[SOLVED] Wiping Windows 7 system with multiple drive types for resale

Funkonaut

Honorable
Nov 30, 2013
7
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I'm having trouble finding Windows 7-relevant answers to this and half of google results want me to download some shady utility and I'm not sure what's actually standard procedure or what I can trust.

Background: I just built a whole new, separate PC and want to resell my old one as it's still a decent mid-range gaming PC, but am running into confusion as to how to properly prepare it.

  • It is still running Windows 7, which, obviously, is about to expire and won't be useful to a prospective buyer. I do not plan on upgrading it to Win10 before selling because $$$.
  • Boot drive: 500gb 2.5" SSD
  • There's also an extra 128gb SSD that was my original boot drive before upgrading to the 500gb a few years later. I never wiped this old drive and kinda forgot about it until now. It still has my old system image on it and stuff. Still all hooked up inside the case, just unused.
  • Storage: 1TB HDD, for photos, video, steam games. I plan on just moving this over to the new system for extra storage.
So my question is, what is the correct, safe way to prepare the remaining two SSDs for resale of the entire system, or barring that, individual resale or recycling? I'm assuming any prospective buyer will be wanting to run Windows 10. I'm worried about pitfalls I don't fully understand, like what if they boot it up on day one ready to install Win10 from a USB but things get hairy because it's still got my old copy of Win7 on there. Thanks for any help.
 

jojesa

Illustrious
It is still running Windows 7, which, obviously, is about to expire and won't be useful to a prospective buyer. I do not plan on upgrading it to Win10 before selling because $$$.
Boot drive: 500gb 2.5" SSD
Having Windows 10 could be a good selling point.
I would download the Windows 10 upgrade assistant and upgrade the computer to Windows 10 (link below).
Make sure only the Windows 7 boot disk is connected.
After upgrading run Reset this PC and wipe all content.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10


If you want to wipe the 1TB, I will suggest Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN)

Keep the 128GB SSD
 
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USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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If it has a valid Win 7 license, you can upgrade it to WIn 10 for free.
Yes, this still works.

Otherwise, sell it without an OS. Just a bare drive, and let the new owner figure out his own OS and licensing.
DBAN to completely wipe the drive. DO not use this on an SSD.
For an SSD, use the manufacturers Secure Erase function.
 

jojesa

Illustrious
It is still running Windows 7, which, obviously, is about to expire and won't be useful to a prospective buyer. I do not plan on upgrading it to Win10 before selling because $$$.
Boot drive: 500gb 2.5" SSD
Having Windows 10 could be a good selling point.
I would download the Windows 10 upgrade assistant and upgrade the computer to Windows 10 (link below).
Make sure only the Windows 7 boot disk is connected.
After upgrading run Reset this PC and wipe all content.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10


If you want to wipe the 1TB, I will suggest Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN)

Keep the 128GB SSD
 
Reactions: Funkonaut

Funkonaut

Honorable
Nov 30, 2013
7
1
10,525
1
Having Windows 10 could be a good selling point.
I would download the Windows 10 upgrade assistant and upgrade the computer to Windows 10 (link below).
Make sure only the Windows 7 boot disk is connected.
After upgrading run Reset this PC and wipe all content.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
Thanks for the reply. It says I'll be needing a "license to install Windows 10" though, does that not mean a product key? I don't have a product key for Win10, and as far as I can tell, the only way to get one is to buy one.

When I googled this before, most results insisted to me that the free upgrade period was over, so I am a bit confused by these replies telling me I can still do it. I don't want to initiate the upgrade process without knowing for sure in case there's no way to back out once I start it. I do agree that if I can just upgrade to Win10 before selling, that is theoretically the most ideal scenario.
 

jojesa

Illustrious
Thanks for the reply. It says I'll be needing a "license to install Windows 10" though, does that not mean a product key? I don't have a product key for Win10, and as far as I can tell, the only way to get one is to buy one.
The Windows 10 upgrade process uses your Windows 7 (activated licence) to create a Windows 10 digital licence.
It still works since I just updated a Windows 7 computer yesterday.

I don't want to initiate the upgrade process without knowing for sure in case there's no way to back out once I start it. I do agree that if I can just upgrade to Win10 before selling, that is theoretically the most ideal scenario.
What's the worse it can happen if it doesn't work: You will sell the computer without an OS like you were thinking doing.

Make sure you use the Windows 10 Update Assistant. Download the file and run it from Windows 7 and select you want to upgrade the computer.

Otherwise you will need to manually enter the Windows 7 key code after Windows 10 is installed.
 
Reactions: Funkonaut

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
149,361
9,802
175,890
23,382
Thanks for the reply. It says I'll be needing a "license to install Windows 10" though, does that not mean a product key? I don't have a product key for Win10, and as far as I can tell, the only way to get one is to buy one.

When I googled this before, most results insisted to me that the free upgrade period was over, so I am a bit confused by these replies telling me I can still do it. I don't want to initiate the upgrade process without knowing for sure in case there's no way to back out once I start it. I do agree that if I can just upgrade to Win10 before selling, that is theoretically the most ideal scenario.
The "official" free upgrade period ran out 2(3?) years ago.
From personal experience, it still works. I validated a clean Win 10 install with an otherwise unused Win 8 license, about 2 months ago.
Yes, it still works.

Do you have the original Win 7 license?
If so, do a full wipe and reinstall of Win 10.
Enter the Win 7 license.
If it works, great...you have a fully licensed Win 10 install on this system.
If it fails, you have a fully installed Win 10, just that it is not activated. Let the new owner figure out his own licensing.



Try it. See what happens.
 
Reactions: Funkonaut

Funkonaut

Honorable
Nov 30, 2013
7
1
10,525
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The Windows 10 free upgrade did work with the link provided in post I marked as Answer. I think I can handle resetting everything else from here. Thanks to you both!
 

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