I have a very specific and strange situation - I need to remove as much secure information as possible from a shared computer as quickly as possible without removing almost any of the core functionality. I have 3 days to finish my thesis, clear out my desk and workspaces, pack everything and get on a plane to move 3000 miles away permanently. Needless to say, I'm aware that the timing is not ideal.
The problem is that I've been the sole exclusive user of this shared console computer for the past few years and I've been more wreckless about leaving personal information on here than I had hoped. Normally in this situation I'd try to back up the data and do a secure delete, but that's problematic for a number of reason, but the biggest one is that I'm the only person in the lab who knows how to manage some of the complicated webs of dependencies upon which some of the essential programs rely - even if I started now, there wouldn't be enough time to securely delete everything and re-install everything, and that could put everyone else a month or more behind schedule. (Not to mention some of the equipment this computer runs is out of date and new drivers break it, so I'd be relying on the ability to get archived drivers).
In any case, given my limited time and options, I'm going to try to set some reasonable goals:
Clear all personal browser information out securely - auto-fill, passwords accidentally saved, that sort of thing. What is the best option for this? I'm worried that some of it might be stored somewhere non-obvious like the registry or hidden temp files.
Where I do find something personal, I'd like it permanently deleted - is there a reliable secure delete function for Windows 7? Is there a good mechanism for identifying duplicate files like backups that I might have missed?
Permanently remove the dropbox on here. I needed it to share folders and such with collaborators, but now there's a dropbox associated with an e-mail address that'll be disabled within a few months, and I can't lose control of those data.
I'm aware that this is actually 3 questions plus the vague and ill-defined implied 4th question "What am I missing?", so if more experienced people think I should split this up into 3 separate questions, I'll edit appropriately. I think they're probably related enough that there's a non-zero chance that there's a single solution or strategy that solves all 3(4).
Oh, one more thing - even though I'd prefer the bulk of it to be done by Sunday morning, I'll have remote access via VPN + VNC and FTP, plus if your solution requires it I can install other stuff like a remote shell or something. Just throwing that out there.