Roy from Las Vegas, NV writes: Bought a used computer from a friend that wanted a new one. Now, I can’t get his name from showing up in the USERS etc. Have changed everything suggested by the Worldstart Forum. Still it comes up! Is there a simple way to change his to mine? I am listed as the owner etc now and in the registry but his name keeps showing up!
One problem that we run into when we purchase a used computer is that some of the old data will show up from time to time. If you’ve tried everything with no success and that old user data is really annoying you, you could take some drastic measures.
One option is reformatting the hard drive to erase old files. Most people find this method works well. Formatting the hard drive more than once is more secure than just deleting and then recycling the files, but formatting a disk only erases the address tables. The reformatting of the hard-drive will make it more awkward to raise the old data when you are using the computer. However, a computer engineer could easily recover most of the data that existed before the reformat.
Disk Wiping is another technique you could try. Disk wiping is a far more secure method and ensures that old data on your computer and storage devices is irrecoverably deleted, before reformatting. Disk wiping is better than formatting the hard drive because it inherently overwrites your entire hard drive with useless data several times.
Although, disk-wiping algorithms differ significantly from brand to brand, they usually over write the hard-drive with a number like a zero or one – then you have to reformat the computer. You can also try these two free programs.
(a) Eraser: This is an effective software tool and does a good job of cleaning your hard drive by eradicating all solid-state memory and magnetic memory. It is an advanced security tool that allows you to successfully remove sensitive, personal and business, data by overwriting it several times with carefully selected algorithmic patterns.
(b) Darik’s Boot and Nuke: This is an application that you can install on CD Rom or bootable floppy. Boot and Nuke applications use several methods to remove old data on your drive rendering it unrecoverable. It has the ability to detect old contents on any hard disk – making this application suitable for urgent situation data destruction.
You could also use a ‘file deletion management system’. There are many different ones available The beauty of this product is that it is configured to detect and permanently erase deleted files. These solutions scan a computer, detect traces of previously erased data and remove data including e-mail messages. This can be applied more than once to any old data that may be left on the hard-drive.