Before you sell or give away an old computer, you should first run a file eraser utility such as Kill Disk to get rid of any residual files that could compromise your security or open you up to identity theft. Kill Disk destroys computer files very effectively, making it difficult to recover them once the program has finished running. Even so, you may be able to recover some of your files if you accidentally run the Kill Disk utility. There is no guarantee that those files will be recoverable, but you can attempt to recover them using a number of special utilities.
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- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- File recovery software
Stop the Kill Disk utility if it is still running. Right-click the taskbar and choose "Task Manager" from the list, then highlight the Kill Disk program and choose "End Task" to force the program to quit running immediately. It will be easier to recover those files if the Kill Disk utility has not completed.
Open Windows Explorer if the Windows desktop is still available. If the Kill Disk utility has finished, your operating system no longer will be accessible, but if you stopped it in time you can right-click "My Computer," choose "Explore" and look for your files.
Download a file recovery software package to your computer by going to the software manufacturer's website and clicking the "Download" button. Click "Run" when the download is complete to install it on your PC.
Open the file recovery software and navigate to your hard drive. Review the list of recoverable files found by the software.
Highlight the files you want to attempt to recover. Click "OK" to start the recovery attempt.
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