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Windows 7: How do I delete everything from windows? (selling computer)

03 Apr 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
How do I delete everything from windows? (selling computer)

Hi everyone!
First of all, apologies if this is in the wrong section.
I have a sony vaio laptop, which I want to sell. I am going to back up all my stuff I want to keep to an external drive, but after that, is there a way to delete everything from windows (programs, settings etc) and return it to its factory settings?

How would I do this? I have windows 7 64 bit professional. If someone could help I'd be most grateful!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2014   #2

Windows 7 ultimate x64

Hi, Welcome to Seven forums.

You can do this by re installing Windows 7 using Recovery in Control Panel, under Advanced recovery methods. This method re installs Windows 7, either from a recovery image provided by your computer manufacturer, or from your original Windows 7 installation files. Make 100% all your programs and files are backed up because they will be wiped during the re install.

For all the details on reinstalling visit, Installing and reinstalling Windows. - Microsoft Windows Help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2014   #3

W7, W8.1

...then I'd overwrite the free space, to be sure no personal files could be retrieved. Example, ccleaner's drive wiper (free space).

Attached Thumbnails
How do I delete everything from windows? (selling computer)-wipe.png  
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03 Apr 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP


Enter VAIO Care by pressing the [Assist] Button on your laptop or selecting VAIO Care from the Start menu. Once in VAIO Care choose Recovery then C drive recovery to restore system to the factory image.

I would first create Recovery disks so you have a backup method if Recovery fails when run from its partition. This can also be performed while in VAIO Care. Once In VAIO Care you should see the option to Create recovery software. 2 Blank DVDs will be required.

If both methods fail you can either do the superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 or order Vaio Recovery disks for your model from Sony.

Sometimes if Recovery disks balk you need to wipe the HD first with Diskpart Clean Command
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2014   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Use this tutorial - it shows you how to:

1. Securely wipe the disk of all previous data [very important step], and
2. Reinstall Windows

Windows 7 Installation - Prepare PC to be Sold
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #6

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
Why even bother re-installing Windows.

Download GPARTED, create a bootable USB, boot from it and delete all the partitions.

You might want also do do a secure erase -- write binary zeros to every sector --there's some free programs to do that -just google.

The Secure erase prevents people from "Undeleting" files -- a normal delete just deletes the directory entry and not the actual data. The space is marked as free and the old data is only overwritten when the OS decides a file needs more space so it looks in the "Free space" table.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
You might want also do do a secure erase -- write binary zeros to every sector --there's some free programs to do that -just google
LOL...thats what a clean all does Jimbo....take a look at the tutorial
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I delete everything from windows? (selling computer)

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