Selling or giving away a computer? Make sure your personal information is completely gone.
Two ways you can do it:
- If you have the original Windows installation disks
- Remove all your important files
- Insert the Windows installation disk and follow the instructions
- Once it has reinstalled the person you sell/give it to will have to update a few files like Antivirus, etc. but your part is done
- If you don’t have the disks or don’t want to go through the time it will take in #1 above:
- Remove any data in folders used to store information like “My Documents” folder, and even uninstall any software you think may have stored usage details.
- Then, in the User management area in Control Panel, create a new user who is an Administrator. Log off as and log in as the new user and delete your original user login. When you delete your original user profile, Windows will ask if you want to also delete your home folder, say yes.
- Once all those folders and files have been deleted, run a “white-out” program like the free Eraser. (see link below) These type programs will overwrite all the free space on your hard drive with 1’s and 0’s, preventing a potential buyer from undeleting any of her files. After that, you should be good to go.
- Free Eraser Program: http://sourceforge.net/projects/eraser/files/Eraser%206/6.0.10/