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Dead Trees and PCs: HP’s Innovation Challenge

It’s tough to be too enthusiastic about HP’s plan to merge its printer and computing groups into a single unit. Former EVP of the PSG group Todd Bradley will lead the freshly-minted Printing and Personal Systems Group, as HP attempts to cut costs and “drive innovation” of its product range. Yet HP’s track record in creating exciting, distinctive devices is hardly glowing, and there are some serious pitfalls ahead that could easily derail the new strategy.

“Combining these two entities will rationalize HP’s go-to-market strategy, branding, supply chain and customer support worldwide” HP said of the change. “This will lead to a better customer experience and drive innovation across personal computing and printing. This realignment is expected to provide opportunities for cost savings and accelerate HP’s ability to pursue profitable growth and reinvest in the business.”

That reinvestment could well be throwing good money after bad. Printers haven’t been sexy in years – if, in fact, they were ever sexy – and are generally hulking plastic giveaways intended to get consumers hooked on expensive ink. Post-PC, meanwhile, might be a Steve Jobs buzzword but it’s undoubtedly a sign of the direction the consumer market is going: shifting away from traditional desktops, laptops and netbooks as tablets and oversized smartphones occupy the multimedia, browsing and messaging niches most PCs were used for.

Still, there are potential upsides to the shift. Corporate sniping and mixed management messages were among the factors blamed for the dire handling of webOS and the short-lived TouchPad, with insiders claiming control of the group became a prize to be won rather than a serious challenge to the iPad and Android. There’s no denying, too, that HP’s PC line-up has been underwhelming of late too; the few outliers, such as the Folio 13 ultrabook, are awash in a sea of me-too laptops and desktops.

[aquote]Bradley must look beyond what seems a good idea but, underneath, is poorly thought-through[/aquote]

We asked HP about the ability to choose an individual page or range of pages back at ePrint’s launch in mid-2010. The company’s reps nodded and said it was a good idea, something they’d definitely look into; then they pretty much left ePrint alone and moved onto The Next Big Thing instead.

Ditching webOS and the TouchPad was similarly short-sighted, with the tablet axed and the platform put out to open-source pasture in the space of a few cash-hemorrhaging months. The lingering impression was that HP had no long-term strategy beyond its “make ’em cheap and get ’em out the warehouse” model, that it didn’t have anything in the way of longer-term perspective. If something isn’t immediately successful, bin it and try something completely different: in short, pivot so fast that centrifugal force throws away anything good you’ve developed along with anything bad, and hope that it slips everyone’s attention.

People will inevitably always need printers, at least for the foreseeable future, and businesses – and some subset of regular consumers – will need traditional PCs too. Those mundane markets, though, don’t appear to be what HP is hoping to chase. If the new Printing and Personal Systems Group is to do better than its disparate forebears, HP will need to remember and learn from its mistakes, rather than do as much as possible to forget about them.

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Laptops Y Pcs 2 En 1 Hp

*Los precios que se muestran para cada categoría de producto son los menores precios de configuración de chúng tôi de los Estados Unidos y antes de cualquier promoción o descuento disponible. Los precios varían según la configuración dentro de cada categoría de producto. Los precios de chúng tôi están sujetos a cambios sin aviso y todos los productos están sujetos a la disponibilidad actual.

*El porcentaje del plástico reciclado de origen oceánico, plástico posconsumo y aluminio reciclado que contiene cada componente varía según el producto.

Todas las especificaciones de r.endimiento representan las especificaciones típicas suministradas por los fabricantes de componentes de HP; el rendimiento real puede ser superior o inferior.

La tecnología de múltiples núcleos está diseñada para mejorar el rendimiento de determinados productos de software. No todos los clientes ni todas las aplicaciones de software se beneficiarán necesariamente con el uso de esta tecnología. El rendimiento y la frecuencia de reloj varían según la carga de trabajo de las aplicaciones y las configuraciones del hardware y software. El sistema de numeración de Intel no es una medición de mayor rendimiento.

