There's no such thing as a stupid question, but they're the easiest to answer.


Hardware Hardware
Search Search
Search for:
Tech Support Guy > > >

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


pcasey's Avatar
pcasey pcasey is offline
Computer Specs
Junior Member with 7 posts.
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Colorado
Experience: Intermediate
13-Aug-2007, 09:24 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?
ekim68's Avatar
ekim68   (Mike) ekim68 is offline
Member with 46,920 posts.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Eugene, Oregon
13-Aug-2007, 09:36 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...
TheBigGiantHead's Avatar
TheBigGiantHead TheBigGiantHead is offline
Junior Member with 6 posts.
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: MO
Experience: Advanced
15-Aug-2007, 02:42 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
aarhus2004's Avatar
Computer Specs
Gone but always remembered with 1,049 posts.
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Western Canada
Experience: Windows Millennium only
15-Aug-2007, 03:04 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.

vicks's Avatar
Computer Specs
Member with 5,124 posts.
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Nebraska
Experience: Intermediate
15-Aug-2007, 03:04 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.
~Candy~'s Avatar
Retired Administrator with 103,708 posts.
Join Date: Jan 2001
Experience: Advanced
15-Aug-2007, 06:04 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.
As Seen On

BBC, Reader's Digest, PC Magazine, Today Show, Money Magazine

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Are you having the same problem? We have volunteers ready to answer your question, but first you'll have to join for free. Need help getting started? Check out our Welcome Guide.

Search Tech Support Guy

Find the solution to your
computer problem!

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

You Are Using: Server ID
Trusted Website Back to the Top ↑