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Bought Used Laptop - How can I get rid of info for previous owner


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pcasey pcasey is offline
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13-Aug-2007, 10:24 PM #1
Bought Used Laptop - How can I get rid of info for previous owner
I bought a used Dell Inspiron 5100 Laptop, has Windows XP Home (which I upgraded to Pro) and MS Office 2007 on it and not much more. I have full versions of this software so don't care what happens to them but I do not have any of the disks from Dell that would have come with the laptop and I don't seem to have a partition on the hard drive that contains that info either. Never had a laptop before, what would you suggest I do? My desire is to get rid of the name of the other guy on my computer - he is listed as the primary user of the computer all the software is registered in his name, including Windows. I don't really want to re-format the hard drive as I think that would cause more problems since I don't have the install disks from Dell. Should I have just installed Windows XP PRO over the top of XP Home instead of upgrading?
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ekim68   (Mike) ekim68 is online now
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13-Aug-2007, 10:36 PM #2
Call Dell and ask for a restore CD. On the bottom of the laptop there's a service tag number and a couple of others. I had a friend who got it 2 days later...
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TheBigGiantHead TheBigGiantHead is offline
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15-Aug-2007, 03:42 PM #3
99.9% of the software around uses the Windows Information to populate the fields for Name and Company. I am sure you have noticed that a name and company name is usually in the boxes when installing software. This information is stored in the registry. The only problem is that most programs copy the entries and store them in their own registry key. You can change them if you want. I have been around a long time and have seen a lot of software in my day, I have not seen one yet that would stop functioning ig the name and company information were changed.

To change the info, use regedit, search for the name of the previous owner (you can usually see what you need to search for when you go to help>about in most programs, if not, right click on my computer and goto properties, you will see the name and company info there.) Just double click the info on the right side and type your new info, hit enter and hit f3 to find the next entry that matches. Do this for the name and company information.

Or, you could just pay Dell for a new recovery CD. If you are worried about any other information or what was on the computer before you bought it, get the cd, if you're not, just change the info in the registry.

Oh yea, in case you didn't know. the registry is a key component of windows, if you screw it up, you will be gettting from dell anyway
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15-Aug-2007, 04:04 PM #4
for pcasey,

Whilst your question is a legitimate one I wish to point out that it does not, in anyway, contribute to this forum. For it is here that we share the technical tips and tricks we have learned about so others may benefit from or add to them.

So you fit into the category of a lazy poster who does not ask "Is this actually the place to post my question?". I am confident my comment will help you in future.

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15-Aug-2007, 04:04 PM #5
Dell will probably send you the recovery cd at n/c. They didn't charge me...
DO NOT fiddle around in the registry unless you know what you are doing... also before going into the registry, be sure to create a back up of it just in case.
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15-Aug-2007, 07:04 PM #6
You don't really need a Dell disk, just download the drivers you need from the Dell website by keying in your Dell ID tag number, burn them to a CD and you should be able to format it clean and install whatever you wish.
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