Question How to clean Vista laptop before giving away? There's seemingly no recovery partition/disc....

DavidSchwegler

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Sep 1, 2019
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I have an old Toshiba P205 laptop with Vista that an acquaintance wants to use to play some of his old HD-DVD discs.

Which is great...much better than dumping in landfill.

However, it seemingly has no recovery partition, no recovery creation tool, and I don't have any Vista Home Premium 32-bit discs to reformat the drive with.
At least, if there is a recovery partition (there's an "EISA Configuration" partition), I can't boot to it. I've tried holding 0 (a long time) when powering the device on per the online manuals, but nothing happens.

Any suggestions for how to reset this to factory defaults, or at least securely clean off the drive of my personal data before giving it to them?

As a last resort, perhaps I could delete all the existing user accounts and run a utility (maybe Eraser or CCleaner?) to overwrite any unused sectors with random numbers or something? Idk...

Screenshots of system: View: https://imgur.com/a/OW2dGpa
 
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Since vista isn't supported anymore anyway you could install some linux distro or even windows 10 or 11, it might even activate with the official serial number of vista.

If you want us to help you in maybe finding the recovery you should show us a pic of the disk manager. Although chances are that you will have to find a set of dvds that came with the laptop and had the recovery on them.
 

DavidSchwegler

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Sep 1, 2019
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If you want us to help you in maybe finding the recovery you should show us a pic of the disk manager.
I think I did? That's the second picture in the imgur album ~ you can hover over the imgur preview box and click the right arrow, or click the picture to open the imgur album (sorry if I'm misunderstanding you)

even windows 10 or 11, it might even activate with the official serial number of vista
The performance of the laptop is quite poor with only a 1.5Ghz cpu and 2GB ram, I'm worried about newer OS's making it even worse :/
 
I think I did? That's the second picture in the imgur album ~ you can hover over the imgur preview box and click the right arrow, or click the picture to open the imgur album (sorry if I'm misunderstanding you)
Yeah too early in the morning, didn't see the arrow there.

According to this the partition only has the tools on it but not the recovery image itself which would be on DVDs that came with the laptop.
Dynabook is the official page toshibas website links to.
https://support.dynabook.com/sscontent?docId=98082629
 

DavidSchwegler

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Sep 1, 2019
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Oof, well thanks for that link. Yeah, the original DVDs are long gone. :(

Do you think it could handle Win 10 or is my best bet cleaning the drive with something like the utilities I mentioned?
 

Cj-tech

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Jan 27, 2021
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Oof, well thanks for that link. Yeah, the original DVDs are long gone. :(

Do you think it could handle Win 10 or is my best bet cleaning the drive with something like the utilities I mentioned?
Rather than Windows 10, go with a Linux distribution like Ubuntu. These are more lightweight and can run on less powerful systems. I know that Ubuntu has some great software for backing up music and movies.
 

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