How to remove a personal information

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by janesdf, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. janesdf

    janesdf New Member

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    I'm selling a Dell Vostro 320, OS Windows XP and would like to know how to remove personal info. I created a new administrator account and deleted the old one where the personal info was stored. Is this enough or do I need to do more? Thanks.
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    I haven't used XP in a while, but the best way to remove the info is to reformat and reinstall. If you can't do that did you have an option when you deleted the other user to remove all info with the account?

    Other than that, all I would suggest is to scan the system for your stuff. Old e-mails or whatever.
     
  3. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Additionally, depending on your level of paranoia regarding others being able to recover your old data even after you've managed to delete it, I would suggest running a program that will allow you to wipe (overwrite) the free space on the drive before letting it out of your possession.
    There are many such utilities available and a lot of them are free.
    I use Ccleaner from Piriform
    You can use it to get rid of old temps and registry entries by running the general cleaner and the registry tool and then under the Tools menu you'll find a Drive Wiper option which defaults to Free Space Only.
    Select your drive and the number of passes (3 will probably deter and defeat most) and click the wipe button.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  4. zvit

    zvit Honorable Member

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    I totally agree with Trouble but I must say that it really depends on how sensitive the information is. If it's top secret CIA info or the launch codes to a nuclear device, I would replace the hard drive with a new one since they are so cheap and not worth risking it.
     
  5. Elmer

    Elmer Extraordinary Member

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    In this case a 14lb lump hammer and angle grinder would be more appropriate! :D
     
  6. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    Hi

    I go with a reformat and install...

    There was a news story here a few years ago, a local resident donated his old Apple computer to his church.

    Some one using it discovered lewd pictures of kids who were members of the church.

    He ended up in prison. I'm guessing he thought he had gotten rid of everything.

    Just shows you, you can't be too careful!

    Not suggesting you have any thing like that on your computer. LOL

    If you really had something important that you don't want people to see, swap hard drives, they're cheap.

    Mike
     
  7. zvit

    zvit Honorable Member

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    You'd be surprised at the success rate of HDD recovering, even drives that have been run over by trucks or that have been at the bottom of a river. It's expensive but it can be done. Hard Drive Recovery - YouTube
     

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