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Windows 7: Removing user info before sell of HP mini botebook

4 Weeks Ago   #1

Win7 64
Removing user info before sell of HP mini botebook

I'm going to sell my notebook and would like to remove my user/owner info. Besides my files, network connection, is there anyway to remove my name, etc, other than doing a system reset to factory which I think then will need to download all the updates again?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #2
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PAWOODCHUCK View Post
I'm going to sell my notebook and would like to remove my user/owner info. Besides my files, network connection, is there anyway to remove my name, etc, other than doing a system reset to factory which I think then I will need to download all the updates again?
I put this together sometime ago for somebody else who enquired about what they should do if they were to sell their computer. I hope you can make use of it!

How To Prepare A Desktop/Laptop For Re-Sale

When planning on selling your old desktop or laptop it is imperative that you make sure that none of your data or files can be recovered by the new owner. This is very important for security reasons as you could possibly have personal and sensitive data stored on the HDD, including usernames, passwords, and bank details. If somebody has the time, inclination, and can be bothered to do this, there are many free programs on the Internet that can recover deleted data and files. That is why it is so important to get it right!

[Part 1] Recommended PRIOR to preparing the computer for resale.

NOTE: The light blue text below are links to the relevant websites and programs, just click them!

[1] Remove any external HDD’s and USB’s.
[2] Make sure that you have the Product Key for the OS. If you don't, you can retrieve it by either using Belarc Advisor or Magic Jelly Bean. Write this Product Key down and keep it in a safe place ready to give to the new owner.

NOTE: If your OS is an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] and you use the restore to factory settings from the recovery partition option, you will NOT need the Product Key because it is hardcoded into the factory image.

[3] Backup ALL your data and files to an external HDD or USB FIRST.
[4] Make sure that you have ALL the license/product keys for software that you have purchased or installed.

[Part 2] Securely erase [wipe] your HDD.

The most secure and efficient method of doing this is to use DISKPART and the command Clean All.

[1] Open an elevated command prompt [or a command prompt at boot]:
  • Click Start.
  • In the search box type cmd.
  • Right-click the cmd icon from the search results under Programs and select Run as administrator.
[2] At the prompt C:\Windows\system32>, type diskpart and press Enter.
[3] At the prompt, type list disk and press Enter. This will give you a list of disk numbers to select from.
[4] At the prompt, type select disk # [where # is disk number that you want to clean all on] and press Enter.
[5] If the status of the selected disk # shows as Offline, type online disk and press Enter. This will make it online.

[6] At the prompt, type clean all and press Enter.

NOTE: This will take quite some time [possibly a few hours] to complete, depending on the size of the HDD, because it writes over each and every sector with zeros. It completely and securely deletes MBR or GPT partitions, volumes, and any hidden sector information on MBR disks, therefore completely and securely deleting ALL the data on the disk. When it has finished, it will give you the message DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk..

[7] At the prompt, type exit and press Enter. Close the elevated command prompt. The disk now shows as Unallocated space.

[Part 3] Install Windows 7 upto OOBE [Out-of-Box Experience].

[1] Boot the computer from the Win 7 installation DVD/USB.
[2] When you are prompted to, Press any key to boot from CD or DVD....
[3] Setup the Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method preferences and click Next.
[4] Click Install Now.
[5] Check the I accept the license terms box and click Next.
[6] Click the Custom (advanced) option.
[7] As we have run diskpart and used the command clean all, the whole of Disk 0 is shown as Unallocated space, so click Next. The installation will now begin!
[8] After the final restart, you will see the screen Setup is preparing your computer for first use.
[9] DO NOT ENTER USERNAME & COMPUTER NAME. Instead, press CTRL+SHIFT+F3. This boots Win 7 into so called Audit Mode using the built-in administrator profile. There's no need to set up any user accounts because that should be left to the new owner to do.

[10] Win 7 starts again in Audit Mode. Click Cancel to close the System Preparation Tool.
[11] Browse to and right-click C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe, select Run as administrator to open System Preparation Tool [sysprep].

[12] In the System Cleanup Action drop down box, select Out-of-Box Experience [OOBE].
[13] In the Shut Down Options drop down box, select Shutdown and press OK.

The next time the computer is booted [by the new owner] it goes into what is called the first boot (Out-of-Box Experience) and will initially ask for the input of the username and computer name.

This method leaves the Desktop/Laptop without any user accounts or computer name. There will be no traces that anybody has ever owned it and it will be in the exact same state as it was when it was brand new. The new owner will need to setup a username, a computer name, activate Windows with the Product Key that you give them and run WU [Windows Update].

That's it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Removing user info before sell of HP mini botebook

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