Solved Clean Windows 7 laptop before giving away

December 13, 2014 at 10:16:45
Specs: Windows 7
I am giving my Toshiba Satellite laptop away to a friend and want to remove all personal data (passwords etc) I want to leave the operating system intact as I don't have a disc to reinstall once cleaned. But as for everything else....it needs to be gone. pictures ,music , documents... you get the idea. She doesn't need to see pictures of me wearing my speedos!!
thanks, Dave

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✔ Best Answer
December 14, 2014 at 11:44:50
Factory restore, deletes all current files on the computer, wipes it clean and then reinstalls the operating system and any software that it came with when you bought it. So if there is data you need, get it first, if not, and you do have the recovery partition (my satelite does), you do the factory restore and it will be just like when it was new, no personal data....ready to buy. Near the finish of the installation it may ask you to put in a user name, simply use...user.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

message edited by HopperRox



#1
December 13, 2014 at 11:38:17
Login as administrator; delete all user accounts; delete all your personal files; delete all restore points; reboot. Then have a look-see to check if there is anything left? That would generally be the minimum many might consider... And there are assorted utilities that claim to do it more thoroughly...

However this link might be educational...

http://tinyurl.com/mryjb9d

And these of interest... Bearing in mind the above article...

https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/o...

http://tinyurl.com/kbnsth4

http://tinyurl.com/qh5xpzt

http://tinyurl.com/pvglzz5

http://tinyurl.com/l3vahtn

Likely the Toshiba has a recovery partition? What model is it?

message edited by trvlr


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#2
December 13, 2014 at 13:43:06
First thing to do is delete all data (photos, videos, music, documents etc) you wish to make unrecoverable. Delete normally and empty the recycle bin. Uninstall all third party software also. Log in and do this for each and every user account.

As trvlr has already described, log in as administrator and delete user accounts and purge restore points.

Windows XP SP3, Vista and 7 OS's have the ability to methodically and securely overwrite the free space on the operating system partition (or other partitions / drives if specified) using a built in utility:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorial...

After you have performed these steps restore your PC to factory settings using the recovery partition, if it is included. If you google factory restore plus the model of your computer you should be able to find a guide.

If you follow these steps you will be able to pass on the PC in a state like you would get when it was brand new with nothing on it but what was included when shipped. It will also ensure your data is unrecoverable by consumer level recovery techniques.

message edited by btk1w1


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#3
December 13, 2014 at 20:38:22
If your toshiba has the recovery partition and many do, you (from shut off), turn on the laptop and hold down the number zero key, it should take you to a recovery partition and have an option for a full factory restore

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!


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#4
December 14, 2014 at 02:55:53
Bear in mind that the factory restore routine will erase/delete all programmes you have installed since you first receieved the laptop. It will return (restore) it to its state as delivered/received.

This may not be quite what you would like, but (within the limits of average users) would ensure that your data and traces etc. are (for the most part) removed. However btk1w1's suggestion re' the cypher key routine might be as effective - once you have manually deleted accounts, personal files, and restore points etc., and double checked that all personal data has gone. It would leave any software you installed intact., whilst rendering data recovery (by an average user) not easy...

Any apps. etc. you may wish to remove can also be removed via the usual add/remove path in control panel?

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#5
December 14, 2014 at 03:14:52
Of course! Good observation trvlr.

If you wish for the recipient to have software intact when you pass it on don't perform a factory restore.

Remember to also clear your browser(s) cached files if you want your internet browsing history removed.

CCleaner is an excellent piece of software for this purpose. It also has a secure delete option.


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#6
December 14, 2014 at 11:05:12
its a Satellite, im not sure of the actual model number.

Thankyou for the advice guys. most helpful.

message edited by painterlad


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#7
December 14, 2014 at 11:09:40
thanx for the advice, if I were to do the above, will windows 7 still be on the laptop as, it was when it arrived

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#8
December 14, 2014 at 11:19:41
A factory restore will reset it to as delivered. Anything you installed after delivery/receipt will "not" be retained. Barring the unforeseen the laptop will be more or less "as new/delivered".

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#9
December 14, 2014 at 11:44:50
✔ Best Answer
Factory restore, deletes all current files on the computer, wipes it clean and then reinstalls the operating system and any software that it came with when you bought it. So if there is data you need, get it first, if not, and you do have the recovery partition (my satelite does), you do the factory restore and it will be just like when it was new, no personal data....ready to buy. Near the finish of the installation it may ask you to put in a user name, simply use...user.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

message edited by HopperRox


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