How to completely erase personal stuff from a computer, without formatting and reinstalling Windows?

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
afterburn Senior Member • Posts: 1,075
Re: You have the tools already
1

PhotoFactor wrote:

afterburn wrote:

PhotoFactor wrote:

afterburn wrote:

DMKAlex wrote:

How to completely erase personal stuff from a computer, without formatting and reinstalling Windows? Windows 10.

Go into settings to reset the pc and select include personal files. It will be just as fresh as a new install. Want more, log in again and follow this guide :https://www.howtogeek.com/137108/how-securely-overwrite-free-space-in-windows/ and nobody will be able to recover anything either.

Suggestions to reinstall above also require that guide if you are worried about recovery as not even a regular format and reinstall will render files unrecoverable perse.

It is the quickest and easiest method. Don't buy into the aluminum hats.

It's not alumnium hat to worry about data being properly erased. I would want to ensure that the reset truly erases the personal files, or you could undelete them.

I've used the program ERASER in the past to fully wipe a drive, it can even do many passes.

A reset of windows 10 does exactly what it says. It deletes all programs, drivers, registry entries and everything else, including personal data if selected, and returns windows to the state of a freshly installed copy.

It's also a great way to get rid of all the oem bloatware you get for 'free' if you have a pre-configured pc from the likes of Dell, hp and the likes btw.

The aluminum hat was reference to not trusting MS and having to use 3rd party tools btw, when you have perfectly working tools available already included. Including making sure files cannot be recovered with multiple passes of writes. Not the worry about data recovery, which is very valid and more people should worry about.

Not arguing with you, just curious - so the reset actually writes zeros or random data to the entire disk (minus OS) where files were stored, and not just deletes them in the directory?

Not taking it as such. No, reset does not. But windows does include the tools to do just that; see the link I posted in my original post. Hence I added that to make sure to cover data recovery safety as well.

Even if you want to use 3rd party tools to ensure deleted data cannot be recovered, a reset will still be quicker than a reinstall or manually trying to find all the files you want gone. Plus doing it manually leaves all the garba2ledt from once installed software

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