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I'm getting a new laptop, and giving mine to a co-worker. How can I clean out all the junk & temp files?

(A clean Windows install is not an option.)

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@rm, you might find/add some more answers at; Additionally, since you are giving away your laptop, hopefully you have erased all sensitive data (passwords/caches/registry-information) that you want to protect (or, maybe you trust the co-worker with all that). – nik Aug 7 '09 at 12:10

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Create a new user account and delete the old one, that should take care of a lot of clutter/rubbish.

If it doesn't delete the folder from Documents & Settings, deleting the account will at least mean you can safely delete it.

Then let CCleaner delete EVERYTHING (just tick every box in the settings) and defrag the system when it's done.

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Try CCleaner to remove alot of the common junk. It will remove non-essential files (such as browsing history and temp files) from:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Windows
    • Recycle Bin
    • Recent Documents
    • Temporary files
    • Log files.
    • Registry
  • Many other third-party applications

I understand you do not wish to reinstall Windows, but take a look at my Erasing data before selling a computer question which covers a similar topic, especially this answer by ChrisF:

As a side note on scenarios when you cannot always format and wipe the disk and have to relinquish ownership of a computer with OS intact (like resigning a job and returning the laptop), Scott Hanselman has noted down a checklist on activities to carry out before giving it up forever.

The Developer's Quitting Your Job Technology Checklist

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Please provide a link, especially with as un-detailed an answer as this. – jtbandes Jul 22 '09 at 6:23
jtbanes: all in good time :) – Josh Hunt Jul 22 '09 at 6:24
Alright, then how about writing a good answer before posting it? ;) – jtbandes Jul 22 '09 at 6:27
jtbandes: Please, I think you are asking too much of me! – Josh Hunt Jul 22 '09 at 6:28
Surely it's not too much for someone with 1570 rep? Or have I just uncovered the secret to gaining rep? :P – jtbandes Jul 22 '09 at 6:29

Not to replace the job that CCleaner has, but you may also want to run PC Decrapifier as well. It is a tool that needs some more exposure (like CCleaner).

"... good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware"

If you look at DBAN/formatting from a strict security point of view. Once your computer is infected it becomes compromised, you can no longer trust it. So it is a must to format. Simply cleaning the virus is no 100% indication that you are threat free.

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