What not to do when getting rid of that old Hard Drive
A few weeks ago my Significant Others hard drive died. When ever this happens one the first things I try is getting another drive that is the same model and swapping the controller cards. EBay is a great place to look for these.
So that is what I did. When the new drive (well used) arrived I swapped controllers and then proceeded to get data back.
On Saturday I was wondering what was on the drive that I had just purchased. Well after plugging it in I found a full install of Windows XP home. Items included without looking for old deleted items:
Cookies for many many sites
History (very interesting to see what people look at)
and a few random docs
After some digging (and a nice piece of software) I was able to find
Tax returns from 2002-2004
Student loan papers
Lots of other personal docs
a doc labeled "Email accounts and passwords"
and then the rather large Porno collection popped up
While I am thankful that I was able to get this drive off eBay (to save our other one) I don’t think people should sell hard drives. And if you do sell a hard drive (or get rid of it in any way) I recommend getting a DoD disk wiper and let it wipe for a few days before you pull it our of your box. While a DoD wipe may not kill all possible data on the drive, it would have kept me from finding the data I found.