empty out all but OS files

is there a easy way to clean out a PC before giving it to someone as gift.. i'd rather not go through the time consuming OS refresh again.. there is no clones)

i just want to clean out any user profiles and any user data, regardless of what file or program it is
LVL 5
25112Asked:
Who is Participating?
 
WalterHConnect With a Mentor Commented:
No single easy way to remove everything. You can delete profiles using the control panel system tool,  (advanced for Win 7), User Profiles settings. You can uninstall programs using the Control Panel, Programs  (or add/remove programs in XP. But when you are done, the machine may have lots of stuff in nonstandard places and a registry full of references that you really don't want.
0
 
viralypatelConnect With a Mentor Commented:
These are the places you'll need to clean :

1. create a temp admin user and login using that:
2. go to : "c:\documents and settings\" and delete all folders (These will be the desktop, my docs, favorites etc. for all users)
3. Except for the drive having the OS installed (Mostly c:) delete the files in all other folders.
4. Uninstall the programs you may have installed using start->run->appwiz.cpl
5. Delete any folders you may have created in the root directory containing the OS.

Thats it. There would rarely be any othere place you may have user files.

0
 
viralypatelConnect With a Mentor Commented:
also make sure you delete all the users that you may have created on the system.

0
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Windows 7 Basic

This introductory course to Windows 7 environment will teach you about working with the Windows operating system. You will learn about basic functions including start menu; the desktop; managing files, folders, and libraries.

 
wolfcamelConnect With a Mentor Commented:
after the above - i would run ccleaner to clean up all temp files and cleanup leftovers in the registry.
it may pay to do a disk wipe if there was confidential info on it.
personally - a clean install of the OS will be faster - provided you have access to any hardware drivers - particularly if it is XP or Vista.
also - manually delete printers.
0
 
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
not to mention that not all pc's are stup the same way - 1 partition or disk -or multiple ones
programs can install their data in their subfolders as well
you'll need to clean out cookies, inter net history, mail and contacts as well

the best way to do it is : when the pc is new and fully workable (= all needed programs installed and configured) make an image
if you restore that - without documents of course, you have a clean pc
But i figure it's a bit too late for that now..

so yes a fresh install is best - if you have all program cd's and keys

years a go i came across a description of a cleanup - can't remeber from where :
Old-PC-cleanup.txt
0
 
25112Author Commented:
will follow the idea.
0
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.