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Thread: Why do companies throw out good computers?

  1. #11
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    Re: Why do companies throw out good computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shibblet View Post
    Primarily it is because they do not understand the nature of how computers work.

    I had an employer tell me to destroy a computer once. Nice machine for Linux too. Core i5, 8g of Ram, 256g SSD, 1tb HD, GTX560 Video Card.
    I asked him if I could keep it, and use it for something at home. His answer was "No. There is sensitive data on the hard drive that needs to be destroyed."

    "Okay," I exclaimed. "Can I just wipe the Hard Drive?"

    To which he replied "No. You don't understand... I need it completely destroyed. No one can have access to the data."

    Unfortunately, going through an explanation of what wiping a disk actually entails was futile. Kind of reminded me of the scene from Zoolander when they were trying to get "into" the computer.
    I would have just taken it home and wiped the drive. Or did he want to see you destroy the machine?

    Typical ignorant pointy haired boss...
    Current 'buntu systems: Server 18.04.2 LTS, Mythbuntu 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS / Retired: 14.04 LTS, 10.04 LTS, 8.04 LTS
    Been using ubuntu since 6.04 (13 years!)

  2. #12
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    Re: Why do companies throw out good computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ardouronerous View Post
    So, basically, the guy in charge of tossing out the laptops in the dumpster, disobeyed his boss, wiped the drives and gave the laptops to employees that would ask, like my friend did.
    Nope. He dropped them into a crusher.

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu View Post
    What if you just physically removed the drive and then destroyed it in front of him? Would suck to lose a 256 GB SSD, but at least you'd still have the rest of it, and you could get a new drive.
    Unfortunately, there was no explaining to him that sensitive data wasn't hidden somewhere on the motherboard, or video card, or in the processor. It was a futile effort to try and save some usable hardware.

    Ready for the kicker though?!?! He never saved any of his sensitive data on that computer. He used a thumb-drive for everything.
    Holy Cripes on Toast!
    Attention is the currency of internet forums. - ticopelp

  3. #13
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    Re: Why do companies throw out good computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shibblet View Post
    Ready for the kicker though?!?! He never saved any of his sensitive data on that computer. He used a thumb-drive for everything.
    ...except for the browser history...
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  4. #14
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    Re: Why do companies throw out good computers?

    I get some hand-me-down stuff once in a while and restore them with some lightweight Linux, depending on who will get them once I'm done. For total complete brand-newbies to Linux, I like Linux Lite. But I modify it to make it safer, by adding the Mint Updater (modified for Linux Lite by one of it's former developers) and other cool newbie tools from http://unlockforus.com, run by my friend and former Linux Lite team member, "Ralphy."

  5. #15
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    Re: Why do companies throw out good computers?

    I have 3 Thinkpads that were clearly ex-corporate machines. 1 of them came with a wiped HD, One came without HD and one came without HD or caddy and door. It was well worth replacing mounting hardware and buying SSDs - which I would probably have done anyway. I'd guess well over half the used notebooks on Ebay come without HDs so not everybody is ignorant and paranoid. I'd be surprised if anyone could recover any sensitive information from a machine that was reset to factory defaults and the hard drive removed.
    Last edited by kurt18947; 3 Days Ago at 09:24 PM.

  6. #16
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    Re: Why do companies throw out good computers?

    If the hard drive is removed, there should be no way to get any data off the machine, unless it has a small flash cache SSD on board (an old Samsung lappy I had had this). I don't know that everyone who knows to wipe/pull HDDs would think to check for this and wipe it as well. Heck, I just realized I tossed that machine after pulling the HDD with stuff still presumably on the cache SSD.

    There are some ways to extract data from RAM if the machine was just powered off, but by the time the machine is sold, bought and shipped to a new owner there won't be anything in RAM anymore.

    The only other places on a motherboard that holds data are the flash chip for the BIOS and the CMOS memory, but these don't carry user data generally, and certainly nothing sensitive would be kept there.
    Last edited by kpatz; 2 Days Ago at 12:46 PM.
    Current 'buntu systems: Server 18.04.2 LTS, Mythbuntu 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS / Retired: 14.04 LTS, 10.04 LTS, 8.04 LTS
    Been using ubuntu since 6.04 (13 years!)

  7. #17
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    Re: Why do companies throw out good computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    If the hard drive is removed, there should be no way to get any data off the machine, unless it has a small flash cache SSD on board (an old Samsung lappy I had had this). I don't know that everyone who knows to wipe/pull HDDs would think to check for this and wipe it as well. Heck, I just realized I tossed that machine after pulling the HDD with stuff still presumably on the cache SSD.

    There are some ways to extract data from RAM if the machine was just powered off, but by the time the machine is sold, bought and shipped to a new owner there won't be anything in RAM anymore.

    The only other places on a motherboard that holds data are the flash chip for the BIOS and the CMOS memory, but these don't carry user data generally, and certainly nothing sensitive would be kept there.
    I agree. However, you're using a rational thought process, and attempting to explain how things actually work.
    Rationality had no place in the discussion of saving the hardware.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2uHBhKTSe0
    Holy Cripes on Toast!
    Attention is the currency of internet forums. - ticopelp

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