Cleaning out my pc for repair?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by tomteeth, Nov 19, 2002.

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  1. tomteeth

    tomteeth Registered Member

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    Hello Everyone, i am sending my pc out for repair today and i want to know how is the fastest way to clear out all i can on this pc, so no-one can see what i have been doing or get to my personal stuff, i want to get rid of as much as i can, everything will be wiped out by them anyway! So it doesnt matter what i wipe out!
     
  2. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    There is a program called "Eraser" which can wipe either files or free space on a disk drive. It is a recommended program at the bottom of the Wilders.org "Free Tools" page.

    http://www.wilders.org/free_tools.htm

    Eraser can be found here: http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser/
    If you boot to DOS, you can use this tool to completely erase the disk drive.

    LowWaterMark
     
  3. tomteeth

    tomteeth Registered Member

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    LowWaterMark
    Thank You for the Eraser, can sure use it. I am not familiar with boot into Doz with this xp home edition, actually i was under the impression (for some reason) that i could not! Could you explain how to do this for me, Remember (if it matters) that i do not have a Safe Mode on this pc, thats the main reason it is going in for repair! Tom
     
  4. Primrose

    Primrose Registered Member

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    No safe modeo_O

    Have you tried to fix it yourselfo_O



    Windows XP Home Edition
    Click "Start".

    Select "Turn off computer".

    Select "Restart".

    During restart, hold down the "F8" key on your keyboard until the Windows Startup menu appears.

    If your PC starts beeping then release the key for a few seconds before holding it down again.

    Select "Safe Mode" from the Startup menu, and press the "Enter" button on your keyboard.

    Windows should start in Safe Mode. If Windows doesn't restart in Safe Mode then please try again.
    _____________________________________________________

    Restart your computer in safe mode:

    Click Start and then click Turn Off Computer. In the drop-down menu, click Restart.
    After your computer restarts, look for “Please select the operating system to start.” When this text appears, press F8.
    Use the arrow keys to highlight the Safe Mode option, and then press ENTER.
    When the “Windows Welcome” screen appears, log on to an administrator account.

    Click Start and then click Control Panel, click User Accounts, and then click Change an Account. Under “Pick an account to change,” click the administrator account you want to change and then click Create a password.
    IMPORTANT
    If you do decide to create a password for the administrator account, make sure that you write down the password and store it in a safe place.


    To learn more about safe mode, click Start and then click Help and Support and type "safe mode" in the Search box.
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/using/howto/gettingstarted/guide/setupqanda.asp
     
  5. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    To boot up in DOS download Ultimate Bootdisk double-click the downloaded program and it writes a boot-disk to an empty floppy in your drive.
    After that you can use this floppy to boot up in DOS and start the program LowWaterMark recommended.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  6. tomteeth

    tomteeth Registered Member

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    Primrose, ordinarily, i would try it but as i stated i dont have a Safe mode on this pc. Low water mark, My luck, my xp extraction wizard does not work properly either, it always ask for a password even when there is none, so i could not download past the Eraser.exe! Pieter, The guy came for my pc before i could make a disk but i will keep the instructions and make one up when i get my new pc back from repair! Thank You All,, Tom
     
  7. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    My hope for you is it comes back from repairs in a state that you can have some fun with it instead of just problems.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  8. tomteeth

    tomteeth Registered Member

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    Amen to that Pieter, Thanks Tom
     
  9. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Here's a good example of why encryption is such a good idea for anyone concerned with privacy. I keep an entire 20gb partition encrypted on-the-fly. If it's the least bit sensitive, it goes there. It's simple and protects me from "snoopers" at tech shops. Before it goes to the shop, I also give it a good free space wipe with ERASER.

    Have a good one!

