Neeed Desperate HELP please Need Answer in Less than 2 Days

I am selling my Asus g73jh on ebay and their are two things i struggle to do.
The first is to permanently delete all my files so that not even god could access them. But people on the internet say that sometimes, your internet application stores passwords in a file so if that is true i would of course want to delete that and also any sneaky files of such that applications may add. Also my computer has facial recognition so i need o know basically how to delete everything except things like my OS and important things needed to run the computer.
The second is that i want to let the buyer open the computer, turn it on and have to go through all the first start up procedure so it can be like how i first started it up when it was brand new. Please help thanks.

Discussion is locked
Reply to: Neeed Desperate HELP please Need Answer in Less than 2 Days
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Neeed Desperate HELP please Need Answer in Less than 2 Days
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
All good questions

All good questions... That you should have asked BEFORE listing the thing on eBay.

That being said, the short version is that there's no way to guarantee that someone cannot, under any circumstances, recover data from a HDD short of not selling the system with a HDD, or putting in a different HDD. You could run something like DBAN, which after a number of passes, would mean someone would have to have the resources of a government to be able to recover the data, but usually it takes about a couple of days of constant use to accomplish that.

There is also no way to delete everything except the OS, it just doesn't work that way. You can erase everything and reinstall the OS, but you can't reset the OS to factory conditions without erasing everything.

In this case you seem to have hoisted yourself by your own petard. These are all issues you should have worked out BEFORE listing and committing yourself to selling it on a specific schedule. At this point, assuming you actually have restore discs, the best thing you could probably do is just run to a Best Buy, Fry's, or whatever's in your area, and get a new HDD that's similar in spec to the one in the computer. Swap the old one for the new one, reinstall the OS, and sell it that way. It will be an added expense you'll have to eat, but it's a bargain compared to what someone could do with the data that may be stored on the drive now. You can also consider it penance for your impetus actions. Next time, you'll be unlikely to make the same mistake.

- Collapse -
Why not use a HD cleaner

Provided you have the recovery/restore discs, etc. or whatever was used to load the OS, then simply wipe it *ALL* out. I don't see why you need to provide anything other than what was the OS and possible other bundled s/w that came with the PC. If that's not the case, then explain. You gave no clue other than trying to clean-up the PC. In such cases that really doesn't work well and if done right, any nefarious buyer could do something if they're inclined. While that may seem a worry, most buyers aren't into such deeds as I lean towards the good user of wanting a PC and nothing else.

- Collapse -
It's true.

Windows squirrels away things in odd places. I have yet to find them all.

My advice is to get your recovery media out and see if they are good shape by duplicating them. Cost? About ONE DOLLAR!

Now boot some disk wipe CD (DBAN) and wipe the drive. Now use the recovery media and you're done.

There is no other way to be sure.

- Collapse -
Sell first, fix later


I would suggest you do all of these answers. Had someone ask me the other day if all of the data can be erased. I said, enough for regular people not getting the stuff.
I usually go with the virus bad drive approach. Remove the drive & use as an external. Shred everything (see the CNET download area for free programs to do that, but most all virus software has one). Wipe it 8 or more times, 13 is a lucky number. Scan it, defrag it, then format a few times.
Should help the situation.

Of course, best bet is to install a larger formatted drive than was in there, giving the install discs & codes with the computer, after you have installed the OS. It will come up like day one, including tour, activation nags, & that most cool desk top wallpaper. Do a first boot check before shipping it off.

Guess we'll be seeing a help needed with an Asus g73jh I bought off E-Bay question or two rather soon ;}).

CNET Forums