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How do I delete everything off my laptop to sell?

by Junomaster2006 / December 3, 2012 3:30 AM PST

How do I delete everything off my laptop to sell? I currently have a Window Vista, HP that I've bought back in 2009. Ive looked over google and still can't find a clear and legit answer. The links on google says to burn the program onto a disk (which I don't have) or simply by deleting or uninstalling files. Simply deleteing files does not guarentee that it'll be safe from thefts which I'm worry about.

Does anyone have a link or help me guide through step by step how to have everything removed so I can sell my laptop?

Junomaster2006 has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Junomaster2006

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Re: delete everything
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 3, 2012 3:35 AM PST

- Are you sure that that laptop doesn't have a DVD-burner? They were already quite common in 2009.
- Did the laptop come with recovery disks or a Vista disk?
- What exactly do you mean with "delete everything"? Does that mean 'everything including WIndows' or 'my own programs and data'?
- If necessary, are you able to burn a disk with a downloaded program elsewhere (like a friend or family)?
- Can the laptop boot from a bootable USB-stick?

So, sorry, not a guide but 5 questions.


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Answering questions
by Junomaster2006 / December 3, 2012 4:03 AM PST
In reply to: Re: delete everything

I do have burning capability but I don't have any disk at home to do so, not I really want to purchase one. I did have some sort of recovery disk when I purchase my laptop but I have no idea where it's located now as I may have thrown it out when moving. I want to clear my hard drive well enough to that it's still functional and so it's safe to sell.

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Then use the onboard recovery.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2012 4:48 AM PST
In reply to: Answering questions

And when you sell it, do not give any WARRANTY or an inkling you can support the machine. You can't since there are no restore media.

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by Dafydd Forum moderator / December 15, 2013 12:44 AM PST

This is the way to go. Just noted this is an old thread.


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In two steps.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2012 3:35 AM PST

This will be good enough for 99.99% of us.

Use the factory restore system (it's some F-key at power up) and you now have a factory setup without your files.

Oh, but how to clear out the space that is not in use and may have files from the past, invisible except for forensics at Homeland Security? Go get CCLEANER and use it's FREE SPACE ERASER.

If you wipe the drive then you made that choice to wipe out the restore feature!


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For this I don't like DBAN.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2012 3:56 AM PST
In reply to: In two steps.

Unless you tested your recovery MEDIA it's just a bad idea.

Try the onboard restore and create the restore media if you forgot.

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by wpgwpg / December 3, 2012 3:53 AM PST

Personally I like something like what Bob suggested. However if you really want to clean everything including Windows and all the software, you can use DBAN (Darik's Nuke And Boot) which will wipe that hard completely clean. Of course it wouldn't be usable for anything then until someone installed an OS.

Good luck.

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This way
by neo jensson / December 15, 2013 12:31 AM PST

If you have OS installation cd. Use ErAce form .After that instal OS from cd

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