Q: I started buying domain names, through GoDaddy, back in the nineties. Eventually, I owned about 100. Today, I own about 25.

I would like to sell them in order to realize the highest return. Two of them are registered trademarks. What is the best way to do this?

— Donalee Murray Rutledge

A: Before listing your domain names for sale, you’ll want to get some idea of what prices they might fetch. You may want to try Namebio.com, a site that tracks the sales of domain names.

As of Nov. 13, the site has more than 1.8 million domain-name sales in its database. Another domain appraisal tool is Estibot.com. GoDaddy offers its GoValue appraisal tool.

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These tools base their appraisals on factors such as the length of the domain name (shorter is better), the popularity of its extension (.com and .net are pluses), and how many times the name comes up in search engines.

Once you decide on a price, you have two options as to how to go about selling a domain name. First, you can simply post a web page offering to sell the domain at the domain’s internet address, or URL.


Secondly, you can submit the domain name to a domain marketplace, such as GoDaddy or Afternic. Be aware, however, that you’ll likely have to pay a commission of between 10% and 30% on such sales.

G Fowler

Q: In your Aug. 30 piece in the Business/Technology section, someone asked about using disk encryption to make data unrecoverable before giving a computer away.

Is there some way to just write zeros to the drive using the Windows OS? On Linux systems this is easy as hard drives appear in the /dev directory as device special files that can be overwritten at the device level with a simple command.

If the process of overwriting goes to completion the data should be unrecoverable to all but the most motivated government spooks.

— Gavrik Peterson, Seattle

A: The Linux procedure for wiping drives by writing zeros over all data is essentially the same as that employed by third-party drive-wiping software for Windows and some of the utilities are free.

There is also reportedly a built-in Windows 10 method for wiping drives during a re-installation of the operating system. (I say “reportedly” because I haven’t had an opportunity to try this method and to confirm that it did the job adequately.)


Q: As a computer close-to-illiterate, I appreciate your advice, and I hope you have ideas for my problem. The problem is disappearing folders and folder content from my Hotmail account.

In looking into three of my folders, I found them completely empty. Another folder disappeared entirely.

Is there anything I can do if this should happen again?

— Julie Hungar

A: Are you accessing your Hotmail account through a web browser, through an email program such as Outlook or a mobile app? If you’re not accessing it through a browser, I suggest trying that.

If the folders and emails are there, it’s likely that your email program or mobile app is configured to limit the syncing of emails to a limited period.

If the folders and emails aren’t there when you try to access them via a web browser, I’d contact Microsoft technical support right away.