Trying to sell my laptop, but... *HELP*

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by VaderPrime1, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    ... I need help.

    I got a new MacBook Pro, so my old Dell Inspiron has no use to me anymore. I need to prepare it for resale (craigslist/ebay/ect.).

    1.) I don't know how to make sure everything is off of the hard drive.

    2.) How can I put Windows 7 back on the hard drive after I wipe it if Dell didn't send me a reinstall disc with it? (I do have a reinstall disc for my desktop Dell, but can it be reused later if I use it for the laptop?)
     
  2. Sokar

    Sokar Well-Known Member

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    I think you should be able to make a set of backup disks using the Dell software that came with the laptop. The settings should allow you to just create a set of factory restore disks.

    After you have those are made, you will need to format the drive (you should actually do this several times) using a boot disk to get to a command prompt before windows starts.

    Then just use the factory restore disks and you should have a clean computer ready to go.
     
  3. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    1.) You need a program that actually wipes the drive. It formats it and then replaces all of what's on there with random and pointless 0's and 1's and then cleans the whole thing again.

    There's freeware that does it, and then there's programs like Wipedrive.

    2.) Check in the start menu, there should be a recovery tool program listed in there. You can use that to create the restore disc set that Dell no longer includes when mass producing these. You'll need 2 single layer DVD discs or 1 dual layer DVD disc. The program will not allow you to use CDs. The file size is ginormous and an entire CD spindle would be used before you got half way through it. lol

    Do not use Windows to format the drive, it will not erase your information. It'll be hidden on there and a person with the right experience will be able to retrieve it. No matter how many times you format using Windows, it'll never be clean, you must use a wiping utility.

    Post your laptop's model number so we can get a better look at it. (Not the service tag)
     
  4. ckhtiger

    ckhtiger old skool fool

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    or you could do what I did--just don't include the hard drive. they only cost like $30 for a new one anyway, and anyone savvy enough to use the internet to purchase a computer should be able to get themselves a new hd and install it.
     
  5. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    I believe this is it: i1564-8634OBK

    I couldn't find it anywhere on the computer itself. I got it from Amazon.

    I did notice that on the bottom of the laptop there is a Windows 7 sticker with the product key on it. Is that just because it's pre-installed?

    Wouldn't I have to bring the price down on what I'm asking? On the other hand I could use it as a backup hard drive for my Mac right? (reformat it of course)
     
  6. Tripredacus

    Tripredacus K-Mart-ian Legend

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    The sticker is a COA (the key is practically worthless) that certifies that the Windows that was installed by the company whose name is on the sticker. In this case, Dell's name is on the COA and also in Windows.

    Save your data off the drive, then run the factory recovery on it. You can do this by pressing F8 before Windows loads, and choose the "Repair your computer" option, which should be the one highlighted by default.

    Recovery partition usually will give you some options, but you want the one that DOES NOT save any of your data (obviously). Using any other tools to fully format the drive is going to make it downright impossible to put Windows back on the notebook without either putting a pirated copy on there (you wouldn't want to sell it like that btw) or paying for a new copy of Windows.
     
  7. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    Even if I put it on the DVDs like said?

    Would it just be easier to just wipe the hard drive, remove it, and sell it without one? (leaving whoever buys it to a hard drive and operating system of their choice) If I do that is all of my information off of the computer or is some of it stored on the motherboard. (like on the PS3s: login info is stored in the motherboard, making a wiped hard drive useless anyway)
     
  8. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    You could use it as backup drive in your Mac. No problem. And yeah, you probably would have to drop the price some because of the lack of a hard drive.

    As for the sticker, it's a Certificate Of Authenticity and works two ways.
    1.) Certifies that Windows is installed, activated and legitimate.
    2.) A backup key if you ever need to install Windows from a different disk and need to activate it yourself.

    When manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Toshiba build these by the boatload, they use a system known as SLP (System Locked Preinstallation). Basically, they build one master system, install Windows and the hardware and then make an image of that system's hard drive, with key and activation already in place. They mass produce the discs or recovery partition for each computer made in that series. It saves them time and money.

