Solved: Clearing computer files

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enigma1944

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Joined
May 2, 2007
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313


I have a 17" Hp laptop that I am going to donate to a school library
and before I do this I would like to remove all my personal files.

It has W7 SP1 loaded with all current updates so what would be the best way
to do this.

Thanks
 

TheShooter93

Cody
Malware Specialist
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
11,250
Do you have any of the following:

- Recovery Partition

- Recovery Disk

- OS Disk
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2004
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2,536
If you want to preserve the existing operating system + updates, the best thing to do is to manually delete all your personal data, uninstall all applications which you intend to install on a different PC (to stay legal in repect of the software licences), make sure the recycle bin is empty, then use a third-party utility to securely wipe all free space.

Eraser is the best one I know (and which I use myself): http://eraser.heidi.ie/
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
51,988


I have a 17" Hp laptop that I am going to donate to a school library
and before I do this I would like to remove all my personal files.

It has W7 SP1 loaded with all current updates so what would be the best way
to do this.

Thanks
There is no way to clean out your personal information from the machine short of restoring the operating system, either by reinstalling or recovering the image of the installation from your recovery partition or recovery disks. Your personal data is throughout the system in files and registry entries (and even deleted files) that would be impossible to track down.

A full restoration of the operating system with the subsequent use of Eraser to wipe the free space that was not overwritten by the restored image is the only safe way to deal with this problem.

Your recovery environment should be available by pressing F11 at boot so long as you have not made any changes to the system's partitions.
 

enigma1944

Thread Starter
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
313
There is no way to clean out your personal information from the machine short of restoring the operating system, either by reinstalling or recovering the image of the installation from your recovery partition or recovery disks. Your personal data is throughout the system in files and registry entries (and even deleted files) that would be impossible to track down.

A full restoration of the operating system with the subsequent use of Eraser to wipe the free space that was not overwritten by the restored image is the only safe way to deal with this problem.

Your recovery environment should be available by pressing F11 at boot so long as you have not made any changes to the system's partitions.
Thanks for the answer

I neglected to say that this laptop was originally loaded with VISTA until I replaced it with W7. In adddition, I have not made any changes to the original partitions.

I can't find the W7 OS CD so I will do the recovery & Eraser
 
Joined
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Messages
51,988
Do you have recovery disks? If you installed a new, retail version of Windows, the recovery partition on the drive is most likely no longer available (the normal way, anyway). Installing 7 made changes to the partitions and overwrote the MBR on the hard drive (unless it was an upgrade from the manufacturer, then you may still be able to use the recovery partition).
 

enigma1944

Thread Starter
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
313
Do you have recovery disks? If you installed a new, retail version of Windows, the recovery partition on the drive is most likely no longer available (the normal way, anyway). Installing 7 made changes to the partitions and overwrote the MBR on the hard drive (unless it was an upgrade from the manufacturer, then you may still be able to use the recovery partition).
Sorry to say I don't have the recovery disc.

I did not install the retail version but the upgrade fom MSN.

I'lll never do an upgrade again lessons learned the hard way.

I'll be doing this after Christmas

Thanks again for the advice
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
51,988
LOL. Well, ugrades are fine. You just need to prepare for them.

A piece of advice. The next time you get your machine set up the way you want it, make a complete backup of the whole hard drive so you can later restore it to that condition when you want.

It's a good idea to make a backup before doing anything major, too, so you can always get back where you started.

The more frequent the backups (aside from the initial one that you keep for restoration to the very beginning), the less recent work you will lose if it all comes crashing down.

A second hard drive, internal or external, is the perfect place to store an "image" of your main hard drive. All hard drives will fail. It's nice to be able to replace one, restore the image, and be back to normal in less than an hour. But you can keep at least the original one on DVD's or a BluRay disk. Most peoples' complete system will fit on a single BluRay disk (25 GB's).

Free drive backup software (imaging, cloning, and archiving):

Paragon Backup & Recovery (Recovery boot CD or USB key)
Macrium Reflect (Free)
O&O Disk Image Express
Easeus Todo Backup
Redo Backup & Recovery (Boot CD)
Comodo Time Machine (Complete system, files, programs, and settings restoration, but not "bare-metal" for failed drive)
Clonezilla Live (A bootable CD of Debian with Clonezilla.)
Drive Image XML
PING (Partimage is not Ghost) (Boot CD with option Clam Antivirus)
Partition Saving
Clonezilla

There are also many commercial products with more features.

============================================

Come back if you have any problems or want to re-open this thread.

Happy Holidays!
 
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