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Precautions Before Giving Away Computer?

#1MRW1215Posted 7/19/2014 7:31:25 AM
I'm going to be building a new PC very soon, and I'll be giving away my current ancient pre-built machine to a family member. I pretty much want to wipe out my computer to factory settings, but I'm curious, on Windows 8.1, do you still need disks to do that? I thought I heard that you didn't.

Not that I have anything "questionable" on my computer, lol, it's just that I have some old games taking up hard drive space, and I've made quite a mess out of the various documents folders, and everything. I feel like it would be easier to just wipe everything, but I want to make sure all my personal information is gone, and everything.

I don't have disks for Windows 8.1, because I had upgraded from Vista, to Windows 7, to Windows 8, to Windows 8.1, and I did it all digitally. I know in the past you needed the disks to restore, but I thought you could wipe without needing them now, with Windows 8.1. Am I wrong about that?
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#2DetectiveZPosted 7/19/2014 7:56:00 AM
I'm sure you can reset the computer to factory settings without the disks. Just in case, make a backup before you do it. Double check though. I'm not 100% sure.
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#3maybecallsPosted 7/19/2014 8:03:59 AM
I would remove the hard drive(s) before giving away the PC. Let whoever is receiving the PC buy their own hard drive and make a fresh start. Hard drives are cheap again, anyway (assuming they're SATA, and not IDE).
#4WerdnAndreWPosted 7/19/2014 8:25:27 AM
You can download the Windows 8 iso from microsoft.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only
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#5BlackMantisPosted 7/19/2014 8:31:21 AM
maybecalls posted...
I would remove the hard drive(s) before giving away the PC. Let whoever is receiving the PC buy their own hard drive and make a fresh start. Hard drives are cheap again, anyway (assuming they're SATA, and not IDE).


I would also do this. If you have any personal data and are unsure how to remove it all, you could just take it out and destroy it.
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#6WerdnAndreWPosted 7/19/2014 8:35:38 AM
or run it through dban
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#7ShubPosted 7/19/2014 8:37:20 AM
Do a fresh install of Windows and call it a day. I don't see a need to erase the hard drive since it's going to a family member. If you have the slightest concern about privacy/confidentiality, then just download DBAN, run it overnight (1 pass is enough, so however long it takes for 1 pass to complete), then do a fresh install of Windows.
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#8MRW1215(Topic Creator)Posted 7/19/2014 8:51:49 AM
maybecalls posted...
I would remove the hard drive(s) before giving away the PC. Let whoever is receiving the PC buy their own hard drive and make a fresh start. Hard drives are cheap again, anyway (assuming they're SATA, and not IDE).


I'd like to do that, but the person I'm giving it to doesn't want to spend extra money, and with that, not only would they have to buy a new hard drive, but also a copy of Windows, too.
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#9KamenRiderBladePosted 7/19/2014 10:19:15 AM
Keep your Hard Drive.

Give the rest away.

Tell them to get their own Hard Drive
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#10DarkLagunaPosted 7/19/2014 3:12:40 PM
Basically, it depends on how much you trust them. It's incredibly easy, and even free depending on the quality of software, to restore deleted data that is still on the hard drive. If you trust them enough not to go digging through any data you might have had on your computer, then you'll want to completely wipe it. Or if you're too lazy to do that, then as suggested, have them get their own hard drive.

If you do trust them (or at least trust that they're not computer literate enough to figure out how to get your deleted data), then a windows reinstall should be fine.
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