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Old 2013-06-18, 00:46   Link #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I saw someone post online they needed to get an external HDD to back up files because their computer keeps shutting off on them out of the blue and they are afraid that their computer is about to die. I have this 250 GB external HDD (232 GB available) that was given to me for free and I just don't need it and don't use it (I have a 1 TB external HDD). So I decided to help them out and will mail the HDD to them. I want to format the HDD, as I have some personal things on there (photos of me and some friends and family, and some word documents with personal info).

I'm trying to decide on what allocation unit size to choose. I found this link:

Most of the data on this external HDD is about 95 GB of anime fansubs and about 29 GB of music files (these things were backed up to my 1 TB external HDD). So according to that link, I should set the allocation unit size to the biggest one? That is what I should do? Is there any problem with choosing the default size (4096 bytes)?
Just use the default size.

The data on your drive will be deleted, so there's no point in using it to calculate which allocation size to choose. Let the person you're giving the drive decide if he/she wants a different allocation size.
A couple more questions. No matter what allocation unit size I use, it should clear all personal data away permanently, right?

It will be erased in the sense that the computer will show it has no data and most people would just trust that it's empty and won't try to look for your data. But unless you actually overwrite the data, there is some software that could try to recover it and knowledgeable people might use those programs to look for any data they can recover.

So if you have data on the drive that you don't want other people to recover, then overwrite it. Otherwise, if you don't care, just format it and it will be gone as far as many people are concerned.
Also, this external HDD comes with some folders, apps, and files needed to make the device operate/function correctly (examples, a "Seagate folder", a Settings file). If I format this HDD, these things should automatically be safe from being erased, right? Just figured I'd ask.
Formatting will erase (again, not really) all data on the drive, including the built-in software.

But the drive itself should still be usable. If the person you're giving the drive to wants those software back, he might try downloading it from the manufacturer's website.
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