Clear windows of personal info
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Thread: Clear windows of personal info

  1. #1
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    Question Clear windows of personal info

    i'm about to sell my computer to a friend and i want to clear windows of any personal info. is there a way to do this without reformating (ie: bootable programs or other software). by personal i mean everything, cookies, docs, logs, programs, and users, and just leave them with a new looking windows. the computer did not come with the XP cd so i suppose reformatting would require buying the disk. that really isnt an option for me. tnx

  2. #2
    AOs Resident Troll
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    You can use any XP disk...as long as you have the license key on the side. It will say version with the key........ home or pro.......... just borrow a disk

    As for cleaning the machine...dont forget the registry

    Best and easiest way is to format...IHMO

    MLF
    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

  3. #3
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
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    Depending on how it formats, this may not clean the system. If someone was bored enough they could still go through cluster by cluster looking for data (the reality is that if you quick format, you are just replacing the MBR/file table). If you want to be sure there is no data on the disk the best way is to overwrite the disk with all 1's then all 0's and to make sure that the program you are using is capable of writing to the entire cluster (not just partially or you could still leave stray data in the slack disk space).

    I guess the decision is really up to you about how badly you want that data off of the system (ie to where the other person has no chance of accessing it). If you aren't that worried about it you could simply delete your files off the system and then use something like AdAware (check incidental items, i think that is what they call it) to go through and remove your file history, internet history, etc. Just a reminder though, deleted files can be found again...
    There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.

    (Merovingian - Matrix Reloaded)

  4. #4
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    well if thats the only option i have i guess it can work to reformat. i thought that there might be a program that you can botfrom and it would wipe the drive of everything except the windows files, and possibly clear them of any old data, without reformating. i would def reformat several times just to be sure but whats this about covering it in 1's and 0's is that a program or just something that works but is done within the windows cd

  5. #5
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    Just wanted to clarify this

    You can use any XP disk...as long as you have the license key on the side.
    That is a license key sticker on the side of the computer....or bottom of a laptop

    MLF
    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

  6. #6
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    no no i understand that i have done that with other comps i wanted to know more about the rewriting, and if that had to be a program or just is on the disk also. i understand that i can use xp disks to reformat. maybe i am misunderstanding this, i dont know how the disk would reformat not using quick but using the full or complete. i would really like to write over it several times just to be sure that they cant get anything off of it.

  7. #7
    IT Specialist Ghost_25inf's Avatar
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    Well if you got the computer new without software then there should be a recovery partition on the hard drive. You will see this on boot up (hit f# for recovery) then you can choose what type of recovery you would like to do. I suggest clicking advance and choose the format recovery.

    If you didnt get this system new and no software was presented with it on the hard drive, I would look at going to the person you got the computer from and ask for the CD.

    If you Pirated the software I would format the hard drive and let the guy whos buying it worry about the OS. Remember if you sell a computer with pirated software you can be held liable for that.

    Quote from morganlefay: You can use any XP disk...as long as you have the license key on the side. It will say version with the key........ home or pro.......... just borrow a disk

    This isnt always true, what if you have an OEM, upgrade, or Volume Lic. Key?
    S25vd2xlZGdlIGlzIHBvd2VyIQ

  8. #8
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    i think i get it, so since i didnt pirate it and it came w/ recovery disks i can use those to wipe the drive. i think that could work.

  9. #9
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
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    windows washer
    it cleans as it washes, 30 day trial
    Built-in safety features prevent you from accidentally removing important files.
    I would hope you could override this

    also crap cleaner
    just to remove all those little bits and pieces

    don't forget to go through the control panel > add remove programmes to remove all the apps you don't want to send

    then run a registry cleaner like reg supreme pro just to really empty out the last dregs from the registry

    all of these are only if your mate is a good friend, and not too techy
    otherwise, pull the plug, and re-install

    [edit]
    just re-read the last post ..........
    run the CD
    it will put the PC back to the day it was first built
    55 - I'm fiftyfeckinfive and STILL no wiser,
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    Beware of Geeks bearing GIF's
    come and waste the day :P at The Taz Zone

  10. #10
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    Hint:

    If you think you have destroyed the data, you are wrong.

    It all depends on how much someone wants it. An appropriate sized drive can be picked up for a fraction of what you are probably being paid for the computer. Buy one, install the OS, keep your old drive as another drive in your new computer.... problem solved.
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

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