Question about Dell Dimension 3000 PC Desktop
Im wanting to wipe out this computer back to factory settings
If you have disks supplied with the system, they normally offer more than one type of reinstallation; destructive and non-destructive.
In most cases, neither of these will absolutely remove all traces of former files.
If that is what you wish, you can reformat the hard drive and remove the existing directory and make old files unaccessible except to experts wanting to 'get the goods' on someone.
There is also the chance to backdate the system to an earlier time in case something has bollixed enough files to make it unstable. That procedure is called 'restoration' which replaces the system files as they were at an earlier time so corrupt files are replaced with fresh copies from a separate partition on the drive. This method leaves your personally created files intact if that is desired.
These various possiblities depend somewhat on the version of Windows you are using and information in the Windows Help section can give you guidance if you want it.
If you have sensitive information that you do not want anyone to ever access, there are numerous freeware programs that will overwrite existing files so completely that even experts cannot recover them. They use various methods of trashing files but most offer the chance to set how many times you want them overwritten and by which method, among these is using all zeros or random numbers. Finally, the last option is to replace the hard drive with a new one, physically disassemble and destroy the disks mechanically although disposal would still be sensitive since there are methods of reading file segments on even catastrophically damaged disks.
Posted on Dec 25, 2008
The Dell PC Restore by Symantec shipped on all XP systems shipped by Dell on or after July 16, 2004 in the United States and on or after August 30, 2004 in Europe. Easy enough to recognize if it does or does not. If your system has the PC Restore partition you will see a blue bar across the top of the screen with www.dell.com right after the Dell logo and before Windows XP begins booting.
What is does is restore your Dell to its "as-shipped" condition. It's like taking it out of the shipping box all over again. It totally clears your hard drive of any programs you have installed and any documents, music, pictures and other data you have saved on the drive since you purchased it.
The procedure is similar for Windows Vista, but you use the F8 key to access the Vista Factory Image. But on dells, during the Dell logo screen hold Ctrl and tap F11 constantly.
Other PC manufacturers use similar methods to restore their machines to their "as-shipped" condition. HP/Compaq, Gateway/eMachines, Sony and IBM have some form of PC Restore. I recently restored access to a factory image on an older IBM Netvista machine so that it was back to its "as shipped" condition. Similar to Dell, but uses a different keystroke sequence at power on.
I cannot emphasize strongly enough that you back up all your data before using the PC Restore by Symantec. Once you start the restore, your existing data is gone
Posted on Dec 25, 2008
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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