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Thinkpadnerdy
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-15-2019
Location: CN
Views: 131
Message 1 of 6

Does “restore factory defaults” wipe off my data completely?

I used to have a Thinkpad (Lenovo) T440. I have been using that laptop for over 8 years.

This device has been reset to factory default multiple times (probably up to 6-10 times if not more)

Every time when I selected to reset the system, I chose the “Remove All Data / Do Not Save Any Data”. The way I used to reset was by following the step of Thinkpad’s Own Recovery System which could help you to reinstall WindowsZ

That laptop’s Screen was broken and I had to gave it to the computer repair shop to let them dispose it for me.

My question is this, I didn’t have the chance to wipe clean the data myself before I was ready to dispose it.

I am a bit regret now that I gave my trust to that computer repair shop to sort out the rest.

Bottom line is I don’t have critical files or personal data in that laptop after the last reset I made.

I am just wondering would any people be able to retract my data before my last reset or even up to the point when my very first test was made.

I know you’ll have to rewrite the hard drive multiple times over and over to completely erase the very old data.

My multiple resets were all happened when my system got so slow and even infected my virus or something. So I assume my hard drive had been already overloaded multiple tomes my tons of new data over the old data, not to mention full clean resets multiple times as well.

Am I worrying too much that my oldest data would still be retractable by hackers or there is a mere chance they could only probably retract data up to the point when my latest reset was made?

Looking forward to your answers!

Highlighted
WizTech33
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-11-2019
Location: US
Views: 116
Message 2 of 6

Re: Does “restore factory defaults” wipe off my data completely?

its possible, but unlikly

Thinkpadnerdy
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-15-2019
Location: CN
Views: 76
Message 3 of 6

Re: Does “restore factory defaults” wipe off my data completely?

So let’s say after 5 times of reset, your oldest files were still there?

WizTech33
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-11-2019
Location: US
Views: 50
Message 4 of 6

Re: Does “restore factory defaults” wipe off my data completely?

The way storage works is when a file is deleted it is made normaly inaccessable, and marked to be overwritten by new files. So until it is overwritten it is technicaly still there.  

Thinkpadnerdy
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-15-2019
Location: CN
Views: 43
Message 5 of 6

Re: Does “restore factory defaults” wipe off my data completely?

Thanks! This I can understand! 

 

But how about over the span of 8 years data and over 10 times of hard reset to factory default. Let’s say each year I have used so much data in my laptop then hard reset at the end of the year since 2005, then the last time I ever did the reset was 2014, do you believe how far one could retract the old data left in the hard-drive after all these years? Up to the latest reset or the earliest one?

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 6,998
Registered: ‎01-13-2008
Location: US
Views: 33
Message 6 of 6

Re: Does “restore factory defaults” wipe off my data completely?

There's no way to know what data is recoverable - if any - without trying it.

 

In future, you might make recovery media, use an available disk-wiping tool, and then restore to factory with the recovery media.  It would be a bit of a PITA but if you're really that concerned, it's one way to get there.

 

Personally I wouldn't bother if the concern was some kind of data digging by a reputable service company.  I would - and have - done similar when passing along a laptop to a new owner.

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may contribute and benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

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