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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Want to clear laptop before return for repair

    My Toshiba Satellite C660 laptop needs to go in for post-warranty repairs (bad CD/DVD drive.) I believe it would be best to wipe my data from the drive before shipping. I am wondering what would be best practice.


    I booted into the Windows Recovery Environment (F8 at startup, I believe) and saw the "Toshiba Recovery Wizard." Options look like it will return the laptop to purchase-day/OEM status. (Saw 'Warning! all data will be deleted and rewritten.' alert on that screen.)


    I have Dropbox, and Evernote as cloud services. I will disable synching in each case before further prep work.


    o Dropbox - System Tray > Dropbox > right-click > Preferences
    - Account > Unlink this computer
    - "This will stop syncing your files with Dropbox but won't delete the files in the Dropbox folder on this computer."

    o Evernote - I unchecked automatic syncing. (Tools > Options > Sync.)


    I have heard of Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN - http://www.dban.org), which is often recommended when you donate or recycle a laptop or computer but I think this would be overkill. This laptop came with Windows 7 installed. It has a recovery partition but I have no media for a full, bare-metal reinstall. I have a Windows backup and an Acronis True Image backup of my drive and manual backups of Documents, Pictures, and Downloads.


    I'm figuring I will go with the Toshiba OEM wipe routine. Suggestions or comments?

    Paul

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Why don't you just remove the hard drive before shipping? Toshiba doesn't need it to replace an optical drive.

  3. #3
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    If the machine is out of warranty, why not replace the DVD drive yourself? It's very easy and requires no technical knowledge. See this YouTube video for a very simple procedure.


    If you have send it to Toshiba, they may complain in there is no HD in the unit. They don't actually need it, even for testing, but they may complain as it may be outside the standard repair process to test the machine without a hard drive. If therefore you do send it away and they require the hard drive to be present, running the factory recovery tool prior to dispatch is a good bet. Using DBAN will make the machine non bootable from that drive and may cause them issue s.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    You could always make an Image for yourself, then recover the PC to factory. Once returned just restore your Image. Done!
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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  6. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    >>If you have send it to Toshiba, they may complain in there is no HD in the unit. They don't actually need it, even for testing, but they may complain as it may >>be outside the standard repair process to test the machine without a hard drive.

    When the screen broke on my Acer netbook and I called to arrange a warranty repair, tech support told me they couldn't guarantee my data wouldn't get lost when I sent the netbook to them. When I asked them why that would be a possibility, THEY suggested I just pull the hard drive. I agree with Tinto Tech that the simplest thing would be for Paul to replace the ODD himself, but if he doesn't want to, he could call Toshiba and ask if it would be OK for him to pul the hard drive before sending the laptop in.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Ted's idea makes the most sense to me. You don't want to give them any excuses for not fixing it and your personal data would be safely kept in your backup drive image.

    Jerry

  8. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Restoring to factory default would be the best idea.
    You may also defrag the drive then wipe the free space with CCLeaner if you were particularly paranoid.

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  10. #8
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    Thanks, all. I will backup, image, and restore to factory default, wiping the free space. That way my data is safe with me and they don't need username and password, etc. for access and testing.

    This isn't Toshiba, it is an extended warranty service group. The repair agreement states, "It is your responsibility to backup your data. During the repair process 'your hard drive will be re-imaged if it fails Quality assurance testing.'" Naturally, they do offer "Complete Hard Drive Back Up ($199) and Data Protection Service ($99)", if desired.

    While in the past, I have had no trouble working and replacing components in desktop/tower computers, laptops are always a hairy proposition. Read the extensive intro chapters in Rosenthal's "The Laptop Repair Workbook" to gain some humility. I'm leaving it to the pros.

    Thanks again to all. It is much appreciated.

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