Daily Archives: March 4, 2008

Laptops and Pawnshops

So my buddy just picked up a semi-new laptop from the pawnshop, his daughter wanted one and he felt it was time to upgrade his old one so he got a Dell XPS with Windows XP MCE on it. Not a bad little laptop, dvd/rw in it, P4-mobile CPU, it’s fine for what he does with it, basically watches movies with it and hits the internet via dialup (yes he uses dialup).

So of course he comes to me with the laptop and asks me to clean it out and install anti-virus etc on it. He told me the guy at the pawnshop ‘cleaned it out’ already, but I found out all he did was run Disk Cleanup and delete a few things in the My Pictures folder.. and that’s it… Apparently the previous owner was very much into porn and filesharing, there were literally hundreds of porn movies on it along with a couple hundred mp3s. He also had limewire and morpheus installed as well.

Now if you’re going to sell a laptop wouldn’t you format the drive or at least make sure everything is gone? I found pictures of him and his girlfriend on there and videos of him and his girlfriend doing things that I really didn’t want to see being done… I found records of AIM conversations and all kinds of personal things on there, now if I was the nefarious type of person I could have had quite a bit of fun with this stuff, I’m sure the folks over at Pornotube etc might have liked the homemade movies of him and his girls and the ones of her stripping for him, of course not to mention all of the personal data that was on it…

there was so much there it was amazing that it was left on there for anyone and everyone else to see.

Of course though it’s all deleted now, but if someone else other than me would have gotten that laptop bad things might have happened to this guy and his girlfriend and his friends as well.

How it got to the pawnshop I’m not sure, but they do their part in getting id, filling out forms etc and waiting the 10 day waiting period before turning around and selling it, so no one claims it, it then becomes available for sale or purchase.

apparently this guy was/is a college student and he used it for school work, but most recent things I found on there was dated 2006 so who knows where the laptop has been for the last two years…

but my buddy got himself a decent laptop for $300 at the pawnshop…

So of course the lesson for today would be:

Don’t sell your laptop at the pawnshop before you make sure it’s nice and clean, or format the hard drive!