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facher
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Wiping Rental Laptop Clean (Dell Inspiron 1300 reformat)

I rented an Dell Inspiron 1300 for a business trip and installed some programs and files (which have now been removed). I want to wipe it clean before returning it but I don't know how & most things say that you need a restore type of disk. I just want to wipe it clean & not put anything back on it before I return it. Please send step by step instructions (It is running Wix XP). Thanks.
Windows XP

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ruijietan

8/22/2022 - Mon
SOLUTION
Gary Case

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war1

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facher

ASKER
GaryCase,
The company told me that they wipe the drive clean when they get the computer back but when I got it, I could tell it wasn't fresh and the agreement states that anything left on there is not their problem...So, will they be able to reinstall the operating system after this DBAN? Also, there is not floppy drive on the machine, just a CDRW...What do you suggest?
Gary Case

DBAN has an ISO image you can download to create a bootable CD instead of a floppy (see the same link I gave you above).   ... and Yes, they can reinstall the OS IF they have the correct installation media.

Personally, if all you're concerned about is your personal data, I would simply erase everything in your "My Documents folder";  then in any Application data folders; and then just run HDScrub, which you can download and install without any external media => and it runs from within Windows.   It does an excellent job of securely wiping all free space on the drive (as I noted before, it does it to Dod 5220-22.M standards, which is the "gold standard" of secure erasure).
war1

facher, look at what I posted to remove data from your Documents and Settings folders.  You need to unhide hidden files and folders to see the hidden stuff.
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rwheeler23
facher

ASKER
War1 & GaryCase,
Inside the documents & settings...Each use, all users, and which folders within? What stuff should I delete? The whole folder? I'm going to split the points to both of you in the end of this. I truly appreciate both your help and suggestions.
Gary Case

First, most programs will simply keep their data in "My Documents" => so if you simply erase everything in My Documents you've probably wiped out all you need to.

Second, just in case you installed some programs that did not; go to Documents and Settings, <User Name>, Application Data --> and delete any folders that were created by any applications you installed.   The <User Name> will be the account name you logged in under.  If you created your own account on the laptop, you can simply go to Control Panel - User Accounts and delete the account; and then go to Documents and Settings and delete the entire subfolder with that account name.
Gary Case

... as war1 noted, you need to set Windows Explorer's options so it does not hide hidden files and folders so you can "see" all of the folders.
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war1

facher,

Make sure no programs are running when you delete the files. Otherwise, when a program closes, it will write personal data to the Application Data folder again.  You will not hurt the programs if Application Data files are deleted.  The program will create them again when open.
Gary Case

"... installed some programs and files (which have now been removed) ..." ==>  I assume from the statement in your question that there's no danger of you running any programs that you're concerned about at this point (since you've removed them all).   It sounds like ALL you need to do is be sure you delete any residual data you hadn't thought about (in Documents and Settings or in My Documents); and then simply run HDScrub.
alextoft

I'd go with garycase's suggestion. What's the point in playing around deleting things here, there & everywhere. The first thing the rental company are going to do is drop a CD in and reimage the thing anyway. Get a dban CD burnt and nuke the thing.
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William Peck
nobus

why not try a system restore to a previous date, and wiping his personal data?
ruijietan

Try iolo's DriveScrubber!

http://www.iolo.com/ds/index.cfm

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