Please Help!!

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Thread Starter
Apr 24, 2004
Hello all,
I am selling my laptop w/ Window 95 and was wondering how I go about wiping it out clean as though it was fresh out of the box on day one?? Can anyone help??
Oct 8, 2001
I'm not an expert but I'm sure if I give you wrong advice someone will quickly pop in to correct me. :)

You can do 2 things...

1) Low level format of the hard disk drive so that everything on the disk is erased and it is back to the original factory state!


2) Use Fdisk to delete all the partitions. Check here-> ---
Jun 11, 2002
The first thing you must do is be sure that you have the proper drivers for this computer saved to a disc. You will need them when you re-install Windows. Next be sure that you have your Windows Disc(s) and the product key to install it with. Do you have real Windows discs or just a restore disc from the manufacturer? Is this a brand name laptop (Compaq, etc) that may have a restore partition? If so, utilities like "killdisk" will destroy that too!
Feb 16, 2002
Longhair your right! Excellent point,

Now that I've read that again, it does not look like they intended to reinstall windows again. . .but just wanted to pull out their 'personal' software additions,

Dsh316, if that's what you want, (you won't reinstall) here's another way to actually clean it to factory specs:

Restore the registry to it's original 'first boot' creation using System.1st, to the day that your windows version first booted up,

It will wipe out everything created after the computer was first booted, keeping only the original factory software and settings, you can then remove your name from 'registered to' and a few other minor personal areas, but it will be exactly as it was from the factory,

How to restore original Win95 registry using System.1st:

Restart your machine in the DOS mode ( start / shutdown / restart in ms dos) or use your emergency boot disk,

If you restart in DOS, you will be at C:\windows, if you use the boot disk, at the A:\ , type cd windows to get to C:\windows

Once you see C:\windows type all the following commands and hit enter after each, note the blue vertical line |, it means skip one space with spacebar,

attrib|-h |-r |-s |system.dat
attrib|-h|-r |-s|system.1st
attrib|+h|+r |+s|system.1st
attrib|+h |+r|+s|system.dat

Reboot, the system will now have only the original software and user preferences, very clean & fast,

Double check the machine for personal references that you don't want,

click start / run / regedit
now click on 'edit' , then 'find' , type in your name, now search, if your name is found, it will be in the right pane, double click the icon to it's left in the name column, the 'edit string' menu opens, change the name to an alias,

You should find all references to your name including 'registered owner' , just to be sure, examine this key while still in 'regedit'

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Sofware\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion , open each successive folder clicking on the +sign for each till you come to currentversion, look in the right pane for your name next to 'registered owner' and change it as described above,

While your there, also retrieve your 'ProductKey' numbers, , still looking in the folder 'current version', in the right pane find 'ProductKey' and copy the letters and numbers to paper, do not attempt the System.1st without having them, make sure it's on paper,

You will also be able to find it with your orininal windows booklet info that came with the computer, or the 'certificate of authenticity', , ,

Apr 25, 2004
i have heard that programs used to erase hard-drives leave "ghost tracks" behind that some smart cookie can recover. i dont know if there is a 100% effective way of wiping it to a clean state. i dont think a full system recovery will do it either. i have no plans to sell mine. if it comits susicide im gonna remove the hard drive, then take it apart, piece by piece. the rest u can make a go cart out of.....gary
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