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How to Remove Personal Info Before Returning Laptop?

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by buffettologie, Jun 10, 2007.

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  1. buffettologie

    buffettologie Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello All,

    Long story short, I really wanted a T61, but didn't want to wait so I decided to go down to Costco and get a notebook there. I ended up purchasing a Sony VGN-C260E. It's a nice notebook, but not exactly what I wanted, so I decided to go ahead and order a T61 and just wait. My question is: how thorough do I need to be in removing my info from it before I return it? What will they do with it after I bring it back? Would just deleting my files and internet information be enough - specifically asking because I always allowed it to save my login info, etc. and don't want someone to have all of my passwords in case it were to get into the hands of someone who knew what they were doing.
     
  2. taelrak

    taelrak Lost

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    You should just do a full reformat of the entire HDD.

    If necessary, you could reinstall windows or use their recovery disks to restore it to factory settings in case they won't accept it for some reason.

    If for some reason you don't want to do a full reformat (which I strongly suggest you do), then go into your web browser or whatever you used, and there'll always be an option somewhere to clear all your private data - this includes temporary internet files, browser history, cookies, saved forms and passwords, and whatever other "conveniences" the browser lets you (for example, some browsers like opera offer features that make it easier for you to fill out the same forms over and over again (e.g. magic wand)...you'll want to delete those as well).

    There are applications out there that let you destroy files completely on the HDD (e.g. Restoration, and even AVG antispyware lets you do it).

    At the least, do a full defrag of your HDD after you delete everything...this makes it harder for restoration utilities to recreate full readable files from your HDD if you decide not to shred them.
     
  3. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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  4. buffettologie

    buffettologie Notebook Enthusiast

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    One follow-up. I installed Office 2007 Home and Student Edition on it and from my packaging it says that I get 3 licenses with this software. Is there a way I can deactivate it on the Sony so that I can still install it on 3 machines in the future?
     
  5. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    As long as you only use it on 3 machines, you should be fine. You might have to call MS on a later install, but tell them the truth that you are only using it on 2 or 3 PCs and you should be fine.
     
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