Important tasks before selling your old computer or laptop

There isn’t any doubt, our computers hold a lot of our memories. Some of them are sweet, while others are sensitive. But sometimes it is a good idea to sell it when you are planning to get a better costly toy. Selling a computer or laptop may seem to be an effortless task, once you are successful in finding a buyer for the old apple of your eye. But wait. It is not that easy. There isn’t any doubt, most people sell their old computers or laptops just like any other gadget in their home, negotiating and settling down to a price, but that’s not the right way of selling it.

Whether you are a tech-savvy user or, doesn’t matter. You must have shared a number of things with your computer. Just selling the computer without deleting those things might lead to privacy issues. You can’t comprehend, what the purchaser, typically a stranger has in his mind. Loss of data or mishandling of your data might cost you an arm and a leg, in the worst case. So please read the article till the end, to know the things to do before selling a computer or what to do before selling laptop? 

How to prepare a Windows or any other computer for sale

How to prepare a Windows or any other computer for sale

  • Back up all your data

The first and the important task is to take a backup of all your data, from your old computer. This is the basic step. You can either do a cloud backup or copy the important contents of your hard drive on an external hard drive, on your new computer or at some safe place. You can even skip this step if you do not have a lot of necessary files on your hard drive.

  • Format the data drives

Once you are done backing up all your data, do a clean format of all your hard drives, except the one, where your operating system is installed. No. Don’t format it right away. There is a reason for that. The data on your hard drive or SSD do not actually get deleted after you format the hard drive or delete the contents. Recovering deleted data these days is a piece of cake.

  • Wipe the disks

Not everybody is a doubting Thomas like me. But you should be, before selling your computer or laptop. The possession of your computer might go to somebody else, but your data is exclusively yours. Thus, use a disk wiping tool to delete the contents on your hard drive so that the buyer of your computer is not able to restore the contents once they get hands on your device. There are numerous disk wiping tools, and MiniTool Drive Wipe, Hardwipe, Disk Wipe are to name a few. There are even some software, which comes with a plethora of utilities, and disk wiping can also be a part of that.

Chances are there, data can still be recovered after that. If you really have had a lot of sensitive data, consider keeping the hard drive with you. Purchasing a new hard drive for your old computer before selling it, makes sense if the data really matters to you.

It is after that, you format your primary partition (the partition with the operating system). Though if you are a power user, you can even get command line disk wiping tools, which can work, even after deleting the contents of your hard drive completely along with the operating system.

  • Unlink paid software from your device

The next step is to unlink or deauthorize the antivirus, Windows, and other software licenses from your computer. Not everybody uses a number of paid software. But if you are one, who use some paid software, you should contact the software vendors and request them to unlink your computer from the licenses, so that the license can be reused on your next new computer.

In case you got the license from your employer through volume licensing, you have to talk to your employer, and they should help you with all the formalities associated with unlinking the software licenses from your computer.

If you are having an OEM key though, you do not have a number of options in your hand. The reason is, the OEM key is tied to your hardware, and is not supposed to be untied. But I will recommend you to talk to the OEM, just in case they can help, so that you can use it on the next computer from the same OEM.

  • Remove the necessary peripherals

If any peripherals are connected to your computer you might need, just remove them. They include the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi dongle, any Graphics card, etc. But be prepared to face a reduction in valuation after removing the peripherals, and the reason is quite obvious. If you want to sell your computer with all the peripherals, you can even do that.

  • Install an operating system

This step might or might not be important. It depends upon, whom you are selling the computer. You should install a free operating system like Linux or BSD, just to make the computer usable. You can even install Windows 7 or 10, and ask the buyer to get a product key and enter it after purchasing the computer. But if you are going to sell the computer to a technical guy, leave the step to the purchaser, to install his favorite operating system.

  • A little housekeeping

The last one is a little housekeeping. Just remove any visible dust on your system chassis, keyboard, or mouse. You can even use a liquid to clean your computer so that it glitters like gold, just before you hand over your old toy, for some pennies.

Now, the purchaser can actually get a new computer, though with an old hardware. Following all the above steps is not only leaving a lot of space for the purchaser to customize the computer, but you will also be doing justice to your data.

Hope the information was helpful for you. Are there other things to do before selling a computer? Let me know about it, in the comment section down below.

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