Just sold an old laptop on eBay, but now can't wipe hard drive?

I have an old Lenovo laptop that I had just used to keep some stuff like old photos and documents, and have sold it on ebay for parts (it's VERY slow and I had stopped using it a long time ago). I had deleted all that stuff, but would still like to wipe the hard drive, but the computer isn't letting me; I'm following all the proper steps to reset it to factory condition, etc and it starts the process but then tells me it can't be completed. Is there some other way? It's not a huge deal, as the files I had on it were not sensitive or anything, but if possible I'd still like to just wipe the hard drive. Is there a CMD that I can use?

9 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Unfortunately when you hit the delete button that is like cutting the grass.  It does not kill the grass,  just removes the top.   There is software available that can recover the files you have deleted. 

    That is assuming the person who buys it, could be bothered,  my money says if they are buying such an old computer,  they are not going to go seeking some old photos.  

    The only sure way is to remove the hard drive and smash it.  

    I know some business do this to old computer hard drives.   

    The question therefore is,  is the couple of dollars you will get,  worth the risk of your files falling into the wrong hands. 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    In order to wipe all personal data the operating system would have to be erased too. It sounds like you don't want to do that.

    Alternatively, write a large file, and then delete it. This isn't as secure, but will wipe most personal data. Using a free screen recorder is a simple fast way to create a large file.

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  • 1 month ago

    Just let it go dude.....probably nothing left on the hdd that anyone would want.

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  • Lv 7
    1 month ago

    you need a Windows install disc.

    if it's Win10, you can download it for free.

    otherwise, see if your computer has a Backup Disc Creator in the Start Menu programs list (not the apps list).

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  • Shadow
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    If you did a factory reset and it failed, you probably cannot boot into Windows again. What you would need to do is place the drive into an enclosure and then connect it to another computer. You can then run delete the partitions and run a wipe on the drive. A program like Aomei Partition Assistant can help you with all of it in a few simple steps. Alternatively you can use Windows Disk Manager to delete the partitions and then CCleaner to wipe the entire drive.

    If the laptop has been sold for parts, then I doubt you'd need to reinstall Windows after completing the wipe.

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  • 1 month ago

    Just pick up a free disk eraser and run it a couple of times. 

    https://helpdeskgeek.com/free-tools-review/5-free-...

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You can't wipe the hard drive Windows is running on while Windows is running. You could boot from a CD or flash drive with DBAN on it and securely wipe it.

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/files/

    Alternatively, you can boot from a Windows or Linux disk (or anything with a partition manager) and delete the existing partitions and/or install a new operating system.

    Windows 10 includes an ISO burning tool. Just right-click it and select "Burn disc image." On older versions of Windows, you'll need a third-party tool like ISO Recorder.

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/files/

    If you want to make a bootable flash drive with DBAN, I would recommend UNetbootin (it also supports other Linux distros).

    https://unetbootin.github.io/

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    There are lots of disk wipe utilities out there.  You can download and run a copy of CCcleaner, it has a hard disk delete and over-write utility function.

     

    Another good utility is DBAN, https://dban.org/

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  • Bill-M
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Remove the Hard Drive and connect it via USB adapter to your good computer, then just format it.

    OR on the Lenovo,  Create a New User Account.   Log on to that account and Delete the old account and files.

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