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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    Hi all,

    Wasn't sure where to post this post, but decided I would start here. Please let me know if it should be under some other forum --

    Anyway, very shortly (I hope) I am moving to a new job. Before going I would like to sanitize my machine of all my personal touches, but without reformatting the hard drive. Can anyone give me some pointers of all of the things I should remember to remove (like cookies and bookmarks, etc)?

    I realize that the only really safe thing to do is reformat the hard drive, but I really only want to do that if absolutely necessary. I didn't use my machine for many personal things, its mostly just bookmarks, cookies, and stored passwords that I'm worried about.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    If you simply allowed the operating system to remember the passwords, deleting the username.pwl file from the C:WINDOWS directory will stop the automatic access.

    As for anything else, check where the software you use would save data to, and copy / delete that information as required, delete cookies, and move bookmarks.

    Hope this helps....
    Christopher Baldrey

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    I've been wondering where the saved passwords went, as I have seen a couple of posts about this. One to remember. Personally, I never use the function, as I don't think it very secure - I don't share my PC (except with family), but someone could steal it! The last thing you want is for the person that stole your PC to steal your life as well!
    We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    If you the stored passwords lead to anything where security is important (such as any sites with credit card details), or if you have saved any confidentiol personal documents, then I recommend biting the bullet and reformatting; or at least deleting with with dedicated software like Cyberscrub (available for <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> 30 day trial from <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.cyberscrub.com>http://www.cyberscrub.com</A> or Norton Utilities. Otherwise, there is plenty of software out there that can recover your files.
    We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    More deletion software at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mercury.org.uk/A&D.htm>http://www.mercury.org.uk/A&D.htm</A>.
    We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    Hi Sparky
    Thanks for the plug (no pun intended).

    I was about to advise, don't Delete, WIPE. If you wipe or shred a file it is generally practically impossible to recover (not entirely impossible, note). If you really want safety, encrypt your file first, then open it in Notepad, remove by ordinary deleteion a couple of characters and shred it. Removing as little as one character from an encrypted file corrupts the data stream (and you can't put it back either) and makes decryption impossible for the ordinary user. Once you've got rid of all files (shredding may be configured to wipe the freespace on your swap file for added security) do a Defrag. To recover anything meaningful after all that, would require effort, and alot of it. You'd need to be the FBI.

    Rgds

  7. #7
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    Norton WipeInfo goes one better and actually overwrites the information, with options for doing this up to 3 times. I doubt even the FBI would retrieve anythying after that!
    We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

  8. #8
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    Hope you got some useful suggestions. Bet you never thought the FBI would come into it!

    What does a Somali look like? My mother recently got two Persians. Still haven't met them, as they are in France, but I have a picture.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

  9. #9
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    Re: changing jobs - need to sanitize machine

    Hi
    BC Wipe doees US DoD 7 pass extended character rotation wiping - about as much as you can get (takes ages) BUT in addition also has a user-defined pass quantity : you can overwrite as many times as you like. Have a look at the Options tab in BCWipe.

    Rgds

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the fantastic advice

    Thank you all for your suggestions. I'll be implementing them soon and let you know how I got on. My last day isn't actulally until the 28th (I hope, theoretically my boss could make me stay until the 1st of November!), so maybe I'll end up 'working' on my computer everyday and wiping it at the end of everyday!

    In the meanwhile, for those of you that haven't met a Somali before (essentially a long-haired Abyssinian), I've attached a recent picture of my latest kitten. In this picture he's about 12 weeks old. He's a chocolate Somali with a great purrsonality (he's my 'husband's boy - as all our other cats are female)!

    Thanks again for your suggestions!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    alterego
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    Re: Thanks for all the fantastic advice

    What a gorgeous looking cat - will keep a look out for those in future.

    This may be a bit simplistic, but I believe that defragmenting your disc after you have deleted the necessary files will help scramble the remaining space.

  12. #12
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    Re: Thanks for all the fantastic advice

    Fabulous cat. He's got a real 'King of the Jungle' look about him.

    Hope the bandwidth police aren't going to come after this thread!
    We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

  13. #13
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Thanks for all the fantastic advice

    Thanks for the comments about 'the boy'.

    Forgive my ignorance, but how do you defragment the disc?

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks for all the fantastic advice

    Open up My Computer
    Right_click on your drive(s)
    Select Properties
    Select Tools
    Select Defrag.

    or Start | Run
    defrag
    and select the drive.

    Shut down as many applications as possible, particularly any AV programs and screen saver. Any other disc activity will cause the Defragger to restart.

    Edited to add:
    More background info <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.computerhope.com/software/defrag.htm>here</A>.

  15. #15
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Thanks for all the fantastic advice

    Thank you!

    I learn so much from this site every day I just don't know what to do with myself anymore. Soon they will have to set up a companion to alcohlics anonymous for Woody's addicts!

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