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Why Not Just Trash My PC?

Saturday, November 12th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Quick Tips, Security Help

A reader had a question:  “Say my computer gets a virus or ransomware, instead of paying a lot of money to the crooks could I just trash the hard drive and buy a new computer?”


That’s certainly an option depending on how much you already have invested in your PC. For some folks, it’s not so much the PC but the data on those drives.  But if you wisely have all of your important files backed up elsewhere and can afford a new PC, that’s a perfectly reasonable option.

~ Cynthia

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3 Responses to “Why Not Just Trash My PC?”

  1. Richard Gohman says:

    Unless the computer hardware is junk, don’t trash it. Give it to one of the charities that has a tech that can refurbish it for a family that cannot afford a computer. New hard drives are not that expensive. Even the infected computer may be able to be reformatted and used again.

  2. James J says:

    From what I’ve read from several online sites (I think including this one) the computer is not junked because of the ransom ware, but that your data is locked down to where you cannot access unless you pay. Like said, if you have your important data backed up some where then your gold. All you have to do is totally erase your hard drive and reinstall windows and your good to go. Worse case scenario is you do not have your data backed up but you still have a working computer. Cost $0.00 plus a little bit of your time. If you are not comfortable with that then purchase a new hard drive and replace the infected one and then install windows on that one. Why trash a perfectly good computer when the fix is really easy. All the crooks are putting ransom ware on is your data, not your computer…

  3. Ron says:

    Junking the computer is the last choice. Even before replacing the harddrive, worst case is you do a clean install of Windows, wiping out the locked installation. You can re-install Windows and your other programs yourself for free. Or you may have to pay tech support to do it.

    So, if your computer is really old (more than 5 years?), and you were already seriously thinking about replacing it, then maybe the cost of paying tech support to re-install Windows and other applications is not worth it. The cost of this work may be better applied to a new computer.

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