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How do I delete EVERYTHING from and old laptop with Ubuntu OS

Mokles

Free PC Help Contributor
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Location
UK
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hi,

My son left his old Sony Viao for me to do what I want with. I want to get rid of it, but first I need to make sure ALL his data is completely deleted.

The Sony model is PCG-9U1M and the OS is Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

I hope someone can help and look forward to hearing from you. :)
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Lancashire
Hi Mokles, welcome back again.
Having only used Ubuntu once I had to go looking, however it would seem that most Linux systems, including Ubuntu have their own secure deleting tool called "Shred" To save me typing, have a look at this page where it explains how to use the tool, it does overwrite whatever you choose with lots of rubbish zero's and other numbers, so all data is no longer able to be recovered.
Here is the link to the page.

http://techthrob.com/2009/03/howto-delete-files-permanently-and-securely-in-linux/

Best of luck with it,

Nev.
 

Mokles

Free PC Help Contributor
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Location
UK
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hi Mokles

It doesn't happen to be a Sony VGN NS 10L Model PCG 7144M by any chance does it?

Ray
Sorry, no. :(

I put the model number in my original post.
 

Mokles

Free PC Help Contributor
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Location
UK
PC Experience
Some Experience
Thanks Nev.

I don't even know where to start. I can't find where I'm supposed to put the commands - that would be a start!
 

Mokles

Free PC Help Contributor
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Location
UK
PC Experience
Some Experience
Well I've solved the first problem and found where to type the commands - trouble is none of them seem to work. I end up with a load of gobbledegook.

I'm not sure whether the problem is something to do with the laptop nearly dying when it had Windows on and I seem to think that a friend of my son's rescued it and changed the OS and goodness knows what else.

I haven't managed to find where to locate any files either.
:help:
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Lancashire
Sorry, but I only experimented with Ubuntu once, so can't really help as I got rid and went back to windows. I hope someone with more knowledge can help.

Nev.
 

kernel

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Location
U.S.A.
PC Experience
Very Experienced
I LOVE using LINUX! I have been using it for the past 5 years already!

To delete everything (wiping the hard drive) is very simple. If your son still has the Ubuntu CD lying around, you can boot into the CD and follow the prompts till you get to the screen that talks about formatting hard drives. Select the hard drive and reformat it to a NTFS partition. This will delete everything on the hard drive. And then reboot, take the CD out and now the data will be erased.

If your son does not have the CD lying around. You can download another CD called gparted live. This is allows you to manage, create, and delete partitions. There are videos and documentation on how to use gparted on the internet. But all you have to do is launch the software, select the hard drive partition(s), hit the delete key, select "new" from the menu, click on the filesystem pull-down and select NTFS. NTFS is the partition that Windows uses for its OS, so if you format it to something else Windows wont install.

Here is a link to follow, if I made no sense on how to format your partition http://askubuntu.com/questions/145812/how-to-make-a-partition-windows-can-read

Now just because you reformat the drive does not mean that someone can not get data off of it. I found an old family hard drive that I wiped 8 years ago. Just for fun I wanted to see what data was on there. Even tho I did not find all the data that was on there I still did find some old photos and parts of old documents totaling about 2GB.

To make it really hard for people to try and get data off of the hard drive, it is recommended to write a whole bunch of random data to the drive and that will obscure the data that your son will have on the computer. There is also software out there that makes it possible to make your hard drive data really gone. Here is a link that explains why delete files can be recovered and at the end talks about software to make sure that your data is really gone.

http://www.howtogeek.com/125521/htg-explains-why-deleted-files-can-be-recovered-and-how-you-can-prevent-it/

*EDIT*

I just realized when you posted this, so it probably does not help you anymore, but I hope it helps some one else.
 
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