Sensitive Data Deletion - A couple of queries


New Member
Hi there, I have looked at other threads but still amn't sure of the answer to this.

I am about to sell my laptop to someone and I obviously want to remove all sensitive data - Bank passwords etc - and I think eraser will do what I want it to do. I want to keep the basic XP operating System installed and all the other basic software that comes with a new computer, so that the person buying it from me doesn't have to go to the hassle of re-installing.

Can someone explain exactly how I would do this, in a simple step-by-step process? Once I delete all the files I want to delete, and then empty the 'recycle' bin on the desktop (yeah, I'm really advanced!!)...what next, and how can I be sure all my passwords etc are gone?

That's a really hard question to answer without knowing any specifics about your system software. My adice would be to create a nuke CD, the builder was installer with Eraser, and use that on the entire drive. Yes, tat will delete everything. You would then need to install everything for the buyer again./ At least you will know that your information is safe.
Thanks. The only problem with that is I don't have the original XP discs, as with most computers you buy these days it comes pre-installed. Any solutions for this?

Also, if I do your suggestion, and I do manage to get XP back on, will it have all the basic features that comes with XP...calculator, paint etc, or will these features be nuked for good? Thanks.
If you nuke your disk and get rid of everything then reinstall XP, it'll have the same functions as a basic, noncustomized, installation; such as calculator paint, notepad, etc.
Great, thanks. Will doing this to my hard drive not delete all the drivers too, for my CD burner etc, if so I assume it's just a case of trying to download all the drivers again? Also, someone has advised me that a 'factory restore' is good enough for my purpose, which was my original plan, but I'm not convinced..what are your thougths on this? Thanks again for help.
That could work. But there is a slim chance of programs like Restoration and Recuva, recovery programs, still being able to see and recover the old data. My advice here would be to nuke the entire disk and then revert to the factory defaults. I would er on the side of caution here.
I'd advise caution here as if there is a recovery partition then wiping the hard drive will wipe that too, leaving the user with a hard drive with literally nothing on it - not only no operating system but also no Recovery partition to reset the computer back to the factory image.

Most computers now come with the Windows XP image in a separate partition normally only accessible by pressing a specific key (eg F10, as on my computer) at startup - but all that really is, is a separate partition with a backup of the operating system, drivers etc (in place of the Windows CD), to allow the user to reset everything back to the factory settings and if you wipe that partition then you can't reinstall anything.

Some recovery solutions allow you to create one set of CDs or a DVD, to have a physical disk back up - this would then allow you to wipe the entire disk and then reinstall both the recovery partition and then the user (ie C: drive) partition from this backup disk. My computer allows that and when I have reformatted I have wiped the entire hard drive and used this backup disk, but not every computer manufacturer has this handy little tool as extra backup.