El módulo 5G es opcional y debe configurarse de fábrica. El módulo admite frecuencias de onda 5G no milimétricas (debajo de 6 GHz). La plena utilización de la funcionalidad de este módulo depende de la capacidad técnica de los proveedores de la red para admitir este módulo y velocidad.  Compatible con redes 4G. El módulo requiere activación y un contrato de servicio adquirido por separado. Comunícate con un proveedor de servicios para conocer la cobertura y la disponibilidad en tu región. Las velocidades de conexión, carga y descarga varían según la red, el lugar, el entorno, las condiciones de red y otros factores. Las redes 5G y 4G LTE no están disponibles en todas las regiones.

El módulo 4G LTE requiere un contrato de servicio comprado por separado. Comunícate con un proveedor de servicios para conocer la cobertura y la disponibilidad en tu región. Las velocidades de conexión varían según el lugar, el entorno, las condiciones de red y otros factores. 4G LTE no está disponible en todos los productos ni en todas las regiones.

Las aplicaciones de Google Play Store se venden por separado y no están incluidas.

Se requiere contenido HD (alta definición) para ver imágenes en HD.

El diseño NVIDIA® Max-Q puede ayudar a reducir el calor y el ruido del sistema en un equipo de factor de forma más delgado.  El diseño y el grosor del factor de forma del sistema pueden variar. El rendimiento general de los gráficos podría ser menor que otras soluciones gráficas que no utilizan el diseño Max-Q.

La duración de la batería con Windows 10 y Windows 11/MM18 variará en función de diversos factores, como el modelo de producto, la configuración, las aplicaciones cargadas, las funciones, el uso, la funcionalidad inalámbrica y los parámetros de gestión de energía.  La capacidad máxima de la batería disminuye de forma natural con el uso y el paso del tiempo. Visita chúng tôi para ver detalles adicionales.

Pantalla de privacidad integrada HP Sure View que funciona en orientación horizontal. Disponible en modelos seleccionados de HP; requiere la configuración de fábrica. El brillo varía entre el modo de privacidad y el de uso compartido.

Duración de la batería probada por HP usando reproducción continua de video de Netflix, la aplicación de Netflix en Windows 10, brillo de 150 nits, nivel de audio del sistema al 17 %, auriculares conectados, reproducido a pantalla completa, con conexión inalámbrica activada. La duración real de la batería varía según la configuración y la capacidad máxima disminuye naturalmente con el tiempo y el uso.

Se requiere contenido en alta definición (FHD) para ver imágenes en FHD.

La tecnología de múltiples núcleos está diseñada para mejorar el rendimiento de determinados productos de software. No todos los clientes ni todas las aplicaciones de software se beneficiarán necesariamente con el uso de esta tecnología. El rendimiento y la frecuencia de reloj varían según la carga de trabajo de las aplicaciones y las configuraciones del hardware y software. La numeración de AMD no es una medición de la velocidad de reloj.

El porcentaje de plástico oceánico que contiene cada componente varía según el producto.

El peso varía según la configuración.

Todas las especificaciones de rendimiento representan las especificaciones típicas suministradas por los fabricantes de componentes de HP; el rendimiento real puede ser superior o inferior.

El peso y las dimensiones del sistema pueden fluctuar debido a las variaciones de configuración y fabricación.

Los núcleos múltiples están diseñados para mejorar el rendimiento de determinados productos de software. No todos los clientes o aplicaciones de software se beneficiarán necesariamente del uso de esta tecnología. El rendimiento y la frecuencia de reloj variarán en función de la carga de trabajo de la aplicación y de sus configuraciones de hardware y software. La numeración de Intel no es una medida de mayor rendimiento.

El peso y las dimensiones del sistema pueden fluctuar debido a las variaciones de configuración y fabricación.

Los núcleos múltiples están diseñados para mejorar el rendimiento de determinados productos de software. No todos los clientes o aplicaciones de software se beneficiarán necesariamente del uso de esta tecnología. El rendimiento y la frecuencia de reloj variarán en función de la carga de trabajo de la aplicación y de sus configuraciones de hardware y software. La numeración de Intel no es una medida de mayor rendimiento.

