Guidelines for Disposal or Transfer of UWO Computing Equipment

(as approved by WGIS on 2006-05-18)


Diagram Available: ComputerDisposalPractices.pdf


These guidelines have been developed within the context of the following university policies:

Core Principles:

  • Protection of sensitive or confidential information (http://www.uwo.ca/privacy/), collected and used in the course of delivering services at Western, requires that we ensure all electronic storage media is disposed of in a responsible and effective manner.
  • The disposal processes used should also be based on environmentally sound practices.

Notes:

The disposal/transfer process starts from the point at which the equipment is determined to be no longer of use to the current owner and follows the appropriate asset disposal (http://www.uwo.ca/finance/forms/adr.pdf) procedures.

ALL data/information should be moved to a more stable storage location prior to disposal of the storage device.  If the data/information itself is to be disposed of as well, or if it cannot be removed successfully, contact the Records Management Services (http://www.lib.uwo.ca/archives/records.shtml) in Western Archives for assistance.

ALL electronic storage devices are included in these guidelines, which are based on the current recommendations of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology - http://www.nist.gov/).   In particular, see the document titled Guidelines for Media Sanitization (NIST Special Publication 800-88, published in February 2006).


Disposal or Transfer of Functioning Workstations or Servers:

For transfer to another person/unit:

  1. Remove all data/information/software from the hard drive according to the current recommended practices.
  2. IF the workstation/server is being transferred to a non-UWO person/organization, remove any UWO asset tags/stickers to ensure the equipment is no longer identified as belonging to Western.
  3. Restore licensed software (including original operating system if available) for which the license does allow for transfer to another user.  Note that most licensed software cannot be transferred.
  4. Collect all documentation related to the operating system or licensed software to be transferred with the workstation or to be disposed of if no longer needed.
  5. Document (http://www.uwo.ca/finance/forms/adr.pdf) the transfer process.

For final disposal:

  1. Remove all data/information/software from the hard drive according to the current recommended practices.
  2. Remove any UWO asset tags/stickers to ensure the equipment is no longer identified as belonging to Western.
  3. Collect and dispose of all licensed software and documentation no longer needed, according to the current recommended practices.
  4. Document (http://www.uwo.ca/finance/forms/adr.pdf) the disposal process.
  5. Contact Physical Plant for pickup, according to the current recommended practices.

Disposal of Non-Functioning Workstations or Servers:

  1. Remove all data/information/software from the hard drive if possible.  If this is not possible, remove the hard drive and destroy or dispose of it separately, according to the current recommended practices.  This includes hard drives replaced under a manufacturer’s warranty or service contract.
  2. Document (http://www.uwo.ca/finance/forms/adr.pdf) the disposal process.
  3. Contact Physical Plant for pickup, according to the current recommended practices.

Disposal of Licensed Software: 

Licensed software is covered by the terms of the license agreement in place, and typically cannot be transferred under most licenses.  Where it is permitted, all requirements in the license for transferring ownership of the software must be strictly adhered to.  It is typically best not to attempt to transfer licensed software and to have the media destroyed in a fashion that best fits the media in question. If in doubt, the media should be physically destroyed in an environmentally sound fashion.

Disposal of Documentation: 

Often the documentation associated with licensed software is covered by the same license as the software and cannot be transferred to a third party. In most cases it is easier to avoid license violation by not transferring software documentation. Consequently, it is typically best to shred and recycle these materials in an environmentally sound fashion along with the software.

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