How to completely wipe your hard drive

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By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais

PHOENIX -- When you do your spring cleaning, make sure to take special care of your hard drive before getting rid of it.

One Valley woman who thought that she deleted everything on her hard drive before donating it to Goodwill, when there was actually still lots of personal information hidden inside. Luckily, good Samaritan Ken Colburn with Data Doctors was the one who picked it up.

3TV's Yetta Gibson and Colburn were able to call the woman and inform her of what happened.

"It's like taking a big filing cabinet and throwing it in the trash," Colburn said.

One way to make sure your hard drive is clean before getting rid of a computer is to install a free secure deletion program such as Eraser. It will scrub out all your files and leave the hard drive empty.

A similar option is to simply "nuke" it, where you wipe the entire drive. A program called Darik's Boot and Nuke will do that.

If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, you should remove the hard drive from the rest of the computer and bring it to a computer expert you trust.

At their Tempe location only, Data Doctors will make sure your hard drive is completely wiped and then donate it to charity.

For more information on cleaning your hard drive, go to