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Windows 7: User Accounts and/or undeletable file?

11 Feb 2011   #1

w7 pro 64bit
User Accounts and/or undeletable file?

Hi, not sure if I am posting in the right spot, so please excuse me if not.

I have a laptop from my employer that I want to return as my contract is ending. However I am keen to ensure that I delete all my personal info as I also have work for another contract on it which is quite commercially sensitive (unfortunately I had a period when income would not allow me to have a second machine to keep everything separate). Naturally I have transferred everything I want to another machine and so that is safe.

I have deleted everything I want to from the (dell) laptop, and used CC cleaner to wipe the free space, but I note that there is a file still left in one folder with a name that refers to the other company. If the first company sees that name they may think I have leaked info to a competitor and not want to offer me another contract later this year.

I have tried all I can to delete the file but I get an error message saying it can’t be located (0 bytes) which I assume is because I have already deleted it. I have tried logging off / on 10 times and tried to find the file but of course it is not actually there.
I have two questions, how can I delete this “ghost” file, and / or how can I delete my User Account so that when I return the machine, nothing can be recovered?
Of course because it’s a company machine, although I have admin rights as I need to be able to install programmes etc; I may not have Full rights. I have tried to add another user so I can log on as that user to remove my existing account, but I get an error message about Trust accounts.
Any help appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Feb 2011   #2

Winbdows 7 ultimate x64 | Ubuntu 12.04 x64 LTS

Hello and welcome,
If I were you, considering the sensitivity of data, i'd do a full wipe of the whole harddisk before returning it to the company.
This tool is best for it. Wipes stuffs and recovery is almost impossible.
Darik's Boot And Nuke | Hard Drive Disk Wipe and Data Clearing
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2011   #3

w7 pro 64bit

Errr, but that will remove the Windows installation also wont it and because these days the machine does not ship with a CD, I am likely to get hassel and charged for a new copy...

I would be happy to return it to factory settings, but again I dont have a cd
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Feb 2011   #4

Winbdows 7 ultimate x64 | Ubuntu 12.04 x64 LTS

Well, if you don't have installation media, then in that case, you can boot with a liveCD and delete the file/folders from there.
After that you can use Ccleaner to wipe free space.
KNOPPIX - Live Linux Filesystem On CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2011   #5

w7 pro 64bit

Not too sure what you mean by a LiveCD.

I downloaded a copy of a Windows 7 repair disc?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2011   #6

Winbdows 7 ultimate x64 | Ubuntu 12.04 x64 LTS

No not windows recovery disc, i was talking about other linux based cd's with which you can boot and delete locked files/folders. You can even use any AV Rescue disc like Avira rescue disc, Kaspersky rescue disc etc.
10 Linux rescue tools for recovering Linux, Windows, or Mac machines | TechRepublic
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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