El peso y las medidas del sistema pueden variar en función de las diferencias de configuración y fabricación.

Windows 10 y Windows 11/MM18: La duración de la batería varía según diversos factores, como el modelo del producto, la configuración, las aplicaciones cargadas, los recursos, el uso, la funcionalidad inalámbrica y la configuración de administración de energía.  La capacidad máxima de la batería disminuye de forma natural con el uso y el paso del tiempo. Visita chúng tôi para ver detalles adicionales.

Duración de la batería probada por HP usando reproducción continua de video de Netflix, la aplicación de Netflix en Windows 10, brillo de 150 nits, nivel de audio del sistema al 17 %, auriculares conectados, reproducido a pantalla completa, con conexión inalámbrica activada. La duración real de la batería varía según la configuración y la capacidad máxima disminuye naturalmente con el tiempo y el uso.

La tecnología de múltiples núcleos está diseñada para mejorar el rendimiento de determinados productos de software. No todos los clientes ni todas las aplicaciones de software se beneficiarán necesariamente con el uso de esta tecnología. El rendimiento y la frecuencia de reloj varían según la carga de trabajo de las aplicaciones y las configuraciones del hardware y software. Los nombres, las marcas y la numeración de Intel no son una indicación de mayor rendimiento.

El porcentaje de aluminio recuperado, plástico de origen oceánico reciclado y materiales renovables que contiene cada componente varía según el producto.​

Empaque con contenido de material reciclado : Cajas exteriores y protectores interiores a base de fibras procedentes de fuentes forestales certificadas como sustentables o recicladas.

Empaque reciclado: Cajas exteriores y protectores interiores a base de fibras procedentes de fuentes forestales certificadas como sustentables o recicladas.

Aluminio reciclado solamente disponible en versiones FF+

Plástico de origen oceánico integrado en la carcaza del altavoz y en la tapa inferior del dispositivo. El porcentaje del plástico de origen oceánico incluido varía según el producto.

Teclas del teclado fabricadas con plástico reciclado posconsumo. El porcentaje de plástico reciclado posconsumo que contiene cada componente varía según el producto.

Versiones FF+: Aluminio reciclado en la cubierta del teclado. Legal: El porcentaje de aluminio reciclado varía según el producto.

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, el logotipo de Intel, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, el logotipo de Intel Inside, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside e Intel Optane son marcas registradas de Intel Corporation o de sus filiales en EE. UU. y en otros países.

Bluetooth es una marca comercial de su propietario utilizada por HP Inc. bajo licencia.

USB Type-C™ y USB-C™ son marcas comerciales de USB Implementers Forum.

Microsoft, Windows y el logotipo de Windows son marcas comerciales o marcas comerciales registradas de Microsoft Corporation en EE. UU. y otros países.

La información que contiene este documento está sujeta a cambios sin previo aviso. Las únicas garantías para los productos y servicios de HP son las establecidas en las declaraciones expresas de garantía adjuntas a dichos productos y servicios. La información aquí indicada no debe interpretarse como una garantía adicional. HP no se responsabiliza por omisiones o errores técnicos o editoriales que puedan existir en este documento.

Hp Elitebook Laptops And 2

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

USB Type-C® and USB-C® are registered trademarks of USB Implementers Forum.

Requires the myHP application and Windows OS.

HP Wolf Security for Business requires Windows 10 Pro and higher, includes various HP security features and is available on HP Pro, Elite, Workstation, and RPOS products. See product details for included security features.

Available on select HP PCs with Windows 10 and higher and Intel processors.

Requires Windows 10 and higher and set up of facial recognition through Windows Hello.

HP Power Manager requires Windows 10 and higher and is available from the Microsoft store.

Multicore is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. Intel’s numbering, branding and/or naming is not a measurement of higher performance.

HP Wolf Security for Business requires Windows 10 Pro and higher, includes various HP security features and is available on HP Pro, Elite, Workstation, and RPOS products. See product details for included security features.

Multicore is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. AMD’s numbering is not a measurement of clock speed.

