How To Get Rid Of Old Computers

How to Wipe Your PC Before Getting Rid of it

Before you trash, sell, or give away any old computer the very first thing you should do is permanently wipe the hard drive so that nobody can recover personal information which could be used to access your bank accounts or steal your identity. So how can you do this?

Format Your Hard Drive

Formatting your hard drive before getting rid of an old computer is no longer enough to prevent somebody from recovering data from it! This is no longer an effective method of safeguarding your data. As our level of technological sophistication advances, so does the ease with which we recover data from old computers. There are services and software that a person with no computer knowledge can emply to recover data from a formatted hard drive at a very reasonable price, a small drop in the bucket when compared to the profit margins in identity theft.

Disk Wiping Software

(ex: Symantec System Works, Safe Erase, File Shredder)

Many software manufacturers offer products that are supposed to irrevocably wipe your computers hard drive. If you’re willing to purchase software to wipe your hard drive so you can give or throw it away make sure you do your homework and ask what the program actually does. Most of the programs will repeatedly erase and overwrite your hard drive, which does make recovery of your data more difficult, but not impossible. Don’t take the salesman’s word without doing your homework.

Physically Destroy the Hard Drive

Physically destroying your disk drive is currently the best method of protecting your data. Software solutions that work today may not be effective tomorrow as our technology advances at breakneck speeds. The price of computer hard drives plummets more each and every day making this a very feasible option as your computer’s hard drive comprises less than 10% of the total value of your PC.

Understand that crushing, burning, or otherwise physically destroying your hard drive is not fool-proof, data can and has been recovered from drives that have been mashed beyond recognition, but the more thoroughly thrashed the drive is, the harder and more costly it is to attempt to recover any previous data. If you decide to take this route, disassemble the drive with a screwdriver, remove the ceramic disks, wrap them in a towel to protect yourself from shards and then thoroughly smash them with a hammer.

5 Ways to Dispose of Your Old PC

1. Donate it! Surprisingly, this isn’t as easy as it used to be as many schools and charities are swimming in old, obsolete computers. If your old PC is new enough to still be useful, chances are you can find someone who wants it. Here’s some places to try: * Your local schools. * Advertise it for free in your local craigslist. * Post it on a bulletin board at a local college. * Drop it off at your local salvation army or goodwill store’s donation center.

2. Sell it! Advertise it in your local classifieds, Ebay, or Craigslist.com. Look through any place you attempt to sell first to make sure your not competing against people who are giving away comparable or better stuff.

3. Recycle it! Look up “Recycling” in your local phone book to find places close by that will take your old hardware.

4. Trade it in! Some computer companies such as HP, Gateway, and Dell will take your old, worthless hardware off of your hands for free when you buy a new PC through them.

5. Reuse it! Reconfigure an old computer to play music and movies, rip all of your CD’s and DVD’s onto it and hook it up to your home theatre. Video cards with RCA or S-Video outputs can be had for less that $20 making this very affordable.

Know of more ways to safely dispose of old PC’s? Add them to this page using the form below. Please don’t throw your old computers and monitors into the trash; they contain materials that are destructive to the environment.

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How To Select The Right Registry Repair Tool

When you see that dreaded Windows registry error appear on your screen over and over, you’re probably thinking that any program or registry cleaner that will get your computer back up and running is all you need.

These tools will have your computer up and running pretty quickly, but there are so many out there that you may not know which one to download.

Most basic Windows users don’t know much about the Windows registry or how to go about fixing it. In this article, I’ll discuss some of your options for not only registry cleaning and repair but also registry maintenance and things you can do to keep your computer running at its best.

RegCure:

RegCure is designed for the novice computer uses, and it’s very simple to download the program and scan your registry. The download and full registry scan are free, but you’ll need to buy the full version to clean all of your registry errors. However, RegCure is very effective and it’s also the cheapest Windows registry cleaner around. But just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it doesn’t work well. RegCure will get the job done.

