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Best way clean a laptop w/o reformatting

By heckfire ·
What is the best utility(s) to use to clean a laptop without reformatting? I will be leaving my position this year and have to turn in my laptop, and I know to uninstall my programs, use a registry cleaner, etc.; however, I was wondering if there is one sure fire way to trully clean a laptop of my presence without reformatting the harddrive.

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by TheChas In reply to Best way clean a laptop w ...

I believe that Norton Utilities includes a file cleaner that does a fairly decent job at making it hard to recover deleted files.

All-in-all, it really depends on how valuable or interesting the data on the drive is.
Data reportedly can be recovered from any drive using electron microscopes.

It has been discussed many times, that the ONLY way to prevent ANY chance of data recovery is to physically destroy the platters in the hard drive.

So, is the risk of any data recovery worth more to you than the cost of a new hard drive?
If so, you might want to replace the hard drive and destroy the old drive.

Chas

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by wlbowers In reply to Best way clean a laptop w ...

Uninstall your programs.

Delete your user id and email in your email program.

Use regedit and do a find search on your programs, user id, email id ect.

Delete all references found.

Now optimize your hard drive.

Now use a utility that can erase the free space on your drive.

Unless someone wants to go to extremes this should clean it off.

If they have the restore disk I would use them to erase and restore the hard drive.

Personally I would erase the drive and use a secure erase program.

The use a patteren of formating that is random. With every pass the data is distorted making restore more difficult.

Here are some.

http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/
http://www.east-tec.com/eraser/
http://www.panicware.com/product_sureclean.html
http://www.killdisk.com/

While these programs will make it harder they don't make it impossible.

I have a program I use for Lawyers and Doctors. It is called a 5lb sledge.

Good Luck Lee

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