How can I remove all my old files before selling my old computer?

by on December 6, 2011

Q: My father wants to sell our old computer to buy a new one. The problem is I have some old photos I need erased permanently and I don’t have software to do it. What I did was cut out the photo and edit it away so only the edges remained, saved it and deleted it. The guy we’re selling to is tech savvy so I’m wondering if he could manage to get those pictures restored to their past image?
And if so can you explain how I can go along cleaning out the images?


3 Responses to “How can I remove all my old files before selling my old computer?”
  1.  
    Picked as best answer

    Assuming you’ve copied all the data you care about from the computer, use Boot and Nuke to totally wipe the drive.

    Software is free and available at http://www.dban.org/

    The download is a CD/DVD image that will need to be burned to a disk. Then insert the disk and reboot the computer. It should boot from the CD/DVD. Follow the on screen instructions to wipe the drive.

    This will destroy all the data on the computer, including the operating system. So the new owner will need to reinstall Windows. Make sure you have the Windows Product Key before you wipe the drive.

    If you don’t have the Windows Product key, or the key for another program you plan on selling along with the computer, use this program to pull all the product keys and serial numbers for installed software before doing a drive wipe: http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

     
  2.  

    I have Sdelete, will that work just as well? There’s nothing important on the pc other than the pictures.

     
  3.  

    Sdelete if used to delete those photos, should make them unrecoverable.