How can I keep Win 7 on an old laptop I'm giving away?


New Member
I bought an old HP Presario running Win 7 last year from a local used-computer shop. Now I want to either sell it or give it away on Freecycle. Naturally, I need to wipe all personal data beforehand. The laptop came with Win 7 installed but no discs or anything to use to reinstall it. How can I wipe my data without losing Win 7?


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Well the preferred method would be to use a tool like DBAN to scrub the drive and then re-install Windows back on the system. Since you don't have a disc I would recommend the following

  • Remove any paid for applications
  • (Optionally) remove other programs
  • Create a new user account (could just call it User1) and make it an administrator
  • Log in with User1
  • Start > Run type netplwiz.exe
  • Remove your main account (does a better cleanup job)
  • Download ccleaner and run that and cleanup temp files etc
  • Download SDelete - Windows Sysinternals
  • Open an elevated command prompt and change directory to where you have sdelete and run sdelete.exe -z -c C:\ this should walk the C: drive and scramble all of the free space which should now include your old user profile data