How can I delete all apps pics etc. without reformat

By terry5880 ยท 8 replies
Jun 18, 2012
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  1. Hi all instead of reformatting is there a way to just delete the whole admin account on laptop so the person who buys it cannot get all my pictures or videos etc and so its like fresh .without having to delete all individually
  2. terry5880

    terry5880 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 321

    just to add I went to make new user account added admin to it then deleted my account but all applications pictures etc now on that new account. is there a way to get everything off except the os and drivers without reformatting
  3. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TS Maniac Posts: 380   +8

    Unfortunately no. I mean, you can remove everything, uninstall all the applications, delete pictures, files and everything..

    But if the user is at all curious as to what was previously there they could install a Recovery program, although you should pay for it, people can and will get a pirated copy if they want to..

    With these programs people are able to look at see what was previously on the hard drive, although not 100% garentee'd that they will find anything but they do have the chance.. There is possibility that the data that was deleted gets overwritten and is no longer viewable, or corrupt, but do you want to take that chance is the other question

    2 Ways to make sure they do not get anything off your old hard drive if you are worried is:
    1. Full Disk Format/Write zero's to the drive.
    2. Get them to purchase a new hard drive - This is one that you would want to do if you fear someone getting personal/banking information off.

    If you are not so much worried that the person will go snooping after, then just create the new account and then where you created it, you should have the option to also delete account. Select the old one, delete it and select to remove the data as well. You will have to manually remove each and every application that you do not want left on there as there is no real way to Group-uninstall programs.
  4. terry5880

    terry5880 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 321

    thanks for all the info I did make new account as adming but then when deleted my origanal user account I looged in on new 1 and all my apps etc pics was all back on desktop and pics etc in the folders still .. was just worried about reformatting as then once done I have to then find away to get all the drivers back
  5. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TS Maniac Posts: 380   +8

    The applications transfer between users unless specificially chosen to not be installed for other users on this computer (When the application is initially installed, and not all have this option)

    As for pictures, they were probably imported to the Shared user account. In this, all the Pictures, Music and documents that were saved in this Shared account, are viewable and accessable from all and any account, even new ones.

    To remove them from the shared account you have to go into the account folder.

    My Computer: "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users" In here, check the folders for any data/pictures that are in there and remove them. Check all viewable folders.

    Windows Vista/7:
    My Computer: "C:\Users\Public" Same as the XP one, check all folders for any data.

    If there's data in there, remove it, and check into the new user's folder's to see if they are there.

    As for applications, you must go into Add/Remove Programs (XP) -- Programs and Features(Vista/7) and remove the applications yourself.

    **Updated: If you feel safer reformating and reinstalling windows, and all you are worried about is drivers, the best option would be to download all the drivers for the computer BEFORE you do the format. Save all these drivers to a CD/DVD/USB Flash stick, or External Hard drive, something that you can use after the installation, however, if you are worried about not getting all of the correct drivers then it'll be a bit more complicated, but no impossible**
  6. terry5880

    terry5880 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 321

    thanks . so if I choose to delete pictures and videos etc should I go C then into pics videos folder etc and delete then they should be gone or could they still be in other folders somewhere if you see what im saying .. like duplicated somewhere
  7. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TS Maniac Posts: 380   +8

    As long as you go into the public/shared user account, and remove them from there they should be gone.
  8. terry5880

    terry5880 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 321

  9. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Hi, A useful feature in CCleaner is in the advanced section, the very last one on the list. 'Wipe free space', but it will warn you it could take some time, it could be useful to you.
    I used it on a Dell I was tidying up, and it was very effective in clearing out the 'unused' part of the hard drive.

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