All too often people simply dispose of their computers, disk drives, portable devices, thumb drives, etc. when they are done using them. By doing this, often they expose themselves to identity theft. Anyone can simply take that drive, connect to to a computer system, and read your information.
But you formatted it so your data was all erased, right? Wrong! The fact is, formatting a drive does nothing more then tell the allocation table on the drive (which is like the drives table of contents) that the data is available to be written over. That does not mean the data is gone, in fact the data is not gone.
In order to completely erase all data on your drive before you dispose of it s to wipe the drive with a tool that uses at least a three pass Department of Defense compliant wiping process. This process actually deletes all data on the drive, then writes useless data to every sector on the drive, then erases the drive again. The software will repeat this process at least three times eliminating the possibility of anyone recovering your data. There is a great free tool called Disk Wipe for this. I encourage you to use it, or a sledge hammer.
John "Mike" Wright