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Windows 7: user info remains after wiping hard drive

30 Sep 2014   #1
dustman

windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit
 
 
user info remains after wiping hard drive

Hello, all,

I am very confused at this point. I own 2 Dell XPS 8000 computers. One recently laid down. I bought an identical computer on ebay. It looks great. I immediately wiped the hard drive with the free edition of Active Kill Disk. It worked perfectly. I then installed my legally purchased Windows 7 Home Premium disk, (usable as long as another instance is not running, which it isn't, as the original computer is out). While installing the Windows OS, I was never asked for my activation key, which I had ready. I discovered the computer was still registered to the original owner, with THEIR activation key (which I have) and all of their personal data and settings were still there. They were also listed under user account as the administrator. I had gone online to reload my antivirus. Is it possible going on the net allowed the data back in? I have contacted the manufacturer of Active Kill Disk asking if the pro (pay) version would prevent this problem. Never heard back from them.

What is going on? How do I fix this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

dustman


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Sep 2014   #2
Gator

Dual Boot: Windows 8.1 & Server 2012r2 VMs: Kali Linux, Backbox, Matriux, Windows 8.1
 
 

Strange, where did you get the disk from again? I've never personally heard of this happening to anyone. The only thing I can think of, which is a Win8 thing I believe, is that you can transfer settings from other PC's connected to the same network, if you login with the same email address.

I would simply format the disk during the installation process and that should ensure that no settings are left over.

Also, make sure the HD you are trying to install on is the only hard drive or usb connected to the PC.

Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2014   #3
dustman

windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit
 
 

Hello, Gator,

Thanks for the response! The Windows 7 disk is the one I purchased with the computer brand new from Best Buys. that is the computer that recently died. That Windows 7 disk is legit and I have the key. That's what I installed (after I wiped the HD) and I was never asked for my activation key. When I started the computer up, the original owner was still the administrator, including all of his settings. I bought this computer on ebay from Back-in-Use, a non-profit organization that refurbishes and sells computers for the disabled. They were very open, no secrecy. I just don't get this.

dustman
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Sep 2014   #4
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi dustman,

Your experience is quite interesting and surprising.

On the face of it, it appears that active@kill disk did not really wipe it. Can you please point me to the actual download site, which one you downloaded, and how you ran it?

And your Windows 7 install could have as well been a repair install - just a wild guess. May be off the mark by a 1000 fathoms.

From what I understand the used DELL XPS 8000 is still running on the previous user's name. Right?

What edition and bit of Windows is it running? Windows XP/7 ___________ Edition . __bit? How did you get the activation key for it?

Can you please post a screenshot of Windows Disk Management ?

From thereon let us see whether we can catch up, wipe your HDD and install Windows 7.

Just for information:

1. What died in your dead Dell XPS?

2. Did it not come with OEM installed Windows? What OS and bit version?

3. Why did you buy a retail version of Windows 7 Home Premium? ( I presume it to be a retail version, correct me if you had bought a OEM edition)

Of course, I shall be back only after about 10-12 hours since bed time is fast approaching but no bar if others could catch up on it and resolve your problem when I sleep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2014   #5
matts6887

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
 
 

This too; is a odd one for me too. Ive never heard of this happening before as usually; as long as you have a legit version of windows; which you said you do; usually it will ask for your activation key upon installation to activate it. Maybe if you do try the paid version of that disk wipe program it will actually do a complete wipe of the drive. Short of that; I would see if there is any way to completely reformat the drive which in theory should wipe out everything allowing you to start over.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2014   #6
dustman

windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit
 
 
Thanks all! Here are the particulars asked for:

