How can I wipe my windows 7 pc and still keep the os

  frankiesgirl1 20:56 18 Nov 2014

Hello. I have a windows 7 pc that was given to me, but I now have a new one and want to pass it on. I am trying to clear everything off it, but still keep the windows 7 operating system for the next person, but I can't find a way to do it. I have read up on this, but they all seem to be saying that it can only be done if I have the original windows installation disc. I am sorry, but I don't. I don't even have the number to put in either. On my old vista pc I used to take it back to factory settings by holding down del f10, but it doesnt seem to work on the windows 7 one. If anyone has any ideas that would help me I would be extremely grateful. I can get by with my pc, but I am not very technical when it comes to these kind of things.

Please excuse me if I have not done this quite right, but I am totaly new here.

Thank you


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:03 18 Nov 2014

Make and model of PC?

Back to factory settings and a wipe of free space using CCleaner is the best way.

Otherwise provided you have the COA (serial key) then you can download a windows 7 iso and burn to DVD and use that + the key to format the drive and reinstall windows 7.

  Batch 16:46 19 Nov 2014

Doing as Fruit Bat says are the only realistic ways to be completely sure.

It is possible to have a good go at cleaning things up without resetting / reinstalling, but one can never be sure whether all the bits in the nooks and crannies have been found. It partly depends on who you might be passing it on to (= trust) and how critical information (that might get left) might be.

One could start off with:

Install Ccleaner (for all users) and use it to delete all browsing history etc. (basically run its Cleaner function on its default settings).

Delete all documents, images, videos, music.

Delete all emails, contacts information and email accounts.

Look around the disk drive(s) and see if any other files / folders have ended up in odd places (it is very easy to end up saving things in the wrong place and then miss or forget about them).

Consider whether any applications that you've installed might have personal information stored with them and whether you should change the information or uninstall the software.

Create a new user (with administrator rights). Then delete all other users. This will remove a lot of the hidden user related stuff (you'd be surprised [or appalled] as to how much there is.

Run Ccleaner do a registry clean-up.

Use Ccleaner's Drive Wiper (under Tools) to overwrite Freespace Only using Advance Overwrite (3 passes).

Lastly, I'm sure others could add a few more items.

  frankiesgirl1 19:49 19 Nov 2014

Hello. Thank you for all your advice. Unfortunatley I don't have the key (the pc was given to me) or a reinstallation disc, but I will try the suggestions that you have given me.

Thank you for your help


Make Packard Bell

Model UT0W-SUN

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:09 19 Nov 2014

Launch the Recovery Program

Press the [F11] key upon start-up when the Packard Bell logo appears, or use the Recovery Program shortcut in Smart Restore (Start > All Programs > Packard Bell Support).

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