Requires Internet access and Windows 10 and higher PC preinstalled with HP QuickDrop app and either an Android device (phone or tablet) running Android 7 or higher with the Android HP QuickDrop app, and /or an iOS device (phone or tablet) running iOS 12 or higher with the iOS HP QuickDrop app.

Wi-Fi 6E requires a Wi-Fi 6E router, sold separately to function in the 6GHz band. Availability of public wireless access points limited. Wi-Fi 6E is backwards compatible with prior 802.11 specs. And available in countries where Wi-Fi 6E is supported.

Wi-Fi® supporting gigabit data rate is achievable with Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) when transferring files between two devices connected to the same router. Requires a wireless router, sold separately, that supports 160MHz channels.

5G module is optional and must be configured at the factory. Module designed for 5G NR NSA (non-standalone) networks as carriers deploy Evolved-Universal Terrestrial Radio Access New Radio Dual Connectivity (ENDC) with both 100Mhz of 5G NR and LTE channel bandwidth, using 256QAM 4×4 as defined by 3GPP. Module requires activation and separately purchased service contract. Check with service provider for coverage and availability in your area. Data connection, upload and download speeds will vary due to network, location, environment, network conditions, and other factors. Backwards compatible to 4G LTE and 3G HSPA technologies. 5G module planned to be available in select platforms and select countries, where carrier supported.

Qualcomm® 5G module is optional and must be configured at the factory. Module designed for 5G networks as carriers deploy Evolved-Universal Terrestrial Radio Access New Radio Dual Connectivity (ENDC) with both 100Mhz of 5G NR and LTE channel bandwidth, using 256QAM 4×4, requires activation and separately purchased service contract. Check with service provider for coverage and availability in your area. Connection, upload and download speeds will vary due to network, location, environment, network conditions, and other factors. Backwards compatible to 4G LTE and 3G HSPA technologies. 5G module planned to be available in select platforms and select countries, where carrier supported.

Not all products are available in all countries.

We enable better learning outcomes by supporting education through provision of learning and digital literacy programs and solutions.  Our programs aim to accelerate digital equity through providing access to at least one of the following: hardware, connectivity, content, or digital literacy.

4G LTE module is optional, must be configured at the factory, requires activation and separately purchased service contract. Check with service provider for coverage and availability in your area. Connection, upload and download speeds will vary due to network, location, environment, network conditions, and other factors. 4G LTE not available on all products, in all regions.

HP Auto Frame available only with optional 5MP camera that must be configured at purchase. Requires the myHP application and Windows OS.

HD content required to view HD images.

Recycled plastic content percentage is based on the definition set in the IEEE 1680.1-2023 standard.

Select HP Products are enhanced with HP Presence. Features vary by platform.

Recharges your battery up to 50% within 30 minutes when the system is off or in standby mode. Power adapter with a minimum capacity of 65 watts is required. After charging has reached 50% capacity, charging will return to normal. Charging time may vary +/-10% due to System tolerance.

Available on select HP PCs with Windows 10 and higher and AMD processors.

Sold separately or as an optional feature.

HP conferencing features require Windows and the latest myHP app, available over the air or for download via sofpaq on the HP Support website. Planned availability in spring 2023.

Hp Mice, Keyboards, And Computer Accessories

*Prices shown for each product category are lowest configuration prices available from U.S. chúng tôi directly and before any available promotions or discounts. Pricing will vary by configuration within each product category. chúng tôi prices are subject to change without notice and all products are subject to current availability.

Product images are for illustration purposes only, product availability and colors may vary by country.

Battery life based on a 5 day week, 8 hours per day (active 20%, idle 15%, sleep 65%); and 16 hours of sleep (35% deep sleep, power off 65%). The maximum capacity of the battery will naturally decrease with time and usage.

Requires downloadable HP Accessory Center available on Microsoft Store. Host PC requires Windows 10 or higher.

Surface Coverage recommendation for TOG Sensor: All surfaces.