    The COA key isn't worthless. It's rarely used, but not worthless.

    If he has the restore disc set made, he can wipe the drive and reinstall Windows safely, without any hassle or problem. Doing it your way will retain his personal info.

    But he absolutely must have the restore disc set first.

    If the recovery software allows you to put it on DVD, you'll be fine. You can wipe out the drive, make it a blank hard drive and then reinstall Windows to factory settings using the disc set you made. (If you made it.)

    You could remove it and sell it without one, but you'll have to lower the price of the laptop, most likely. PCs aren't like the PS3. The info is contained only on the HDD itself, not on the motherboard or anything like that.

    1.) Backup your files.
    2.) Make the restore disc set.
    3.) Wipe the drive (2-3 times to make sure everything is clean).
    4.) Reinstall Windows using the disc set.
    5.) Sell.
    6.) Profit.
     
  9. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    Awesome! Thanks!

    So do I just copy the restore file to the DVDs?

    EDIT: I'll try to see if I Google can help too.

    EDIT 2: My desktop came with a reinstallation disc though, can that be used on my laptop? If so, can it be used again after that for the desktop. (I'm asking because if it does work but only once, I want to save it for the desktop, 'cuz technically it's my dads)
     
  10. Grimlocks Pretender Shell

    Grimlocks Pretender Shell mmmm...energon

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    Follow Vader Primes advice to the letter. You can't use the Desktop Reinstallation disc. Not if you want to resell the Laptop.
     
  11. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    No. The restore program should provide you with a step by step process to assist you in creating the recovery disc set. You can't make the set the way you're thinking.

    The reinstallation disc that came with your Dad's PC can be reused again and again, it's not a one time deal. If the desktop and the laptop are both Dells, the disc should work for reinstallation, but there's a catch. You won't get the drivers and software necessary for the operation of the laptop. A laptop requires a bit more junk to make it work, than a desktop does. There are special keyboard drivers, media buttons, card readers, etc. The reinstallation disc is usually just Windows itself and you'll need to download the drivers and install them one by one to make it work before selling it.

    This is why making a restore disc set and using it to reinstall Windows is the best option.

    EDIT: I went to Dell's website and found your model. It's the Inspiron 1564. I went through their help and support pages and found exactly what you need to make the restore disc set. You can find all the directions in this link: http://support.dell.com/support/top...s/document?c=us&cs=19&docid=266282&l=en&s=dhs

    You must read it thoroughly and follow the directions to the letter. This is pretty much a one shot deal.
    One mistake and you'll have to order the set of discs from Dell. It's not difficult, just time consuming. You must have the laptop connected to it's power adapter and not running off of the battery. If the PC shuts down or goes to sleep, the process can be interrupted and it may not allow you to try again.

    Just follow the instructions and you'll do fine.

    EDIT 2: Here's a free disc wiping utility: http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm
    Here's the direct link for the download you'll need to make the wiping disc: http://software.lsoft.net/KillDiskSuiteFree-Setup.exe

    Run the .exe program and it'll help you create the disc needed to wipe.

    1.) Make the restore disc set following the Dell instructions I posted earlier in this post.

    2.) Backup and save all of your personal information. (Open your user folder, highlight all of the folders to select them all inside of it and save them. Burn them to disc or copy them to an external hard drive. I recommend the external hard drive option. It's faster, easier and more reliable.)

    3.) Use the disc wipe to remove Windows. Rerun the disc 2-3 times to make sure the hard drive is completely clean. (Warning: wiping takes a long time. Set aside anywhere from 2-6 hours for this process to complete. It will take 2-6 hours for each wipe, but it's worth it. You can be sure the drive is clean, sell the system complete without losing money, and the buyer won't have to buy a new hard drive.)

