with Darik’s Boot and Nuke. This software will ensure that your hard drive is formatted completely, perfectly and in the manner required. If, however, you prefer Mac, you will not need such software programs, owing to how the built-in Disk Utility will work wonders for your cause.
Reinstall Your Operating System
Once the hard drive has been formatted, it should be clean of everything that was previously on it, including the operating system. This is the reason why you will need to reinstall the operating system on it before you can get to the task of selling it. The process of reinstalling the operating system is very simple for even beginners to follow, provided that you have still got the operating system installation discs. All you have to do is boot the system from the OS disc and the rest of the procedure will be pretty simplistic and self-explanatory.
Once the operating system has been reinstalled, you will need to choose how far into the process you wish to continue. You might consider quitting the process when it asks you to create a user account. Such an initiative would save the buyer of PC some work and earn you goodwill. For those who don’t know how to quit the setup procedure in the middle, all you need to do is turn off your PC, as soon as it asks you for the creation of a user account. However, if you are selling on such an online platform where you need to prove that the PC works to the buyer, then you should create a dummy user account. The creation of an account with a dummy username and password will help your buyer in deciding if your PC is in a good enough working condition for them or not.
Your personal information is priceless. Don’t let it slip into the hands of a stranger, for you can be certain that it will be misused more often than not!