Recycled plastic content percentage is based on the definition set in the IEEE 1680.1-2023 EPEAT standard. Recycled plastic content percentage may vary depending on bag size and type.

Google tested to meet Chromebook compatibility standards.​

Does not track on glass.

Actual resolution may vary to network, system and other requirements.

Compatible with standard 1/4” screw tripods and mounts. Tripod not included.

PC or device must have a USB Type A port for compatibility. HP AC support may vary.

Based on HP internal testing on select non-HP notebook models compatible with USB-C® industry standards. Firmware updates on Windows-based host systems only.

For USB-C®️ functionality, host PC must support the DisplayPort™ Alt mode protocol through its USB-C®️ port. Thunderbolt™ enabled notebooks will function at USB-C®️ speeds. Charging and port replication is supported on notebooks that have implemented USB-C®️ industry specifications.

Streaming apps with 3840 x 2160 and minimum 25Mbps network required.

Supports a single display up to 4960 x 2160 @30Hz (2 lane DP only via HDMI) or 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz via VGA.15.

Select HP Products are enhanced with HP Presence. Features vary by platform. To use AI enhanced software, install HP Accessory Center to enable. Host PC requires Windows 10 or higher

4K content required to view full 4K images.

USB Type-C® and USB-C® are trademarks of USB Implementers Forum.

Thunderbolt™ is a trademark of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

For USB-C® alt mode functionality, host PC must support Thunderbolt™ 3 or Thunderbolt™ 4.

Backward compatible with USB-C® alt mode, ports will work at USB-C® alt mode speeds which are dependent on host specifications.

Internet connection required and sold separately. Managed PC must be running Windows 10.

Notebooks must be able to support USB-C® power, video, USB-C®, and Thunderbolt™ industry standards.

Requires infrastructue to support 2.5Gb ethernet speeds.

HP Sure Start on HP Thunderbolt G4 dock supports firmware integrity verification and recovery it does not include real-time and runtime protections or Microsoft SCCM integration typically found on HP Sure Start in HP notebooks.

Based on HP internal testing on select non-HP notebook models compatible with USB-C® industry standards. Certain Alt mode features are not supported, such as power button. Visit the HP Support page to determine your HP notebook’s wattage and port specifications. Visit the support page of your non-HP notebook to determine its wattage and port specifications.

For USB-C® alt mode functionality, host PC must support the DisplayPort™ Alt mode protocol through its USB-C® port. Charging and port replication is supported on notebooks that have implemented USB-C® Alt Mode industry specifications. Power button to turn on or wake the system, Wake-on LAN from warm and cold dock, Wake-on LAN from S4/S5, and MAC Address Pass-Through S0, S3, S4, S5 warm and cold dock features only function on HP or HP supported notebooks. HP does not provide ethernet and audio drivers on Mac PCs

For USB-C® functionality, host PC must support the DisplayPort™ Alt mode protocol through its USB-C® port. Thunderbolt™-enabled notebooks will function at USB-C® speeds. Charging and port replication is supported on notebooks that have implemented USB-C® industry specifications. Power button to turn on or wake the system, on HP notebooks. HP does not provide Ethernet and audio drivers on Mac PCs.

Supports three displays including the notebook screen.

Video resolution and support is dependent on the maximum capability of the notebook. Supports 3 x FHD @ 60Hz or 2 x QHD @ 60Hz with DisplayPort 1.4 machine. For 3 x QHD @ 60Hz or 3 x 4K @ 60Hz configurations, the machine must support DisplayPort 1.4 with Display Stream Compression. If the machine does not support Display Stream Compression, then the system must support DisplayPort 1.4 with high-res mode enabled in the system.

Your docking station is not useable while updating.

PXE Boot functionality will depend on whether the host systems firmware has the EFI driver available.

Kill Your Data Dead With These Tips And Tools

Eraser is an enormous all-in-one toolbox devoted to secure file deletion. This free utility can securely delete files on your command, or according to a schedule.

There are lots of ways to obliterate sensitive data from of your drive: blast furnaces, degaussers (magnet field generators), sledgehammers, and secure-deletion software among them. These tools vary in effectiveness—especially as applied variously to hard drives, solid-state drives, and USB flash drives—and in the subsequent usability of the drive.

