What should I do to prepare laptop ready to sell?

Damo77

Standard Member
I am going to sell my old Sony Vaio Laptop and have already deleted all files from the hard drive and also removed any unnecessary programs.

But I've heard I can format the hard drive to ensure all is cleared from it. How do I do this?

Apart from this is there anything else I should be doing before I sell it?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
Damian
 

brookheather

Distinguished Member
Deleting files does not really delete them - they can still be recovered and personal information accessed (just formatting will also not really delete anything). Do you have the recovery disks for your laptop? Ideally you should securely wipe your hard drive (Google for various free applications that can do this) and then reinstall Windows on the wiped disc. Failing this you should just remove the hard drive when you sell it.

- Simon.
 

AstraK

Active Member
I would have formatted mine and used the recovery disks, but the laptop totally failed (hence selling for spares), so i just whipped the HDD out, cleaned it up a bit and sold it.
 

Damo77

Standard Member
Wow didn't realise it would be quite so difficult!

I'll have to double check if I still have all the disks.

Is it easy enough to do use software and wipe everything? Roughly how long will it all take to do and then reload windows?

Cheers.
 

brookheather

Distinguished Member
Wiping time will depend on the size of your hard disc and how secure an algorithm you select - some will write random data to the whole hard drive several times - it may take an hour or two. Reinstalling Windows should take under an hour.

- Simon.
 

Damo77

Standard Member
Thanks for the advise, much appreciated.

Any recommendations on free software I can use to wipe the drive? Something easy to use if possible.

Cheers.
 

brookheather

Distinguished Member

turk3y

Well-known Member
I have used boot and nuke a few times, does what it says on the tin ;)

Darik's Boot And Nuke | Hard Drive Disk Wipe and Data Clearing

like any of these tools, read the faq and most importantly

make sure you have a copy of anything you want to keep

this includes photos, music and that excel sheet you keep with passwords :)

there is no going back from this without a forensic lab a large budget and luck.
 

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