Selling my Laptop, best way to ensure my details are safe?

Hi guys, I'm selling my laptop and just wanted to know whats the best way of ensuring that anything personal to me like bank details and information is completely off of the laptop before I actually sell it? as well as personal files such as family photos and such, is it enough just putting them on an external hard drive or deleting them? and is there any other things I should do?


Extraordinary Member
get CCleaner, once you have deleted or moved any sensitive data from the drive, use it to wipe free space with 3 times enabled...that will stop any hidden recovery option by writing 0's or 1's to all the empty spaces where the marked for deleted files can hide.


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Wiping deleted files as described by Highwayman will ensure that your personal data files are eliminated but here will also be much data recorded within the operating system files and folders. If you are selling with the operating system which came with the laptop you should also run a complete system recovery or reinstall of Windows using the disks which came with the laptop. I would then run a wipe of all the free disk space.

I did the same thing, before I sold it I bought a commercial disk wiping program from Office Depot for about $20 - it overwrites every bit on the drive and zeros out everything. I've also used it on a system that was unrepairable due to viruses, after wiping the disk and using the restore media provided by the manufacturer it worked fine. (That time - I currently have a Vista laptop where the same thing happened - but this time the bios is hosed and the machine won't even recognize the hard disk correctly - it reads it as a removable disk - go figure. Have to return it to HP for this one, but WipeDrive from WhiteCanyon will remove ALL data from your disk)


Extraordinary Member
there are plenty of freeware solutions on google that do the task just as well.

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