Prepare a Computer for Sale – DIY in 5 Ep 125

Technology is always growing and changing and selling your current, still high functioning PC could make way for you to invest in some new hardware you’ve been eyeing. But before you sell it there are a few steps you’ll want to take to make sure your outgoing hardware is in the best shape possible and in tip top condition for the new owner without a trace of your personal information. Today we will walk you through how to prepare your personal computer for sale or donation.

Backup files/folders & Erase account info/Deauthorize Software
First, backup all your files and folders so that you can easily transfer them to your new system. You can choose your favorite cloud service like Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, etc or use an external drive depending how much data you are looking to backup. Next, make sure to sign out of all your email accounts, apps and services. The last thing you want is the new owner to have access to your info and accounts. In Windows 10 settings, go to Accounts, Email and Accounts, click on each account individually, manage and delete account from this device. After that, you’ll want to deauthorize any software you have on the PC – Adobe Creative Suite, Amazon Kindle Apps, iTunes, etc. Again, no one else should be getting into your stuff.

Erase your hard drive & Reinstall the OS
With everything safely backed up and removed, it’s time to completely erase and format your hard drive & reinstall your operating system. A clean install of Windows will make the computer like new to the next owner. There are two ways to do this – with Windows help or without. With Windows help is simple. In Windows 10 settings, head to Update and Security, then click Recovery and Reset this PC, then Get Started and Remove Everything. If you slide the switch under Data Erasure, Windows will wipe your hard drive after deleting your files. Hit confirm and follow the prompts. You know you’ve done it when a fresh version of Windows starts up. Now, this can take some time so, if you are working on a laptop, make sure you are plugged in. To do this without Windows help, you will do this in two separate steps – erasing hard drive then reinstalling the OS. If you want a step by step guide on how to format a hard drive or SSD, feel free to check out this previous episode: And now once the hard drive is formatted, it won’t have anything at all on it. You’ll need to find your original operating system disc or thumbdrive and reboot the system. Windows should automatically boot using this method, but if it doesn’t then you’ll need to change the settings in your BIOS, by finding and changing Boot Order or Boot Priority depending on your brand of motherboard.

Clean your PC
Finally, now that everything is running like a new computer, go the extra mile and make it look new too. Think of it like selling a car both exterior/interior appearance and inner mechanics are just as important. Take an air can, dust cloth and get to work; not only on the exterior, but don’t be afraid to remove a side panel and clean inside as well. For a more detailed approach to PC cleaning:

Paying attention to the details we’ve discussed today will not only make sure you aren’t inadvertently selling more than you bargained for in terms of personal data, but also ensure that your PC looks and feels new, enabling you to get as much money as possible for your sale. If you have any questions not covered in this video, let us know in the comments.

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