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selling old laptop, need to clean

by mysti4god / December 20, 2012 7:53 AM PST

Hello, I have an old "dinosaur" (as I like to put it) of a laptop from about 5 or 6 years ago. It's an HP, pretty big and heavy, great for a desktop alternative. I let a friend borrow it for a year or so and she said it ran super slow and was sluggish to get around the internet. She then gave it back as she bought a new one and I just put the thing in a case and in my closet.

Well, now I have another friend who wants to buy it, but I want to not only clean off all mine and my other friends stuff, but also clean it up so it's not running slowly. I do not have the Windows reinstall disc or any of the discs that originally came with the laptop, so I'm unable to just reinstall XP. What's the best way to go about this?

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All Answers

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You can use any install disc with your key
by wpgwpg / December 20, 2012 8:26 AM PST

As long as you have the key for that computer, you can borrow or copy an install disc from someone who has one, then wipe the hard drive with something like DBAN followed by reinstalling Windows. That could take the better part of a day to do, but it's the safest.
As an alternative, you could delete the contents of your Documents folder and any other folders you have sensitive data in, then do a defrag. This is subject to your missing something and doesn't always write over 100% of everything you deleted, but it's probably good enough for the majority of folks who don't have super-secret or incriminating data on that computer.

Good luck.

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That's news to me.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 20, 2012 8:35 AM PST

I've had this fail too often.

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by mysti4god / December 20, 2012 11:04 AM PST

Well, there's nothing super sensitive & incriminating. Just personal family photos & whatnot. I'm not sure what you mean by having a key to the computer. It's so old & I've moved so many times that all I had for this thing is gone. Perhaps I'll try deleting all documents & pics then defraging but I've tried that before & it didn't help the slowness. Not sure what to do.

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By key I mean the COA key
by wpgwpg / December 20, 2012 11:55 AM PST
In reply to: Hmmm

This is the key that Windows asks for when you install it. It should be on a sticker attached to your computer, but if you can't find it, you can download and run the Belarc advisor which will tell you the install keys for all your MS products.

Re performance I would run MSCONFIG and see what's being started when you boot up. Usually you can find a whole bunch of things being started that you don't need and just take up memory and slow things down. Press the Windows key and press R. Type in MSCONFIG and hit enter. Click the Startup tab. You can uncheck anything there except your antivirus program although I wouldn't do more that 2 or 3 at a time. I would probably leave the hardware related things because they take the least resource and can come in handy.

Good luck.

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