For the sake of argument (and a more interesting article), let’s assume you’d like to preserve your drive’s functionality. This rules out violence and degaussing, which, though wonderfully effective and perhaps therapeutic, will render a drive useless. Excluding those options leaves you with a choice between software and software-combined-with-firmware methods.

Free secure-erase utilities

You can easily erase an entire hard drive or SSD by using any of the free utilities listed below. All invoke the secure-erase (sometimes called quick-erase) functions integrated into nearly every ATA/SATA drive produced since 2001. By and large it’s a great feature, but using it on older drives has some potential pitfalls, such as buggy implementations, an out-of-date BIOS, or a drive controller that won’t pass along the commands. You might also need to fiddle with the ATA/IDE/AHCI settings in your BIOS, and in most cases the drive should be mounted internally.

Parted Magic’s DriveErase utility makes it a breeze to perform secure erases on your SSDs and HDDs.

I’ve never had a problem secure-erasing a hard drive, but about a year ago I did brick a Crucial M500 SSD. (A firmware problem was probably responsible for this disaster; Crucial accepted the drive for return but never told me why the hardware had gone belly-up.) An enhanced secure-erase operation overwrites a drive’s housekeeping data as well as its normal user-data areas, but at least one vendor (Kingston) told me that its normal secure-erase routine does both, too. In the bad old days, running a secure-erase on some SSDs sometimes left data behind.

Depending on the controller you use (notably SandForce), a secure-erase can be cryptographic or physical. If a drive is encrypted—and some are by nature—a secure-erase operation simply deletes the encryption keys, and then regenerates them. Without the original keys, the data is useless. A physical erase involves zapping the drive’s magnetic particles or NAND cells back to their default state.

To entirely avoid the danger of erasing the wrong drive in a multiple-drive system, you should power down, disconnect all of the drives except the one to be erased, and then boot from a CD or a flash drive with the utility that does the job. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Parted Magic is free to use, but it now costs $5 to download.

Linux-based boot disc Parted Magic (formerly donationware, now free to use but $5 to download) has many features, including a file manager and a partition manager. It’s handy for recovering data and operating systems, but it also has a link on its desktop to DiskEraser, a simple utility that will erase your drive or invoke the drive’s own secure-erase routine. Parted Magic is basic and lightweight, and it will work with any drive. In fact, several SSD vendors recommend it—though the recommendations date from when it was completely free.

Little, command-line-lovely chúng tôi isn’t for inexperienced users—it’s a bit too geeky and can require multiple steps. Another drawback of the app is that it can’t bypass the frozen security stat that most modern drives employ to avoid malware erasures. But otherwise it invokes the secure-erase function just fine. It also comes in .ISO form, so you can burn it to disc or create a bootable flash drive from it.

Note that the NSA sponsored HDDerase. Yes, the folks there like to secure as well as monitor data. Not to mention dip their hands into open-source security projects. Interpret that historical nugget as you will.

Hitachi’s Drive Fitness Test analyzes drive health and wipes unwanted data. Other vendors offer similar utilities.

Most drive vendors provide a utility that can run S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics to check drive health, update firmware, and invoke a drive’s secure-erase routine. Odds are you’ll have to sign an agreement accepting that the tool may brick your drive—but hey, that’s life in the big city. A short list of such utilities includes Data Lifeguard (from Western Digital), Drive Fitness Test (from Hitachi), OCZ Toolbox, Samsung Magician (SSD only), and SeaTools (from Seagate).

For hard drives only: Block-overwrite software

Block-overwrite software is more versatile than the secure-erase command because it lets you wipe data from a hard drive while leaving the operating system, program files, and other keepers intact. Unfortunately, this type of software is ineffective on SSDs or USB flash drives, and in many cases it can’t wipe a hard drive’s HPA (Host Protected Area), which contains data about the low-level organization of the drive. That said, with high-powered algorithms and multiple passes, it will effectively render your data unreadable even when subjected to all but the most expensive forensic techniques.

