Can I Remove Previous PC Owners 100%?


New Member
Just got a PC from a friend Who got it from a garage sale. The PC is GREAT except for the info. from old owner & my friend is all over the place, not to mention using almost half the drive! Is it possible to get rid of all the info on the HD ( even if it means losing the OS ) and still be able to use or reinstall the OS ( if it is lost ) with just my info on it? I am not a PC PRO and would need a " parent " to hold my fragile childlike hand through almost every step of the way,if it is even possible at all. THANX!!!
If it's just that you want a fresh start (rather than any worries of a forensic examination for the previous owners' records) just re-install your OS using the option to format the harddrive when asked during the installation process.

If you are using Windows XP, the step-by-step on screen instructions are very clear. Just allow an ample amount of time.
If you have the Windows installation disk, I would suggest using DBAN to wipe the hard drive. The default wipe is sufficient for most people. Then reformat, reinstall Windows etc. Whenever I've done a reinstall of the OS I always use DBAN to wipe the hard drive first. It gets rid of everything that was there before and gives a feeling of a fresh install.

A reformat without a wipe means that old data can still be lurking.

Of course, you need to have the reinstallation / Windows disk first and you have to make sure it is bootable, will reinstall the OS etc, otherwise you'll have a clean hard drive and no OS at all (DBAN wipes EVERYTHING).