    4.) Put the first restore disc in, follow the instructions on screen, when it asks for disc 2, put it in and follow the instructions. Once done, the program will tell you to remove all discs and restart the computer, once it restarts, Windows is reinstalled and ready to go for the buyer. It'll be like the system is brand new and none of your personal information will be on it.

    EDIT 3: Crap! I forgot to tell you which wipe method to use! Each wiping method is different, each one consumes more or less time. You'll want to use DoD (Department of Defense certified).

    If you use the DoD method, you'll only need to run the disc once. (I recommend this option.)
     
  12. Tripredacus

    Tripredacus K-Mart-ian Legend

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    To think of all the hard work that went into creating that recovery partition and you just want to blow it away... :crazy: 

    IDK what kind of data you're talking about here, are we talking about fear of violating HIPAA or something? The full recovery will format the OS drive. I wouldn't be so paranoid to think that whoever buys it from you is going to immediately bust out the data recovery tools to steal your info.
     
  13. yodafett

    yodafett Well-Known Member

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    I would. Especially if I kept anything on it like purchase records or financial documents. It's one of the easiest ways to get that data, just buying old HDs or PCs with HDs inside them. It's cheap, and not that difficult.
     
  14. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    My laptop came with a driver disc.
     
  15. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a sec.

    When you reinstall Windows using the recovery disc set, it restores the hard drive back to factory settings, like it was when you bought the PC. That includes restoring the partitions and the recovery sector.

    The only thing you can't do once you've restored like that, is make another set of discs.

    And no, full recovery does not format the OS drive. It writes thin layer of information over what you've had previously installed. When you reinstall Vista or 7, old drivers and program settings can pop up in your current installation and cause BSoD. (This is why they tell you to use system restore, the recovery console, and many other things before formatting.)

    As for being paranoid, it's not what you think. It's about the new owner having access to your emails, banking info, stuff like that. If the person is tech savvy, they can recover that info.

    Yep. This is exactly why a drive should be wiped before selling or returning a PC.

    Good. You shouldn't need to use it if the recovery disc set works. You will need to include the recovery disc set and the drivers disc when selling the unit. It's only fair.

    In case anyone's confused about the recovery partition, recovery disc set, etc...

    The companies tell you to make that disc set as soon as possible in case of hard drive failure so you can reinstall Windows. If the hard drive fails, you're going to lose the recovery partition anyway. This disc set prevents you from losing what you bought. You might need to replace the hard drive, but once you pop in the discs, you're good to go like new, all over again. Partitions and everything.
     
  16. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    Awesome. Thank you so much for helping with this! :thumb 

    I'm going to be away over the weekend, but I hope to get some DVDs and do this ASAP. I let you know how it goes.
     
  17. Tripredacus

    Tripredacus K-Mart-ian Legend

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    Of course, make the disks first then use the built in recovery. Oh and if you choose to run the full recovery, it does format the drive if the notebook uses the WinRE recovery method. You can't tell me it doesn't, or technically you can if you want but it doesn't change the fact. ;)  I know how both the common recovery partitions work (WinRE and SoftThinks) and the full recovery will format the drive.

    What you are describing is not the full recovery option. There is an option to recover without formatting the drive. There may be options to not do the full recovery, those particular differences vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
     
  18. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    It says that the DoD method is only in the paid version. I guess I should just do the free version a few times then?


    EDIT: Wow, I can't even find the Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 on my computer. I typed it into Start and nothing comes up. There is a folder that's labeled "Dell DataSafe" but it says "(empty)" when I click on it from the Start menu. :confused: 

    EDIT 2: Found a link to Dell's site for a download of the software. (Has to check your computer to see if I even can - Passed and getting the free version)
     
  19. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    Oh, sorry about the paid vs free thing. I should've paid more attention. Yes, the free version, a few times, should do the trick.

    That really sucks that you have to download the DataSafe stuff. I can't even understand why Dell would have such a ridiculous set up.
     
  20. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    That's cool man, no biggie.

    The Dell download was pretty quick and it's already writing the files on the first disc. :) 
     

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