Selling a laptop

Old May 21, 11, 8:24 pm
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Selling a laptop

There are various companies now that give you a quote for an old computer, send you a box to ship the computer and then issue a check. Any experiences, recommendations or warnings to share?

I have a five-year old VAIO that was once cutting edge, is now a bit outdated but still works. Anything I'd get for it would be a bonus, really.
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Old May 21, 11, 8:35 pm
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And what to do about "wiping" the hard drive? That's always scared me. I'm afraid I will leave some personal info on there somewhere!
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Old May 21, 11, 9:11 pm
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Double check what they are going for on e-bay, sometimes that makes more sense to sell them that way instead of the recyclers.

Though any personal information you had on it would of course be a risk, make sure you restore it to new condition first with your restore disk.
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Old May 21, 11, 9:50 pm
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If you are particularly cautious; wipe the disk with the Debian (sp) Boot and Nuke before disposing it off.
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Old May 21, 11, 11:02 pm
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Or just use the Windows reinstallation discs to format the drive and reinstall Windows.
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Old May 21, 11, 11:44 pm
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If you are a lawyer as your nick suggests then incinerate the hard drive before selling. Short of destroying the magnetic platters nothing stops a determined attacker from reclaiming data. Thermite works extremely well http://www.youtube.com/v/k-ckechIqW0

Will decrease the value for sure. But eBay is full of HDD-less laptops for this reason.

Last edited by chx1975; May 21, 11 at 11:50 pm
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Old May 22, 11, 12:38 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
Or just use the Windows reinstallation discs to format the drive and reinstall Windows.
That would not wipe sensitive information that free/easily acquired software could not recreate, even if the files look like they are no longer on your computer. This problem is apparently much worse on SSDs too now people are finding out.
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Old May 22, 11, 3:25 am
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I always use file shredder to wipe hard drives on pc's that leave my ownership. On a three wipe setting, I always thought that was fairly secure, was I wrong?
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Old May 22, 11, 3:38 am
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Originally Posted by Policypeddler View Post
And what to do about "wiping" the hard drive? That's always scared me. I'm afraid I will leave some personal info on there somewhere!
use DBAN and it will completely erase the hard disk....
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Old May 22, 11, 7:36 am
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What do the recyclers quote the machine at? For something that old they usually don't give much and you could do better on ebay or craigslist.
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Old May 22, 11, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by sfolawyer View Post
Anything I'd get for it would be a bonus, really.
Wipe the HD. Donate it to a worthy charity/school. Take deduction for FMV.
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Old May 22, 11, 8:45 am
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True. It's usually better to give it to someone or a charity, rather than trying to sell it. Especially considering that one can not get much for a used laptop these days.

Originally Posted by sonofzeus View Post
Wipe the HD. Donate it to a worthy charity/school. Take deduction for FMV.
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Old May 22, 11, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by mrx900 View Post
use DBAN and it will completely erase the hard disk....
+1 I always use DBAN (Darik's boot and nuke), works awesome. ^
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Old May 22, 11, 8:50 pm
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Originally Posted by adambadam View Post
That would not wipe sensitive information that free/easily acquired software could not recreate, even if the files look like they are no longer on your computer. This problem is apparently much worse on SSDs too now people are finding out.
Nonsense. Formatting the drive (a real format, not the "quick format") will truly clear everything.

Now, if you're concerned that the FBI is after you, then you should use one of the freely available programs that will do several rounds of erasure. But for us regular people who just want to get rid of a computer, a low level format will do just fine.
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Old May 23, 11, 1:24 am
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Apparently modern hard drives http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut00...ecure_del.html will indeed be unreadable after an overwrite. Interesting. The followup paper even suggests that although theoretically you could read stuff from semiconductors but with the increasing density this is becoming more and more a problem.

Note that there is no such thing as a low level format for, I can't remember, twenty years now? When did the last of MFM/RLL/ESDI disks die ?

Also. Melting down a HDD with thermite is fun
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