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  10. tomteeth

    tomteeth Registered Member

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    Sounds like a good idea, How do you get this Encryption started, do you have a website i could check it out or does xp home edition have a built in one? Thanks Tom
     
  11. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Hi Tom,

    John (luv2bsecure) has some informative posts with links to encryption tools posted over in the Privacy Software forum. Here's a key post on this:

    "Topic: An Introduction To Freeware Encryption Tools"
    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=3919

    I've been using PGP myself for several years, but, there are other tools. Unfortunately, XP Home does not have encryption built-in. But, there are free tools which worked great. On the typical PC's available today, encryption software runs very well and quickly. There is no reason for not using it, if you want the protection it offers.

    There are other threads in the Privacy forums with a lot of good additional information on securing the data on your PC. They would be worth a read.

    Best Wishes,
    LowWaterMark
     
  12. tomteeth

    tomteeth Registered Member

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    LowWaterMark
    I just remembered that i used a encryption utility one time to send emails back and worth to a friend, but i had to install the same utility on his pc, but when we sent the emails to each other, they were in ONE LONG LINE and it took forever to highlight it and paste it into the Decryptor! I could not figure out how to get it to appear in Paragraphs, so we had to forget that one! Do these other Enscryptors do this? Thanks for the Website, i will check it out.
     
  13. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    I've never experienced that particular problem. My thought is that that was either a setting problem or something particular with the tool you were trying. Think of it this way, it these tools were that hard to use, no one would ever use them.

    As to which is best for what, I'll leave that to luv2bsecure.
     
  14. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    I couldn't agree with you more, LowWaterMark.

    Encryption can be an intimidating thing for a lot of people and really, it doesn't have to be that way. Several years ago it could be a problem and wasn't user-friendly, but today it's as easy as anything else we use.

    First, it should be remembered when we say "encryption" all that is saying is that the data is "scrambled" until the proper key, passphrase, etc. is entered at which point it is "unscrambled" and readable or gives you access. What it doesn't say is how you use it and there are many different ways.

    For example, you might want to use encryption for email which means you have to "encrypt" each message before mailing, though it can be easy, it must be done. Many people think of encryption only in that realm - email. However.....

    What I was writing about in my post about having the encrypted partition is something completely different. With the program I use, "DriveCrypt", it is very easy to encrypt an entire partition on your hard drive. This kind of on-the-fly encryption does not usually allow for encryption of entire partitions. Let's take PGP's "PGP Disk" which is much like DriveCrypt is being brought back by the new (rightful) owners of PGP. DriveCrypt and PGP Disk (and other programs) will allow you to create an encrypted "container" that is opened only by entering your passphrase. These containers can be as large (in most programs) as 4.7GB and you can make as many as you like.

    When an "encrypted container" is opened, it becomes just another drive on your computer. It will assign it a drive letter - say, Drive E. Now you have, after creating your container (all done with a wizard), created this virtual "drive" that is empty and ready for you to use it like it was another newly installed hard drive. The big difference? It is protected by a passphrase and cannot be opened without it. All contents (anything you choose to put in this new "drive") is safe. When you exit the "virtual drive" it encrypts the data and then shows up as just a file on your computer. But, inside could be gigabytes of letters, photos, mp3s - anything!

    So when I wrote about MY encrypted partition and its importance for everyone interested in privacy to have one, I meant - basically - if you want to keep your sensitive data truly protected then drop anything sensitive inside your encrypted drive. I'm trying to make this simple as the concept is hard to grasp for some who have only thought of encryption as something you do one file or email at a time. You don't do anything to your letters, photos, etc. except put them in this "drive" and then the DRIVE or "container" is encrypted when you close it. The key is to have good, solid, strong encryption and the REAL key to privacy with encrypted containers and drives is your passphrase. You can have great encryption codes or "algorithms" as they are called and it be worthless if you have a poor passphrase. We can get into that later - that's worthy of a thread of its own.

    In a nutshell, that's the kind of encryption I was writing about and what LowWaterMark and I said you should have if you care about your privacy. To some of you, this may be a whole new concept. Don't hesitate to write and ask questions here. There are plenty of people here to help.

    Good luck!

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  15. tomteeth

    tomteeth Registered Member

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    John
    Luv2BSecure Thanks, I will take you up on that, I probably will have questions at first, as in all new projects! Tom
     
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