Computer Hard Drive Damage

Dear Computer Lady,

During one of the strong tstorms a couple of weeks ago, my desktop computer went down. The internet modem was fried and I needed a new one.

Questions: Any way of getting off or cleaning up the information on the computer or taking the hard drive out before giving it up?

Thanks in advance for any help in this area. Joanne

Dear Joanne,

Yes, you can either erase the hard drive, or remove it from the computer before you give it away.

First, did you get all your information off the computer, or do you still have files on there that you would like a copy of? Depending on how badly your hard drive itself was damaged, it is still possible to get your data off the drive, just bring the computer to a local repair shop like mine, and let us take a look at it and give you an estimate.

Hopefully, you have a good backup system in place, and getting your data off the hard drive is not an issue.

The hard drive can then be securely erased, I use a program here in my shop that overwrites the drive three times to ensure that your data is completely gone.

If you prefer to just take the drive out and donate the rest of the computer, you can open it up and take out the drive. If you have a tower, the drive is about the size and shape of a ham sandwich, it is held in with 4 screws, two on each side, and is attached to the inside of the computer by a power cable and a data cable.

If your computer is a laptop, the hard drive might be a lot harder to access, and I can’t really tell you exactly where it is located. Sometimes, it is under a small door on the back of the laptop, while other times, I have had to practically take apart the entire laptop just to access the hard drive. Again, this is something your local computer shop can help you with



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    • sj_kac
    • November 17, 2013

    The reader that wanted “Any way of getting off or cleaning up the information on the computer” can use SDelete from Microsoft. It is a program that securely erases unused sectors so files can not be recovered.

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