Considering to sell your hard disk? Consider twice

Last week I got interested in the fact is a second hand hard disk could be restored with software like EaseUS what I mentioned before in my blog. I decided to search on the internet for the cheapest SATA disk I could find, an external HDD seemd like a perfect candidate for a recovery attempt.

While searching on the Dutch website I found an advertisement from a local computer store somewhere in the Netherlands like you can see below. I decided to order the hard disk and a few days later I received my first hard disk.

After unpacking the disk I attached it to my laptop by a sata docking station and opened the file explorer where the hard disk seems perfectly clean and formatted. I started to hesitate if the hard disk really contained data that I was able to recover, will it be that simple? Couldn’t be!

Another test I performed was to enable the Windows Explorer setting to show all the hidden files but also that didn’t enable me to see some hidden and forgotten data so I decided to start recovery software, in this case EaseUS.
*EaseUS is software I used before in my blogs, I am not promoting EaseUS but it’s the only software I am using at the moment because I bought a license key for it. 

So now it’s time for the hard work (for my laptop in common). I started EaseUS and began the recovery task and shockingly enough within a few seconds it was able to found the old data structure and started counting the files it was indexing.

Pictures, documents, music, html history files, and so on. With a hard disk from the internet, a normal Windows 10 laptop, a sata dockingstation and some data recovery software it seems to be possible for every non-highly educated computer user to extract data from a hard disk. This isn’t something I did realise in the past and possibly a lot of people like me but restoring private data and personal information of people who want to earn a few Euros from their old computer stuff like a hard disk is shockingly easy.

You may thing, why should you do this? Well, there isn’t a main reason for that, you won’t become a better person by extracting personal data from old hard disks but the fact that a lonely person in his one person appartment could extract your data and do with it what he of she wants isn’t the nicest idea right? People assume that their data is safe and in good hands and assume also that computer stores who are selling their second hand hard disk will perform a data whipe they could trust.

Plans for selling your old laptop of your old external hard disk that you bought 10 years ago? Just perform a REAL data whipe. In my next blog I’ll test Eraser.

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K. Shay
K. Shay
2 years ago

Nice place you have here!

Also this is exactly why I let my clients destroy their old hard drives in my office with a hammer- good luck getting at that data you recycling thieves you! 🙂

Fahad Yousaf Mahar
Fahad Yousaf Mahar
2 years ago

Hi there !
I love your idea of keeping retro computers. They keep us connected to our nostalgic pasts and let us roam around in our memories. Though my retro memories start from era of windows 98 but I love your collection.

Fred Ingebritson
Fred Ingebritson
2 years ago

i like going through old hard drives, not for personal information so much than for obscure software. there are lots of software that has faded into obscurity, and it is ironic that quite a few were actually popular at the time. However, I have found that software based disk erasers are the worst means of erasing a hard drive. The best way I have found to erase a hard drive and still have a usable, unrecoverable, and reformat-able hard drive is to use an old tv screen degausser. Those things will scramble a hard drive after a couple minutes exposure… Read more »