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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale? 113

Posted by timothy
from the link-free-cloth-and-a-.45 dept.
UrsaMajor987 (3604759) writes I have a Asus Transformer tablet that I dropped on the floor. There is no obvious sign of damage but It will no longer boot. Good excuse to get a newer model. I intend to sell it for parts (it comes with an undamaged keyboard) or maybe just toss it. I want to remove all my personal data. I removed the flash memory card but what about the other storage? I know how to wipe a hard drive, but how do you wipe a tablet? If you were feeling especially paranoid, but wanted to keep the hardware intact for the next user, what would you do?
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

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  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday July 28, 2014 @02:11PM (#47552125)
    There is 2GB of memory for the OS, personal settings, apps, etc. If you can not boot the device, you can not access this memory to clear it. You may be SOL.
  • Re:Two Steps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sowelu (713889) on Monday July 28, 2014 @02:12PM (#47552131)

    The poster said it won't boot, so they're selling it for parts. Some of those parts might still have data, and must be identified physically. Storage is awful tiny these days, so unless you know what you're looking for, you could miss a long term cache.

  • Re:Two Steps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Monday July 28, 2014 @02:42PM (#47552445)

    Built-in storage is going to be an IC or two that are soldered to a PCB. If the device won't boot, the only really safe way to delete the data is to dismantle the unit and totally destroy the board and make sure all ICs are broken.

  • Re:Advice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Monday July 28, 2014 @02:46PM (#47552473)

    Parts could still be worth something if he can disassemble the unit without breaking it. If the LCD/touch screen is intact, someone could buy it on eBay/etc to fix his own broken unit.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday July 28, 2014 @02:53PM (#47552527)

    If I was feeling especially paranoid, I would probably hurl the thing into a cauldron of molten lava

    The device cannot be truly destroyed by any means we currently possess. The flames of an ancient wyrm could perhaps unmake it, but such dragons are not to be found in these parts. I suggest gathering a fellowship to carry the tablet to the mountain Amon Amarth, in the dark pits of the land of Mordor, and cast it into the fires of Mt. Doom in which it was forged. Only then can we be sure that it is unmade, completely and utterly, and will trouble us no longer.

  • by Primate Pete (2773471) on Monday July 28, 2014 @02:56PM (#47552561)
    "Will no longer boot" does not go along with "no obvious sign of damage."
  • Re:Two Steps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by multimediavt (965608) on Monday July 28, 2014 @03:34PM (#47552817)

    Built-in storage is going to be an IC or two that are soldered to a PCB. If the device won't boot, the only really safe way to delete the data is to dismantle the unit and totally destroy the board and make sure all ICs are broken.

    Bingo, give this man a cigar. With modern NVRAM the only way to be sure it's safe is to destroy it. Yes, really! So my advice to anyone parting with a personal electronic device is, "Pulverise it with a hammer on a concrete slab." Becuase the money you get back from its sale will not offset identity theft or whatever other havoc can be delivered from data left on the device in NVRAM. I still have ALL my old phones and other devices from the last twelve years and will eventually destroy them. Don't get on the recycle kick either. I know, there are some things in there that would be better recycled but any possible data on the device trumps environmental concerns. I don't go through a phone every year so it's not a lot of devices for me.

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