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Need to clean a laptop before returning it

Discussion in 'General Security' started by Joseph2, Apr 23, 2010.

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  1. Joseph2

    Joseph2 Thread Starter

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    Hi, purchased a laptop and have decided after a week that it is not what I wanted. The store is allowing me to return it in the condition I bought it, but I have used it for a week for email and internet browsing and would like to remove all traces of what I've done. I also logged on to a terminal server using a remmote desktop connection and don't know if any of the login information is saved on the computer. It is a windows 7 machine and I'd appreciate if someone could tell me how I can clean it without removing any of the preloaded software that it came with. I just want to remove the references to my emails and internet browsing and the login info for the remote desktop connection.

    Thanks
     
  2. Adderad

    Adderad

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    Do a complete system restore, i think it will ask you to press some button while restarting if you want to do that.
    The system restore is for removing everything, you don't want to have your history on it.
    Buy some laptop wipes, and compressed air made for laptops to clean the keyboard.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Joseph2

    Joseph2 Thread Starter

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    Thanks. Will a system restore remove every trace of what I've done or will someone be able to get the info back if they wanted to?
     
  4. Adderad

    Adderad

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    I am not sure.
    But i think you can recover it somehow, but i don't think you've got stuff so private that you really need no one to see it, and i don't think anybody would want to spend so much work getting the old stuff back either, if you don't got evil plans in destorying the world you should be fine, if you have those, nuke the HD :p!
     
  5. Joseph2

    Joseph2 Thread Starter

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    I was hoping that someone could help me to clean off the hard drive so that whatever I have done can't be recovered. Does anyone have a solution?
     
  6. Adderad

    Adderad

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    Take a look at this.



    EDIT: I have never heard of the software i linked, if you have the install cd, you should nuke your HD then install your OS again, i have heard of people who used this program when the police confiscated their PC's.
     
  7. Blackmirror

    Blackmirror

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  8. Joseph2

    Joseph2 Thread Starter

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    I don't have the software that was preinstalled on the laptop. I don't want to go through the trouble of nuking the hard drive and reinstalling software. I would rather have a recommendation that someone is familiar with. I'm just looking to remove my personal information so that I can return the computer and not have to worry about some stranger looking at my files. Is there someone tell me what software I can use to get rid of the personal info so that it wont be recoverable?
     
  9. Joseph2

    Joseph2 Thread Starter

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    Thanks Blackmirror. This doesn't say that its for windows 7 though. Do you know if it will work with windows 7?
     
  10. Blackmirror

    Blackmirror

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    i believe so
     
  11. Adderad

    Adderad

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    Look , if you just want to get rid of it, go with a ordinary system restore.
    I don't think a normal person would go through trouble just for looking at a few of your private pictures, lol.
     
  12. Joseph2

    Joseph2 Thread Starter

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    If I just wanted to give it back with the capability of someone having access to my email, I would not have posted my question here.

    Does anyone know of a solution for windows 7?
     
  13. Adderad

    Adderad

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    A good old trick is removing your stuff, then fill the HD with some crap.
    Delete the crap, and only the crap will be recoverable.
     
  14. Joseph2

    Joseph2 Thread Starter

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    I don't know what that means.
     
  15. NeonFx

    NeonFx Malware Specialist

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    Joseph2, you should contact them again and ask them what they mean by "in the same condition you bought it in."

    They typically only mean that they want it back in the same physical condition which means you can nuke the HDD and reinstall Windows without all the bloatware and they'll take it back.


    They'll probably reimage it themselves anyway after you give it back. But if you reinstall Windows they can at least test if it's working.
     
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