O&O Software’s versatile SafeErase offers full and partial wipes, and it can find and delete common types of sensitive data.

O&O SafeErase 7 ($30, free demo) is a jack-of-all-trades that can remove individual files and folders or erase entire partitions and disks. Like the previously reviewed PrivaZer, SafeErase scans your hard drive for possibly sensitive files, presents them to you for inspection (or you can elect to accept its assessment across the board), deletes them, and then wipes them. SafeErase did a good job of finding sensitive stuff while ignoring what I wanted to save, and it includes options on general types of files to look for.

SafeErase can also wipe free space (erasing the tracks left by deleted files) and your entire computer (all drives, everything), though those options aren’t available in the demo version. But the $30 that O&O charges for those extra features may money well spent if you want to maintain a clean system. SafeErase is a nicely realized, versatile data-destruction program.

MediaTools Wipe 1.2 ($99, free demo) is all about erasing a lot of hard disks with minimal fuss. It’s designed for professionals who erase in bulk and will dedicate a (rather powerful) PC to the task. MediaTools Wipe 1.2 can handle up to 18 drives at once, all presented in a convenient console view. The program has its own wipe routines, but it can’t invoke a drive’s own secure-erase routines.

MediaTools Wipe lets you lock drives to prevent accidental erasures.

MediaTools Wipe 1.2 has so many handy features (user-definable erase patterns, smart handling of bad blocks, and so on) that I can’t mention them all here. Check out our review of the functionally equivalent version 1.1. You’ll likely dedicate a PC to it, so the $49, single-seat technician’s license will suffice for most situations. However, $500 single-site and $1000 multi-site licenses are available for the corporate crowd.

The handy and free Eraser 6 utility deletes files, folders, and free space on a schedule. It’s just the thing for users who want to maintain a minimal data presence on their PC. You must know what you need to erase, since Eraser 6 doesn’t have automatic selection of sensitive data, as O&O SafeErase and PrivaZer do. But Eraser 6 does have a large array of government-level algorithms to choose from, and it’s super-simple to use.

Active@ KillDisk presents a concise, information-laden view of the drives on your system. A DOS boot disc version is available as well.

Active@ KillDisk is very effective as far as it goes, but most users will be just as well off with the free Eraser 6—or better off by paying less for a program that automatically selects and deletes sensitive data and wipes free space. Then again, if you run Piriform’s CCleaner before KillDisk (or Eraser 6), you’ll have a very effective data-killing combo.

Wiping SSDs and USB Flash drives

DriveSavers

USB flash drives are convenient for everybody, including anyone trying to get data off one that isn’t securely erased.

That said, SSDs that support the TRIM command and run under a TRIM-supported environment (Windows 7 and 8, OS X 10.6.8 or better, Linux 2.6.28 or better, plus a modern BIOS and drive controller that pass on the command) should wipe deleted data continually. Note that I said “should.”

Ideally (for security purposes) an SSD’s garbage collection routines, invoked by the TRIM command, would quickly erase the NAND blocks formerly occupied by your file. The whole reason for TRIM is that NAND must be erased before being rewritten. If a drive runs out of clean, unwritten blocks and must erase previously used blocks immediately prior to writing to them, performance suffers drastically.

Unfortunately, from what I could glean from data recovery experts such as strategic technical alliance manager Chris Bross of DriveSavers and SMB partner manager Leon Feldman of ACE Data Recovery, some disk vendors put off block erasures for long periods of time or until they’re forced to resort to them. Sad but true: You can’t rely on housekeeping to remove data. Even sadder, there seem to be no utilities that will force the garbage collection. That seemingly simple solution has so far been ignored.

USB flash drives don’t support standard ATA secure-erase or TRIM—so unless you’re using a secure, encrypted type, you’ll need to contact the vendor for an erase utility.

You could overwrite the entire drive or just free space with files. This will work to a point, but—especially on SSDs—some blocks used in over-provisioning and marked as bad can’t be copied over. They may retain data you want to erase. ACE Data Recovery

Data recovery companies can sift through raw data, block by block.