I think I have attached the pic of my original valid Windows 7 Home Premium disc. I bought 2 identical Dell XPS Studio 8000 desktops the same day from Best Buys. The one I use most quit working after making a lot of noise (probably power supply and other stuff). The easiest thing (I thought) would be to buy an identical Dell XPS Studio 8000 on ebay. I bought it, wiped the hard drive (I have an Active Kill Disk disk that has always worked perfectly), using all zeros (this is the free version). Everything was blank. I put in my legit Windows 7 Home Premium disc, and reloaded Windows 7 (not a repair, but a clean install). It worked, but never prompted me for my activation key (which I had ready). When Windows started up, the previous owner was the administrator, and listed under User accounts. All of his settings were also there. I contacted The manufacturer of Active Kill Disk (he is in Canada), and left a message asking if I bought the paid version, it would do the job correctly. He has not replied. I will reconnect the computer and get a screen shot of the Windows Disk management. One other thing, all 3 computers were supposed to have Dell INVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 graphics cards. Diagnosis showed that in both of my original computers, but in the new one, he claimed the GeForce drive was in it, but diagnostics showed STANDARD VGA DISPLAY and many of the windows screen resolution andc color changes and Aero features cannot work. I get error messages that the drivers are insufficient to perform those tasks. The GeForce is not a standard VGA display, it is a higher end gaming graphics card. The seller is swearing that is the right card. I don't think it is.


dustman


Attached Images
user info remains after wiping hard drive-mvc-001s.jpg 
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30 Sep 2014   #7
gregrocker

 

That disk does a Clean Reinstall and self activates, only extra is Dell branding.

All that's needed is to Delete all partitions during the booted reinstall, creating and formatting new as desired. This is pictured in Steps 7 and 8 of Clean Install Windows 7. You either didn't do an install or did it to another partition or hard drive.

You don't need Active kill disk which is overkill. Wiping the disk is only needed for installation problems and then just the simple Diskpart Clean Command
done from the installer's Command Line, then shut the command box and click Install Now.

We can probably spot what happened if you post a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

Follow these steps to do a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. If you really didn't wipe the disk yet then I'd test if Bootable Disgnostcs still runs from F12 at boot, save the Utility partition as written in the Special Note for Dell Owners at end.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2014   #8
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

OK dustman,

You still did not answer my question:

From what I understand the used DELL XPS 8000 is still running on the previous user's name. Right?

What edition and bit of Windows is it running? Windows XP/7 ___________ Edition . __bit? How did you get the activation key for it?

As far as the Windows Installation media you have , it is a DELL OEM installation DVD.

It is nothing but a regular Windows 7 Installation media with OEM activation built in.

When you do a clean install with it, it will auto activate with OEM-SLP (System Locked Preinstallation) Key - provided it came preinstalled with that edition of Windows.

(As a matter of fact, if you had purchased DELL machines and registered your purchase giving the service tag etc., you are entitled to get the OEM installation Disk free of cost by making an onsite request. You need not have purchased it.)

That key will be the same for all DELL machines that come preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Premium and since it is already there in the OEM installation media, you need not input it.

What all you have to do now:

Download the drivers for your DELL XPS model from DELL Website and keep it ready.

Format your drive with Partition Wizard Home Edition boot CD version. Partition it as you may like with sufficient space allocated for the System partition.( If you want to wipe the HDD do it with the same Partition Wizard before formatting but I think it is not necessary..)

Do a clean install with the DELL media on the system partition. Install the drivers.

Done..

(The DELL OEM-SLP key for Windows 7 Home Premium is 6RBBT-F8VPQ-QCPVQ-KHRB8-RMV82. That is the key on my DELL Machine. It will also be the same key on all your DELL machines with Windows 7 Home Premium - 32bit or 64 bit.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2014   #9
dustman

windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit
 
 

Hello again, my friend! I am running a 64 bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium edition. I don't see anything on the disk that indicates an edition number. Where would I find that? And yes, the previous owner is Back-in-Use and he is still listed as the administrator. It even gives his net connections. I had done a complete wipe of the HDD, and when I reloaded windows, it never asked for my key, nor did it offer me a chance to partition. It just loaded Windows.Another funny thing, I also have the Dell Drivers disk that came with my original computers. Whe I had put it iin the one I bought on ebay, it refused to load the drivers, saying this is NOT a Dell computer. Program will close. No matter how you slice it, it is certainly a Dell! Go figure!

dustman
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2014   #10
gregrocker

 

You do not need the drivers disk or to download any drivers as they are provided by Win7 during installl or will be installed from Windows Update after install.

Be sure to enable Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3) then Check for Updates, install all Important and Optional Updates, with requested reboots, until no more are offered when you go back to Check for Updates.

Only after all Updates are installed should you import any drivers from the Dell Support Downloads webpage for your tag number, not the drivers disk which is dated as soon as its pressed.

Other tips here to get and keep a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7have been used by over a million consumers without a single complaint.
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