Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Safely Delete Files and Folders in Windows

If you're thinking of donating that old computer, you'll naturally want to delete all your private data from your hard drive, whether it's Quicken data, tax receipts, etc.  One way is to download, boot and run a disk utility that overwrites your entire hard drive in digital 1's and 0's. This takes quite a long time to accomplish.

Another way is to download and install one of the file erasers in the following article. If you only have a single folder or sub-folder of personal data, this can delete and overwrite just those locations with the 1's and 0's; a much faster process.

Don't forget about your address book which can be in one of several folders depending on which mail program you use. Use Google to search on something like, "where are my Outlook Express folders located"

Link: (via

Oh, and by the way, the answer to where your Outlook Express folders might be is:

Outlook Express saves each folder in your email as a single compressed .dbx file . They are located in C:\Windows\Application data\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{big long number}\Microsoft\Outlook Express in Windows 98


C:\Documents and Settings\your account name\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{big long number}\Microsoft\Outlook Express in Windows XP/2k

And, after all that, if all you want to do is securely erase the complete disk, here's a link to a utility that will create an 'iso' file you can burn to a CD and boot from and erase your disk to DOD standards:


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