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What's the best way to completely remove everything from a computer, without re-installing?

I am handing back my laptop I used for research at the company I had my internship at.

I was wondering what is the best way to delete my User Account and all my files so that no one could recover anything intact e.g. Research ideas or product ideas.

I have Admin Privileges and was planning on just deleting my account in the User Management window.

Any better methods than this?

marked as duplicate by Nifle, slhck, RedGrittyBrick, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, sblair Sep 7 '11 at 16:29

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  • 1
    In the order of security: full disk wipe and reinstall, delete and wipe free space, system restore and wipe free space. Use Eraser – digitxp Sep 7 '11 at 16:02
  • Yes but I just want to delete my user account on this laptop, there are 10 other accounts on here which I don't want to touch. – bearbread Sep 7 '11 at 16:07
  • To ensure that nothing can be used, even if recovered, get all your files together, use truecrypt to encrypt them in a file container and then use eraser to securely delete the file container created. Even if they get anything back, they will not be able to make sense of the encrypted mess it will create. – MaQleod Sep 7 '11 at 16:23

Delete your account and then use a tool such as CCleaner to securely wipe the empty areas of the hard drive.

You may need to log in as yourself to run the tool, but that account will be essentially empty and therefore not a security risk.

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