How to Wipe Personal Files and Reinstall Windows?


I am giving my desktop to my parents. I trust him to not download anything fishy but there may be some personal files/login credentials that I would not want to be taken by a virus or keylogger that the young ones who still live with them may download because they aren't quite familiar enough with the Internet to spot a bad site.

I know there are ways to wipe the hard drive FBI style using a nuke and wipe but I simply want to restore all Windows files to factory condition so my personal User files will never have existed and my father can have a nice newer desktop to use.

My desktop did not come with a recovery disk (it's 64-bit OEM Windows 7) but I did use the Gateway Recovery Management program to create a "Factory Default Disc". Is it enough for me to just use that?
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  1. Best answer
    You can get an ISO of Win7 here

    Now if you go this path, you can erase(format the drive.) A quick format is technically not an erase, but just tells the computer the drive has not data and over time it gets overwritten. If you do a FULL format, it takes forever, but will set the full drive to ZEROs so no data should be left(unless you are dealing with someone REAL good).

    You can also get utilities to fill the drive with random junk thus overwriting everything.

    I do not think a virus will go to the point of looking for recoverable data and key loggers only log while you are using the system.

    I would just quick format that sucker with the Windows DVD. Once you get it installed you need to install drivers then activate Windows.

    A fresh install has NOTHING but windows, so software and drivers are gone as well.

    If the new users have issues with messing up systems, I would make a backup image(ghost/easeus/ect) of the system just before they get it.

    It would also not hurt to create a second partition(third if you count the system reserved) to store files on so that if Windows gets messed, at least you can just restore everything on c : without having to worry about files.

    Its good to see a system getting a second home vs being trashed :)
  2. Create new user accounts for them and just change your password to something they don't know. If it is not the admin account, once their login/user accounts are made, you can always just delete your account?
  3. ^^^ Noooo
    Do what Nukemaster says. You need to make the data gone, not just inaccessible to a regular user.
  4. Duplicate post..........
  5. Whoops didn't mean for a duplicate. Sorry!
  6. Best answer selected by onewingedangel0920.
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