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Manually restoring a Win 98 machine

Posted on 2003-11-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Hello all,

I've been tasked with the job of clearing/cleaning a friends Win 98 machine and manually restoring it so that it can be handed to a new user.

The procedure I'll be going through is as follows:
1 - Use Internet Explorer properties to delete Temp Files, Cookies and History.
2 - Manually delete any remaining Temp Internet Files and Cookies folder.
3 - Search hard drives for "Temp" and clear the contents of all the folders that appear.
4 - Move over to a new machine all files in:
 > My Documents
 > Favourites
 > My Music, etc.

Is there anything else I need to do to ensure a completely clean machine?

Best regards

Mitch
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Question by:elrubio75
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6 Comments
 
LVL 97

Accepted Solution

by:
war1 earned 100 total points
ID: 9723826
Greetings, Mitch!
   If your friend machine has Outlook Express, move the address book (wab file) and emails (*.dbx files) over to the new machine and delete them. If it is Outlook, move and delete the .PST file.

If he user profiles, delete the password *.pwl files.

Best wishes, war1
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:rayt333
rayt333 earned 200 total points
ID: 9723837
Delete any "*.pwl" files (passwords)
delete the user name and company info from the registry.
(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion)
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 9723864
Also do a search in the registry for the user name (s) and change each one it finds to "default" instead of their name.

Probably the eastiest way is to format the HD and either do a clean install of the OS or let the new owner do the install.
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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:Bazic
Bazic earned 100 total points
ID: 9735971
Hi!

I can add only limited ideas as almost all issues was touched by my predecessors:

- find any addressbook *.wab of your friend and also store it to the new computer
- move links from Favorites folder
- check for any important files (folders) stored on desktop directly for saving them
- find any keys in HKLM/software and/or HKCU/software concerning software manufacturers and their products. Most of them You should delete (of course You must be careful with this) if this software will not be longer installed.

Good idea also is to check for any AD software and/or backdoor software (good tool for this is Lavasoft's Ad-Aware)

regards Bazic
 
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Assisted Solution

by:JesusFreak
JesusFreak earned 200 total points
ID: 9737207
How "clean" do you want to make it?

Anything that you just delete can easily be recovered with the right utility.
Some data recovery tools can reconstruct data even after the sector has been deleted and rewritten.

At minimum, before giving away a harddrive, I would suggest wiping it and reformatting it fully before reinstalling Windows.
At maximum paranoia level, I would use a utility made especially for wiping a harddrive completely clean.

You can download a free 30-day trial of BCWipe here:
http://www.jetico.com/index.htm#/bcwipe.htm

This utility meets the DoD (Dept. of Defense) security standard.
It not only erases the data, but also does an 8 character rotation of rewriting on each sector to completely cover any traces of what was there before, including the previous recycle bin and windows swap file.

Better safe than sorry, especially if your friend kept any personal/financial information on it.

Good luck and God bless!
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Author Comment

by:elrubio75
ID: 9750732
Thanks for your help everyone. I've got more than enough info to work with. Thanks again.
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