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In an effort to safeguard the data that we keep on a daily basis, and that may have been inadvertently stored on local computer hard drives, the Help Desk has implemented a procedure to prevent data from accidentally leaving an office when a computer is transferred or sent to surplus.

All computers leaving an office for a change in ownership must have the hard drives erased by a special process that writes a “0” to every location on the drive. This effectively replaces the data currently on the drive with blank information. Once this process is completed, the person taking the action must certify that it has been done. The department that is transferring the computer is responsible for the removal of all data on the hard drives. Property Control will not pick up a computer without the certification and no department should accept a used computer without the certification. The certification statement is located at the bottom of the Declaration of Surplus form. (You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print this document.)

In almost all cases, a Distributed User Support Specialist, a Centralized User Support Specialist, or other computer specialist will take care of the process. Contact the Computer Services Help Desk to make an appointment. While individual users can “zero out” their own drives, this is not recommended.

The program that will be used to erase the hard drive is available on the “Drivers” CD that comes with each Gateway computer. Please do not discard any CD that is bundled with the computer.

Any questions about this procedure should be directed to Jim Taylor, Technology Projects Coordinator, 417-836-5226 or jrt021t@missouristate.edu .