Question Selling a laptop with pre-installed OS

Jul 19, 2019
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I'm happy to sell my Asus notebook with the pre-installed OS, but would appreciate advice as to how to do this. Do I just format the SSD storage drive to get rid of my data or is there more to it.
 

britechguy

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Jul 2, 2019
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As far as I'm concerned there is no use, really, in even using the recovery partition to fresh image the system.

When doing that it does not wipe free space anyway, which is the concern when it comes to personal data.

My standard procedure when trying to decommission a PC for resale or donation:

1. Create a new local Windows user account with admin permissions and a password that you either pass on to the new owner or without a password at all.

2. Back up any user data you wish to keep to an external drive for all accounts from which it needs to be retained. If none, then skip this step.

3. Use the account created in step one to delete all other accounts on the machine. When asked if you want to keep a copy of the user data from same on the desktop answer, "No."

4. Install CCleaner, or BleachBit, or any utility of your choosing that has a drive wiper feature for free space. Run it, and wipe the free space on the machine. Unless you think the machine is going to end up in the hands of the NSA and someone really would make herculean efforts to try to recover your data, a three-pass wipe is way more than sufficient. Wipes do not, literally, wipe (as in zero out) the free space, but instead write random bits in all the blocks and sectors to scramble the content such that normal recovery methods will not be able to parse it for reconstruction.
 
Jul 19, 2019
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Only if you then re-install the stock OS from ASUS. Check to see if your system has a recovery drive/partition for re-imaging the system.
Many thanks for your advice Eximo.
I think I've deleted all my personal stuff by following the recovery procedure. To complicate matters further Windows seems to have updated during the recovery and now, when I switch the machine on, it is trying to setup a new user with a voice activated assistant. All very clever but I can't see how to by pass this so I can check what data, if any, is left in storage.
 
Jul 19, 2019
3
0
10
0
As far as I'm concerned there is no use, really, in even using the recovery partition to fresh image the system.

When doing that it does not wipe free space anyway, which is the concern when it comes to personal data.

My standard procedure when trying to decommission a PC for resale or donation:

1. Create a new local Windows user account with admin permissions and a password that you either pass on to the new owner or without a password at all.

2. Back up any user data you wish to keep to an external drive for all accounts from which it needs to be retained. If none, then skip this step.

3. Use the account created in step one to delete all other accounts on the machine. When asked if you want to keep a copy of the user data from same on the desktop answer, "No."

4. Install CCleaner, or BleachBit, or any utility of your choosing that has a drive wiper feature for free space. Run it, and wipe the free space on the machine. Unless you think the machine is going to end up in the hands of the NSA and someone really would make herculean efforts to try to recover your data, a three-pass wipe is way more than sufficient. Wipes do not, literally, wipe (as in zero out) the free space, but instead write random bits in all the blocks and sectors to scramble the content such that normal recovery methods will not be able to parse it for reconstruction.
Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, I didn't see your message until after I had tried the recovery procedure - see my reply to Eximo. I suppose I could still set up a new user now which would enable me to check if anything remains of the original set up.
 

britechguy

Prominent
Jul 2, 2019
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Then set up a new local user that has admin privileges, and check afterward.

I can pretty much guarantee you that if you used the standard recovery procedure all it does is a quick reformat (which does not get rid of anything as far as what recovery utilities can find) and reinstall.
 

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