How to prepare your devices for resale

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: July 2012

When we decide to sell off our old devices, we do it with a certain nonchalance. But don't forget, old computers and phones could still hold a lot of personal data which could be misused by certain elements.

COMPUTERS:Transfer all your important data to an external hard drive. Use this opportunity to remove duplicate files, especially music and photo files, so that you don't import extra baggage to your new PC or laptop. You can use a free software like Easy Duplicate Finder to do this task for you.

  • Once you have secured all your data, you have to wipe it from the old PC. A simple delete is not good enough as there are many ways to recover deleted data. Either format all your drives or use a software like dban ( to wipe all your drives permanently. If you want to donate the PC, it is better to reinstall the OS for the new user.
  • In case your PC or laptop is in an unusable state you might have to call for the services of data recovery firms or software to secure data. Companies like Stellar Data Recovery ( will do the recovery for a fee.

SMARTPHONES: First use the software of your phone to make a backup of all the data, including contacts. Some phone software also let you copy data between phones of the same brand.

  • Once this is done, you can remove the micro-SD card in the phone, so that no one gets hold of the files in it. Format it if you are planning to sell the card as well.
  • But there is still data in the phones internal memory to be taken care of. Some Android phones let you format its internal memory too. Otherwise do a factory reset to wipe all the data accumulated over time. Make sure you remove your SIM before resale.

RECYCLING: If you just want to discard an old device - a PC, TV or monitor - look for a good e-waste recycling facility near you.
While these companies pay people who bring bulk waste to them, they might not do so for individuals. However, companies like Attero ( facilitate a free pickup of the old device from anywhere in India. However, you will have to pack it in a cardboard box. Companies like E-waste Recyclers India even provide data destruction services.

Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos

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