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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Is deleting a user account effective way to clean a PC for sale?

    I have a couple old PCs I want to sell. Obviously I want to clean off any old personal information but I don't want to take the time and hassle of a clean OS reinstall. So if I just delete the old user accounts and leave an admin account does that effectively clean the personal info? Of course I would run a "disk cleaning" utility to wipe the unused space. That would remove all the "My Documents", "My Pictures", "My Videos", and "My Downloads," as well as all the browser temps files and cookies. Right? Anything else to consider?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If you want to be confident your personal data cannot be accessed, you need to get a disk wiping program, use it to wipe your disk, and then reinstall your OS. Simply removing your account does not permanently erase your data. Any disk recovery program like Recuva can retrieve your data. If you have a restore disk or partition, restoring the disk to factory state is reasonably safe but data can still be recovered by a determined hacker.

    If you go the disk wipe route, freeware killdisk (http://www.killdisk.com/) is one good choice. Download the DOS iso file, create a bootable cd from the iso, boot the CD and run killdisk.

    Jerry

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    CCleaner also has a Disk Wiper in the Tools section.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    CCleaner also has a Disk Wiper in the Tools section.
    But that doesn't work on the boot drive.

    Jerry

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I've never tried it, but it appears it will based on this screen shot:

    DriveWipeCCleaner.jpg

    Many people that use CCleaner have just one drive.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Piniform says it's disabled for the boot drive. From http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleane...ree-disk-space

    Entire Drive will erase all of the files on the drive. WARNING, this means the whole of the partition will be erased. The drive will still be formatted, but all data will be erased. For safety reasons, this feature is disabled for the boot drive.
    Edit: You could delete all your data and then use the wipe free space function of CCleaner. That should be reasonably safe. Is that what you were getting at Ted?

    Jerry
    Last edited by jwitalka; 2013-02-18 at 22:12.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Yes, you can wipe free space. If you have deleted your data then wiping free space should overwrite the deleted data since once you delete the data it will appear as free space.

    It sounded like the OP wanted to do this. Leave the OS and just get rid of all his personal data on the PC. By deleting the data, then using the Wipe Free Space option, he should be able to effectively overwrite all his data so that no-one can get this data back. I would definitely do at least 3 overwrites rather than just a simple overwrite (1 pass)

    I guess at times I do not go far enough in explaining how I would do something. Perhaps I am assuming it's rather obvious and we all know what assume means.
    Last edited by Medico; 2013-02-19 at 05:30.
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