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selling my laptop - how to clear it first without reformatting?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Nyper, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Nyper


    Jan 2, 2004
    Lebanon TN
    I am selling my laptop with XP Pro installed.

    Unfortunately, IBM does not actually give you the system restore disk, so I can't reformat the drive & re-install windows. I have nothing on this laptop that I am worried about anyone seeing.. but I would still like to clean it up as best as possible.

    Anyone have any recommendations?
  2. Juliet Lima

    Juliet Lima Hawaiian Guy

    Apr 5, 2007
    Vegas, NV
    If you have a PC, you could use that restore disk. If I was to think about selling a computer I would make sure to zero out the hard drive and install a fresh copy of windows. Your on the right track but somehow need to find a copy of the XP disk. Ask a friend to borrow there's if you don't have one. Another option, which will leave you in the same position, is to just replace the hard drive. You'll still need to install a fresh copy of windows.

  3. zaksdad12


    Mar 19, 2007
    go to PCWORLD or CNET and download freeware called "eraser". save running it for last. also grab a "register cleaner" while you are there.

    right click on the start button, explore, local settings: ...........
    First clean out your cache...all temp files, history and cookies ...delete all your "favorites"..these are your bookmarks. find the "olk" files that Outlook uses as temp storage and delete the contents.

    delete all your "recent documents".

    go into start/control panel/add remove programs.....remove any that you don't want to go with the machine.

    go to start/programs/accessories/system tools/.........then
    click disc cleanup......check all and perform.

    then run the "defrag".

    run the "register cleaner".

    run the "eraser" on the 7 pass setting.

    Assuming you have geek blood in you: all of this takes time, let the machine finish what you start.
    This is not all inclusive as many of Bill Gates quirks are hidden.

    any uber geeks out there please let him know if I missed anything.
  4. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    They don't give you a system restore disk, or you lost it? I thought every PC comes with a System restore disk(at least the 1 or 2 I've bought). Formatting and installing a fresh copy of Windows is a good idea, with a couple of issues though. 1. It sounds like you'll have to purchase a copy of Windows. 2. You'll have to track down and start manually downloading drivers for your motherboard, video, devices, etc.
  5. Most IMB machines have a part of the hard drive setup for restoring the bootable part of the hard drive to it's original configuration or a restore/recovery CD in the owners manual.

    Put the restore CD in the CD drive and boot the machine, follow the prompts. Or power up the laptop and immediately start to press the F10 button repeatably until you see a flashing cursor in the upper left corner of your screen. There should be a menu for restoring the hard drive. If you have a CDR/W drive (burner) in the laptop you may get a choice in your program accessory group to make a backup series of recovery CDs. If not it is a $69.00 cd from IBM support.
  6. Nyper


    Jan 2, 2004
    Lebanon TN
    They don't give you a system restore disk. Even when you order new laptops from Dell now, there is a radio button to include a System Restore Disk. Guess they're trying to save money by not including it if you don't ask for it.

    I've never had anything personal on this laptop, so I'm really not worried about anyone finding anything. Purchasing another copy of XP Pro isn't really an option.

    Thanks for mentioning the 'eraser' zaksdad. I'll check it out later.
  7. neeko


    Dec 22, 2002
    Just keep the HD if you're paranoid. You can buy a replacement on the cheap. This is what I would do.
  8. danielackerman


    Apr 4, 2007
    your best bet would be to format. no 'cleaner' will ever be able to fully and thoroughly 'clean' your system of all personal data. windows stores almost everything you do and input somewhere. even a format is not a total solution if you can believe it. when you install windows it leaves a small, unaccessable, almost invisible partition where it stores all the information from registry and updates it reguarly, never overwriting, just adding to. that goes for any and every windows installation on that hard drive. the only way to delete that along with the format would be to use a third party hdd format program.

    its prettly well agreed that after 7 consecutive full out formats(writting 0's) will clean/erase you hdd completely and save you from any chance of someone using it to say, steal your idenity.
  9. Furant

    Furant Millennium Member

    Oct 14, 1999
    Roswell, GA
    Please elaborate.
  10. m1911a1


    Jun 18, 2004
    "CCLEANER" from filehippo... run until clean , don't worry about it ... (free)