Donating Old Pc and laptop

Dear All,

I am planning on donating my old Pc and Laptop and want to ensure none of my personal data remains on them. After going through several articles, I was able to gather the following points:-

1. Save / backup important files
2. Encrypt the hard disk
3. Format the Pc
4. Make us of specialized Disk erasing/wiping software

Questions:
1. How does turning on the Disk encryption help me if I am donating my Pc
2. Are there any different steps for Mac Laptops
3. Would the above mentioned steps suffice to ensure my data would not be recovered .

Thanks in advance.
T
TiazfaDAsked:
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andreasSystem AdminCommented:
Overwriting the harddrive with random data is sufficient no need to encrypt it.
If you want to protect your files only from normal users, zeroing out the HDD is enough. Then any software tool for recovery has no chance to get files back.

dont forget to remove burned CDs/DVD from the drives, or USB sticks/sdcards. Those may also contain sensitive files.
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TiazfaDAuthor Commented:
Thanks Andreas! That was very helpful!

T
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Jackie ManCommented:
4. Make us of specialized Disk erasing/wiping software

Attached the HDD to another computer and download DBAN to wipe the HDD.

DBAN is free erasure software designed for the personal user. It automatically deletes the contents of any hard disk that it can detect. This method prevents identity theft before recycling a computer. DBAN is also a commonly used solution to remove viruses and spyware from Microsoft Windows installations.

http://www.dban.org/
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
For both Windows and Mac machines - erasing the HDD should be enough. The best guarantee of course is to give the machine away without the HDD. Take the drive out, new owner can buy the drive himself for sure.
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ScobberCommented:
the easiest way to do it with windows is to enable bitlocker and encrpt the whole drive, boot off a windows install disk and delete the partition.

the user that receives your computer wont get the 'this disk is bitlockered' message and your data will be written in a seemingly random manner.

the other way is to download darik;s boot and nuke
boot from it and run a erase operation as Jackie has said.
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TiazfaDAuthor Commented:
Thank you Jackie Man, Noxcho and Scrobber for all your inputs!!Helped a lot!! I think I ll try the Boot and Nuke erasing option.

Thanks,
T
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TiazfaDAuthor Commented:
Thanks much!
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