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  • Removal of personal info..

    SO I bought a laptop from a buddy of mine that was over in Iraq. Had some body dmg, but fixed it up.

    Now..I know he deleted some of the info he had in there...but I'd like to clean it all up in the interest of his personal info that maybe on there, as well as a general purpose thing.

    I've taken most, if not all, of the programs other than windows xp out of the system, however I know that his name is still in the registry file if I remember correctly. I don't care about the windows OS since I will cordon it off when I split the hard drive into 2 drives.

    So...I can't lose or dmg windows xp...all I could think of to remedy this is to back up the Reg and try and extract any personal information that he left behind.

    Not sure if I'm on the right track or not.
    Cliff Stoll...because real IT history is cool.

  • #2
    Re: Removal of personal info..

    Originally posted by blackhawk View Post
    SO I bought a laptop from a buddy of mine that was over in Iraq. Had some body dmg, but fixed it up.

    Now..I know he deleted some of the info he had in there...but I'd like to clean it all up in the interest of his personal info that maybe on there, as well as a general purpose thing.

    I've taken most, if not all, of the programs other than windows xp out of the system, however I know that his name is still in the registry file if I remember correctly. I don't care about the windows OS since I will cordon it off when I split the hard drive into 2 drives.

    So...I can't lose or dmg windows xp...all I could think of to remedy this is to back up the Reg and try and extract any personal information that he left behind.

    Not sure if I'm on the right track or not.
    If you have the original install media, and don't want any of his information on there, why not just wipe, shred, and then reinstall?

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    • #3
      Re: Removal of personal info..

      Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
      If you have the original install media, and don't want any of his information on there, why not just wipe, shred, and then reinstall?

      Negative.

      No original install media available.
      Cliff Stoll...because real IT history is cool.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Removal of personal info..

        Originally posted by blackhawk View Post
        Negative. No original install media available.
        hah! that's a good one! phew... you'll really have folk rolling in the aisles in vegas with a line like that.

        "hey, sarah... get a load of this guy! he claims to not have any WinXP install discs!"

        ok, snarkiness aside... you clearly have the internet so why not just torrent up an ISO image? i'm not encouraging software piracy (well, not encouraging it with this conversation here) since the laptop had a legal copy of WinXP to begin with and you're just re-installing it. whether your system was made by a big name vendor or joe's nobody computer systems you can get all the drivers you need... again, out there on the intarwebs.

        the first thing i ever do when a system is changing hands completely between parties is wipe the entire thing... i thought everyone believed that to be just good policy, no?
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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        • #5
          Re: Removal of personal info..

          Also, the license key information should be on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop. That seems to be pretty standard practice.
          .: Grifter :.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Removal of personal info..

            Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post

            the first thing i ever do when a system is changing hands completely between parties is wipe the entire thing... i thought everyone believed that to be just good policy, no?
            Agreed. If I send things out it, goes out clean.

            He's got a little too much on his plate ( I think ) and didn't think about it.

            And I'd cover his back anytime...now if it was someone else...it might just be interesting.
            Cliff Stoll...because real IT history is cool.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Removal of personal info..

              Originally posted by blackhawk View Post
              So...I can't lose or dmg windows xp...all I could think of to remedy this is to back up the Reg and try and extract any personal information that he left behind.
              Sounds like a good plan. Now you just need something like "Eraser" that leaves the OS intact while purging and shreading the rest to NSA/DOD standards:

              http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/
              Last edited by Greyhatter; February 4, 2008, 23:01.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Removal of personal info..

                Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                hah! that's a good one! phew... you'll really have folk rolling in the aisles in vegas with a line like that.

                "hey, sarah... get a load of this guy! he claims to not have any WinXP install discs!"

                ok, snarkiness aside... you clearly have the internet so why not just torrent up an ISO image? i'm not encouraging software piracy (well, not encouraging it with this conversation here) since the laptop had a legal copy of WinXP to begin with and you're just re-installing it. whether your system was made by a big name vendor or joe's nobody computer systems you can get all the drivers you need... again, out there on the intarwebs.

                the first thing i ever do when a system is changing hands completely between parties is wipe the entire thing... i thought everyone believed that to be just good policy, no?
                I've had good and bad experiences with pirated WinXP. If you feel like the "Genuine" crap does not bother you, then I can't really stop you from doing a pirate. I think there's a way to avoid that, but you won't be able to install updates either way, at least not easily, which isn't the worst, but it still sucks.

                Buying another copy of WinXP is going to be around $100 more or less. Saying that, pirating doesn't look as bad.

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                • #9
                  Re: Removal of personal info..

                  You have a valid key and you can use Nirsoft.net Produkey to retrieve it. Then head to local computer shop and beg to borrow the XP install CD and install a fresh copy on site and buy something nice from the shop.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Removal of personal info..

                    i wasn't talking about pirated software and i have never seen a "you are not genuine" message appear on any system i have built. my clients get access to all windows updates and other content with no issues at all. (that is to say, the windows folks get said access. some people i've moved totally away from that environment. linux FTW!)
                    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                    - Trent Reznor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Removal of personal info..

                      Most name brand laptops (Sony, HP/Compaq, Dell) would be more than happy to send you replacement media for the laptop (average cost is $30). Unless its a laptop from 1998 and running Windows Me/2000/98/97. Aside from that, if you want to be frugal shall I suggest an open source operating system.

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