How to prepare a laptop before selling it?

Pineapple20

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Hi!

So I'm planning on selling my laptop which is the Asus N56VZ-S4242H (I bought it from PCWorld for £899) on eBay for around £600 - £700. The laptop is in great condition, it is regularly cleaned and the keyboard is functioning with no problem and I am not aware of any problems with the laptop's components.

On the top cover, there is a very small dent and on the keyboard there are small scratches (seriously, they're like specs and pretty much unnoticeable).

All of the ports in the laptop are working. The laptop also had a backlit keyboard fitted in my PCWorld and usually the UK models don't come with Backlit Keyboards.

I have everything the laptop came with,

  • Subwoofer
    AC Adapter w/ the Velcro Strap thingy.
    Manuals and CDs
    Battery & The Laptop
Since this is the first time doing something like this, I need to know how to make the laptop suitable for selling. How do I wipe the memory (included my games and saved passwords)? I have everything the laptop came with ready in a box but I need to properly make sure the laptop is cleaned.

Thanks. Also, anyone suggest how much I could possibly sell it for? I said £600 - £700 which is up to £200 off the original price in stores. Here's the specs of the laptop:

Intel Core i7-3610QM
Windows 8 (upgraded to 8.1)
Intel HM76 Chipset
8GB DDR3 1600 MHz SDRAM
15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Matte Display
Nvidia GeForce GT 650M w/ 2GB DDR3 VRAM
1TB 5400RPM HDD
Blu-Ray DVD Combo

List of the full specifications are here.
 

tyranthoth

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Dec 10, 2011
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I won't argue with personal experience. However you do it, I recommend doing a secure wipe and it is used so start at 650 if someone offer lower it won't hurt much and it's worth 600-650 with extras
 

tyranthoth

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You can simply format the HDD but if you don't perform a secure wipe and just format the drive I can run a free program to pull off all your data and so could anyone you sell it to.
 
G

Guest

Guest
It depends on how paranoid you are.

Deleted files could potentially be recovered. Even formatted drives are potentially recoverable but it's very unlikely without some very expensive processes. Is someone going to spend $1000s to get your game passwords?

Writing over the deleted files with random 1's and zeros is much more secure but you'll need software to do that. Search Google for safe erase.

Lastly, they only way to absolutely guarantee no one will be able to recover your data would be to remove the hard drive and keep it.
 

tyranthoth

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I use to recover HDD for a living, format and reload the HDD ten times with out performing a secure wipe (Writing over the deleted files with random 1's and zeros) and I can recover it with a free program and get your passwords and files and anything else you have on that hdd that wasn't written over. The $1000 dollar process is for when it's encrypted data or crashed HDD.
 
G

Guest

Guest

Interesting. That's good to know.

Personally, I don't sell my hard drives. I've never had one leave this house in one piece.
 

Pineapple20

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Should I just do a Factory Recovery and hope that a professional doesn't come and somehow find out how to recover a wiped drive. Seems easy.

Anyways, do any of you have an idea of how much the laptop would be worth? I am hoping to get at least £600 so I could build this: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/mileycyruslover/saved/3jRM
 

InvalidError

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While you can relatively easily recover data erased by a QUICK format, you will need a lot more than software to recover data from a PRML HDD that has undergone a FULL format (the type that takes 3-5 hours per TB) where every single sector has been overwritten.
 

tyranthoth

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I won't argue with personal experience. However you do it, I recommend doing a secure wipe and it is used so start at 650 if someone offer lower it won't hurt much and it's worth 600-650 with extras
 

Pineapple20

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I'm thinking about selling my Targus Chill Mat with it as an extra but I don't think it would really add much to the price. Is there a difference between a secure wipe and a factory reset, if so which one should I pick. What would remove literally everything because I don't want to find out that someone has found the password to my email or my steam account because I've spent A LOT on it.
 

InvalidError

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A FULL format takes 3-5 hours per TB will make it very difficult to recover any data from the HDD without spending thousands of dollars on data recovery services. This is secure enough unless you have secret services or are a prime target for some high-profile corporate espionage where the costs of recovering data are a non-issue.

A secure erase will take several times longer to complete and if you value your time at something like $20/h, it would be cheaper to use a 20lbs sledge on the current HDD and put in a new one.
 

tyranthoth

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There is a difference between factory reset and secure wipe. Factory reset only marks your data as space that can be written over a secure wipe will write 1,0 over all the data; 1 tb with decent software should only take about 4 hours. Its forth the free software to load on to usb set it to wipe and let it do it's thing over night.

On cost you have similar laptops new running 750-880 used I would start at 650 lower only if needed but don't go below 575.
 

InvalidError

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A full-format already overwrites all data and at ~100MB/s write speed, four hours is only enough time for a single pass. For a single pass, overwriting with PRNG data is only marginally more secure than overwriting with a fixed pattern since the HDD's PRML encoding already scrambles bits around to improve statistical detection. You need at least two PRNG passes with different seeds for "secure" erase to be substantially more secure than full format on PRML drives.
 

tyranthoth

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I am sorry but I have to respond I can't let ignorance prevail.
First: PRML=Partial Response Maximum Likelihood - all modern traditional style magnetic hard drives (your basic HDD) are PRML - Bring your nose down its not a PRML HDD its a HDD
Second: A "Full" Format is the same as quick format except it scans for bad sectors. Here read this: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/80478-tech-myth-2-quick-format-vs-full-format
Third: A single pass secure wipe is fine unless you are paranoid, a single pass can be read with software but it's not free and last I checked wasn't all that cheap.
Maybe when your time is not worth $20 an hour but the minimum of $45 an hour as mine was 8 years ago when I recovered HDD Professionally you'll know the difference.
 

InvalidError

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You might want to get your information from a more canonical source...
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941961

Full-format on Windows Vista and newer writes zeroes across the whole drive.
 

tyranthoth

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I am a big enough enough man to admit when I'm wrong. I stand correct and apologize. Microsoft has correct their formatting software. Odd then that I've been able to recover full formatted HDD done with windows 7 basic recovery freeware, must still be a bug somewhere in that formatting tool.
 
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