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  1. #1
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    unneeded Windows files

    I am preparing an older PC with Windows 10 to give it away. It has one drive with two partitions. My intent is to get the PC to have Windows 10 on a new 240 GB SSD and a HDD for files. I have deleted all my documents, photos, etc. but am left with 120GB of data on the C: drive. Much of that is in App Data, Program Files, etc. How can I remove everything but the OS so I can clone it to the new SSD. I do have the Key codes (Jelly Bean) for this Windows installation and I have a Windows 10 install disk from another machine. Can I use that install disk with the codes of the PC I am giving away? All machines are 64 bit. I understand a fresh install is preferable but I do not want to risk having a PC without Windows.

    In a related issue on another PC, I reinstalled Win 10 and it created a 1.2 GB file named Windows.old. Do I need to keep that since the new install is working fine? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you are preparing the machine to give away, a fresh install is the only method, but you must upgrade to W10 first to qualify for the free upgrade, then re-install and choose the delete old data option.

    Windows.old is the recovery location in case you decide to revert. If you do nothing it will be deleted 30 days after you upgraded.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Just reset the whole thing and be done with it or clean install on the new drive.

    You've got entire folder sets named sysWOW64 & WinSXS, that are right full of all your leftover programs.
    Uninstalling programs will never fully resolve it. Besides, if you're cloning, you can lighten the load considerably and give the next person a fully cleaned up computer.

    You should be able to move the OS to a new drive without voiding it.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2016-01-28 at 11:54.
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  4. #4
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    Just a reminder that deleting a file does not remove its contents from the storage media. You need to "wipe" the drive (or partition). The procedure to do this has been amply detailed in other threads.

    I believe that if you have performed the Win 10 upgrade procedure on a system, it has been registered with Microsoft. You can install a new SS drive and do a clean install of Win 10 on it and it should activate properly although you may need to do it by telephone. After doing this, then install the wiped HDD and you should be good to go.

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  6. #5
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    The simplest way to wipe a disk is to format it using the "full format" option.

    cheers, Paul

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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    A full format still wont make everything unrecoverable. The most secure method is DBAN, but note the caveat for SSDs.

    http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/deta..._and_nuke.html

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    Why won't a full format make everything unrecoverable?

    All you really need to do on an SSD is delete the data, empty the recycle bin and wait for trim to come along and clean up - a re-boot should be sufficient. Trim resets "empty" locations to zeros so they can be written to again. Without Trim you would need to perform an erase and write making your shiny new SSD very slow.
    For the really paranoid use the manufacturer's wipe utility, if they have one.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #8
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    If you perform what is called a high level format, referred to as a quick format, the method is not secure seeing as it only erases the boot sector and partition table, thus leaving all of the other files intact. If you use low level formatting, referred to officially as disk reinitialization, the process goes through your disk and sets values to zero and will theoretically erase a hard drive completely. However, recoverable fragments may still remain. To erase the disk fully, you need software which will overwrite the entire disk with ones and zeros multiple times. In fact, there are techniques and equipment that can recover data from hard drives that have been "wiped" over with zeroes or random bits, but these are in the purview of the intelligence services and the FBI and not available to us mere mortals.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If one needs to go to such lengths then often times it's easier to just trash the drive altogether.
    And that'll depend largely upon what potential data you have on the drive that you're not willing to have fall into anybody else's hands.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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