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I need help regarding my computer ASAP please

(8 Posts)
Littlemissmischief Sat 17-Oct-09 16:17:54

Hi,

I have an Acer Aspire T180 desk top and am selling it tomorrow so want to restore it to factory settings but cant seem to do it.

Please help me, many thanks x

Tee2072 Sat 17-Oct-09 16:20:14

Do a google search for 'zero out hard drive'. There are a few free programmes that will come up.

Littlemissmischief Sat 17-Oct-09 16:25:00

Hi, thanks Tee2072 - can you just clarify, i go on the internet and put that in and there will be programmes to help me restore to factory settings?

Sorry Im not very good at this blush

Tee2072 Sat 17-Oct-09 16:33:38

yes

WebDude Sun 18-Oct-09 17:49:15

Sounds to me to be more like WIPING the hard drive, not the same as fresh from factory (and ready to run Windows).

BadgersPaws Mon 19-Oct-09 09:26:47

I'd think that the wipe is the essential part of the process. It's about making sure that you don't just delete your data but make it more trouble than it's worth to get at. You don't want someone buying your laptop and getting at your passwords, photos and private emails.

Then if you can reinstall Windows, which will help the machine to sell.

WebDude Mon 19-Oct-09 17:54:40

Yes, wiping data is one thing, but it wasn't what was asked, to be fair, and if Littlemissmischief has advertised it as "back to factory settings" but it ends up unable to run Windows, then it moves to not being "as advertised"...

Since Windows XP, not all machines have come with a Windows CD, so reinstalling isn't always an option, and unless the software one downloads respects "hidden" partitions, a "restore" CD might be unable to take the laptop back to "factory settings".

I just wanted to sound a bit of caution, hopefully so the OP might spot the difference, and for Tee2072 to consider too...

BadgersPaws Tue 20-Oct-09 09:20:24

Good points but a lot of people, including Government people who really should know better, don't understand the huge potential security risk that disposing of a computer without wiping the disk drive is.

It's another of the reasons that I don't like how Microsoft dealers do things and prefer the Apple way. Apple make it easy to do a reasonably secure wipe of a computer and reinstall the Operating System taking the machine back to it's "as new" state, as WebDude says with Windows PCs this is often tricky.

As it happens a few years ago I did write a program that would fill up the spare space on a hard disk with random noise when I was facing the issue of disposing of a PC that I didn't want to go through the trouble of rebuilding from scratch. Deleting all personal data and then running that a few times seemed a sufficient level of protection.

I could offer that around, but people don't know me from Adam and running it would be a huge security risk.

So I'll end by sounding my own note of caution, disposing of a computer without specifically wiping, not just deleting, the data on it is a security risk and the new owner could potentially read anything you had stored on it.

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