In the end, the only sure way to remove all unwanted sensitive data from the free space on an SSD or USB flash drive while retaining the data you still want is to back it up (use imaging if an operating system is involved), secure-erase the drive, and then restore the desired data. Sigh.

And when that’s not enough…

All the methods and programs I’ve described will work great for the average user. That said, forensic data recovery technology has come a long way. Normal affordable methods won’t counteract anything I’ve discussed. But if you have a formula for cold fusion, or a trade secret that will topple the global economy overnight…go for the degausser, the hammer, and then the blast furnace. You can’t be too sure.

Choosing Cloud Backup For Pcs

Backup is one of the oldest needs in computing. Whether it’s hard disk failure, computer theft, or just a wandering three year-old with a fruit juice carton, it’s very easy to lose data on a computer.

Although at one time offsite backup was niche and often expensive, the cloud has brought about a revolution in inexpensive storage, making backing up online inexpensive and fuss-free.

But with so many choices out there, how can we narrow it down? Rather than directly recommending services, here are requirements to consider.

Firstly, however, a word about the types of cloud storage available for workstations. Essentially, there are two: dedicated backup services and cloud sync services.

The former usually comes with a client that’s able to watch files or folders (including types of files) and back them up when they change. A popular example of this is Mozy. The downside is that restoring files is more involved; it isn’t expected users will restore unless they have to.

Cloud sync services take a different approach, adding a magic folder or drive to your computer, the contents of which are automatically and invisibly synced online. A popular example of this is Dropbox. Some services offer client software that can also watch files and folders anywhere on your hard disk and back them up too, such as that offered by SugarSync.

When it comes to choosing any kind of service, the first question to ask is what computing platforms are supported. If you’re backing up a Mac, for example, then being able to access the data from a PC client is vital should the Mac die; PCs are commonplace, but Macs are rarer. Some cloud storage services offer clients not only for Mac and PC but for mobile devices like iPhones and Android phones, too.

Bear in mind the load the backup software places on your system. Some services boast of clients that have minimal impact. Some can seriously slow down your computer while they’re aggregating files and putting them online. The only way to find out for sure is to use the free trial periods offered by various services.

A major concern is whether the company will stay in business. Startups sometimes offer amazing prices for cloud storage but require a leap of faith on behalf of users that they’ll still be around next year. It’s possible that even established services could disappear overnight, but more likely the owners will tell you if the service is to terminate, and give you a chance to make other arrangements or retrieve data. Companies like Mozy make a point of explaining how they’re backed by a large corporation, making failure arguably less likely.

For those on a budget, it’s worth considering a DIY approach using Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3). Although designed for sophisticated users, S3 is available to anybody who wants it, and at its most basic is surprisingly simple to use. All you need to do is sign up and then create a “bucket,” which is S3 terminology for a storage folder. Then you’ll have to find some backup software that’s able to connect to S3, and provide it with your public and private keys in order to log on.

How cheap is S3? With S3 you pay for transfer in and out, as well as the storage space your files take up, although the individual fees are very small.

The initial transfer of around 50GB of files will cost about $5, for example, at 10 cents transfer fee for each gigabyte uploaded. Every month the charges will be 9.3 cents of “rent” per gigabyte, making $4.65 in total, although if you upload a further gigabyte or two each month you’ll be looking more at a total of around $5 per month. Assuming a growth of 2GB per month in terms of new files you decide to backup, a year later you’ll be paying around $8 per month for 74GB of storage–still pretty good value.

If using an S3 backup client sounds like too much hassle, you could use one of the many FTP clients that support S3, and manually copy files to your S3 space when required. Again, you’ll need to use your public and private key as your username and password, but aside from this there’s no difference between using S3 and an FTP site. Files won’t be encrypted but, as mentioned, S3 is technically secure (although hackers gaining access in some as-yet unknown way will always be an issue). You could also use something like TrueCrypt, a cross-platform and open encryption package, to encrypt any particularly sensitive data before uploading it.

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