Help? is it safe to sell laptop after factory reset?

Red8

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Jul 21, 2013
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Hello all, I recently sold my laptop after using the partition to factory settings restore my laptop hdd after removing the sdd. My question is was that safe enough to sell like that? Could the person I sold it to possibly still recovery any of my info? I'm just worried they could get my card numbers, passwords, or even my email or something. I didn't run dban, for I didn't really even remember it. All help is appreciated.

ps I cloned the sdd to the hdd after formatting the hdd completely then used the cloned partition restore on the hdd.
 

rkzhao

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Mar 8, 2016
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If they wanted to get at your information, they wouldn't be using it. Use means writing to the drive which then means they will write over your information and not be able to get at what you had on there before. To recover any data from the disk, they have to go actively searching for it. It's not something that they can come across just by using the computer. They will have to also go through and decode all the binary bytes to try and figure out what information is actually relevant.

As for what someone can recover, it's hard to say. Pretty much anything that was saved on the HDD before would still be there until that location on the disk was overwritten by another file.

I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Chr1SS

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Jan 30, 2017
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you should be safe. if you did a complete factory reset then the hard drive will be completely wiped with nothing left on it besides maybe the operating system. it defiently wont have any passwords or accounts saved on it still
 

juanrdp

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I'm not sure if i've understand it very well:

If you format the HDD and then restore a cloned image from the SSD to the HDD the old information of the HDD is more or less safe, the old format depending if it's fast or not could be not safe but you write again over it with the image. A foresnsic tool still could get data from it, specially if you use a fast format (not writing over it) and the image from the SSD is not full the HD size as you could have left a lot of information unwritten.
The second part is that over the SSD to HDD image you have restore to factory settings, then yes, all the old information from the SSD (now on the HDD) is not properly undeleted and could be restored without a lot of dificulties.
 

Red8

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Jul 21, 2013
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okay sorry guys for the confusion, I reformatted the HDD to wipe it all and then from there I ran the partition to restore the entire laptop to factory settings that is on the sdd, then after restoring to factory settings I then cloned the sdd to the HDD. From there I removed the ssd myself. So currently it is running with the HDD that has been reformatted and uses a cloned partition that was on the ssd after I reset both the ssd and had to factory settings. Is that still safe? How hard can it be for this person to retrieve old info if they have already started making the pc their own with their applications and games?
 

rkzhao

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Mar 8, 2016
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The idea of data on HDDs is that the data is on the physical disk and can be read manually for data recovery. A DBAN type of "erase" actually writes over the entire disk so that any data on there is overwritten and no longer present for data recovery.

The typical "formatting" writes some basic information to the drive for the OS to recognize, but does not overwrite the whole disk. So in that case, it is possible for someone to recover the data that had not been overwritten. They will have to then interpret the data to actually decode it into useable information but it's doable.
 

Red8

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Thanks for the the response. I appreciate it. What kind of info can they still recover by chance? If they've been using it and already making the laptop their own by downloading their stuff and using it for everyday use can they still recover my info? I'm alittle paranoid I just had some fraud on my cards before in the past and it was a close call when I found out and hard to get it all settled out.
 

rkzhao

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Mar 8, 2016
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If they wanted to get at your information, they wouldn't be using it. Use means writing to the drive which then means they will write over your information and not be able to get at what you had on there before. To recover any data from the disk, they have to go actively searching for it. It's not something that they can come across just by using the computer. They will have to also go through and decode all the binary bytes to try and figure out what information is actually relevant.

As for what someone can recover, it's hard to say. Pretty much anything that was saved on the HDD before would still be there until that location on the disk was overwritten by another file.

I wouldn't worry about it.
 

nancylove

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Jul 1, 2016
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Format the HDD just delete the catalog and related records. Such wipe were, in practice, the popular ways but can't make all the files on the hard drive unrecoverable, it just makes them harder to retrieve.
 

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