Selling your PC is good to make a few bucks, here are some things you should do for the sake of greater good. Whether you are planning to build a new PC or just buying one, selling your old computer or just giving it to someone is not a bad idea. You can sell your old computer using any online classified service or just to your neighbor. It all sounds good, but will it still be good if they find some of your “nasty stuff” or Office Files? whether these are your raunchy photos or sensitive documents, you need to prepare your PC well. You should treat your old PC just like your child first time going to kinder garden –he needs to have manners, etiquette and cleanness. In this guide we will discuss steps you should take before handing over your old PC to someone.
Get backed up before selling your PC
Stupid advice huh? Nope. Before you proceed to next step you should always make a complete backup of all of your files, downloads and every other stuff. There are many paid software available for that but you don’t need to spend money on backup software, just grab some writable DVDs or a Portable Hard Disk and open Backup and Restore in Control panel, then you are good to go. You may not thank us now but you will do that later.
Get your Personal stuff Erased
You have your documents, photos, downloads and other stuff in user folder right? Erasing them is important before selling your old PC. They are usually located on Users folder in C drive. You should always backup and then delete them in case you are giving your PC away. Also you probably have saved your passwords and other personal details on your web browser, you may have set up sync with Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive and you surely don’t want to give any other person access to these. Although you can erase all of that manually –by removing browser, deleting every file from personal folders and sighing off from all syncing services. It seems a horribly long process. We have a quick solution for that.
You can delete your user account instead. Doing so will delete all your personal data, downloads and will sign you off from all other things. To do that you need to have more than one user account in your PC. First sign in to the other account and then fire off Control Panel. Click on add or remove user accounts from here you can easily delete the other account.
However if you have only one account, you will have to create a new account and then enter that account, after taking that step you can delete your old account. Word of advice: always create an administrator account for that because you cannot delete another user account using a standard (should be called Limited) user account.
Remove all Shareware
We spend a lot of money on software –office productivity apps and antivirus are to name a few. Will that be good for you that new user enjoys these software free of cost? A big NO. Also as most of software are licensed to be installed in only one PC at once, technically it will not be legit if you keep software on your old PC and install it in a new one.
After erasing your files and other stuff, head to Uninstall a Program section of Control Panel and remove every single paid software. We would advise you to remove freeware too, as it is not necessary that new owner will use that program.
Although Windows uninstaller works fine, you can use Revo Uninstaller (Free, http://www.revouninstaller.com/ ) to remove any trace of software. If used, it will scan your PC throughout and remove any file belonging to the particular software.
Clean your recycle bin
There are strong chances you may forget that unless specifically reminded. You will sure delete a lot of stuff from Hard Disk partitions and all of that will shift to recycle bin. If you forget to delete it from there, restoring these will just be one click away for new owner of machine.
Use a mop on your Hard Disk
No I don’t mean a physical wet mop, instead I mean to wipe all the data on your hard disk. You should always understand that all deleted files and folders can easily be restored using any third party utility (Recuva, as an example) if you want to prevent anyone from restoring these you have to overwrite the deleted data from the disk.
You can always paste something useless on your storage device, but it will be a lot easy if you use a software to do that. Download Secure Eraser (free for private use, http://www.secure-eraser.com/ ) and run it to delete all the data securely. Secure eraser will overwrite all your deleted files with random data so that you can hand over your old PC to new hands with peace of mind.
Do you have any tip about taking steps before selling old PC? If yes, do share with us.
Image Credit: Maurizio Pesce on Flickr