RegistryEasy:

Many people have heard of RegistryEasy since it’s one of the most popular tools out there. As far as Windows registry utilities go, RegistryEasy is, like its name suggests, easy to use. Even if you’re a basic computer user, RegistryEasy is pretty intuitive. All you need to do is download the software, scan your registry, and see what errors pop up. Now, to fix errors with RegistryEasy, you’ll have to buy a license, but even that is very easy to do.

System Mechanic:

System Mechanic is one of the more serious repair programs that you can get to fix any Windows registry repair problems you may have. This is because the program does not only repair registry problems, it can also help to keep your computer running at its best capabilities by making sure to do routine maintenance like clearing out your cache memory, defragmenting information on your hard drive, and finding ways to optimize your browser. While this program is one that you have to buy to use, there is a trial version that you can download to see if it is something that would be worth buying before you actually decide whether or not you want to buy it.

Other tools:

You might also take a look at some firewalls and malware programs to see if they offer registry protection. Spybot, a popular and powerful spyware detection and removal tool, and Comodo firewall both alert you when files attempt to change the Windows registry. This lets you see what’s happening to your registry and gives you the chance to block strange changes.

When delving into the wealth of different Windows registry repair software available, be sure to keep a few things in mind.

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Home Office – How To Improve Productivity By Organizing Your Home

Is your home office space affecting your productivity? Do you hunt for pens and pencils continuously? Is your document search an exercise in frustration? Are your papers a chronological stack of filing that is impossible to successfully navigate? Do you have an irrational fear of a paper flood catastrophe if you look for something at the bottom of the pile?

Every home office deals with excess paper and whether you are running a small or large business, it is still something to contend with, and one that gets worth when there is no organization.

So, what do you do to wrestle the clutter-beast into submission?

Space to Organize Is Essential

The biggest problem with staying organized in an office is that people set up a system and do not give themselves enough room to grow.

If you clean out a drawer, organize it, and then put all the stuff back into that same drawer, you might feel good to get the dust bunnies out. However, you have not realistically done much. By squeezing all, that stuff back into the drawer simply means it is cleaner. If there is no room for anything new, it won’t help with the pile of un-filed papers and the new papers that will be generated in the future.

Having space to add home office furniture in the form of filing cabinets and storage bins will help considerably with organization. Be sure and have at least one quarter to one third or more growing room when you implement your system. Extra space encourages you to keep up with your organization efforts.

This system includes everything from architectural drawings to products and documents you accumulate in the course of doing business.

Set aside time to purge unnecessary documents. Not only will this provide more space but it will save you time that would otherwise be wasted looking through worthless paperwork.

Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple. When it comes to filing, the simpler the better. If you make it too complicated, you will not keep up with it because it is too hard to follow. Consider color-coding, but do not go overboard with the number of categories. Use general topics like “Projects”, “Correspondence” and “Expenses”, or something similar. Not too many of them or you will get lost in your categories.

When filing large groups of projects, clients, or invoices, try utilizing a single draw for each group of like files. Get a tall filing cabinet that can be divided into either chronological or alphabetical systems.

For things that you use very frequently, consider getting a cork, posting or white board that you can place near your desk. This works for phone number lists, client projects and outlines, ‘To-Do’ lists and appointment calendars.

Maintenance

A system is only as good as the person using it is. If you do not keep it up, no system is useful. Starting with a smaller, simpler system of files in a cabinet near you is good. You can then take your daily or weekly items and store them in a more permanent place when you are finished.

The system will also work for stuff that you need off and on as the project you are working on progresses. Things like price lists, if you’re dealing with products, lists and articles that you need to add to a website, rewrites and the like. If you need to refer to it continuously, then you want it close.

Filing Style

If you want to realistically keep up a filing system, labeled boxes might be a better fit. You might want to alleviate the piles of papers and sort them into boxes when you are done with them. I had a friend who invested in a really good scanner, and digitized everything, then threw the originals away. While that might be a bit excessive, it just goes to show that different filing techniques work for different people. Whatever you decide, keep it up and purge your papers occasionally and the system will work like a charm for you.

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