A reader wants to know how to wipe his old laptop. “I have an old, but still in very good condition laptop, and I have saved the information contained within to a backup hard drive. I would like to ask you how do I wipe the memory clean so I have a laptop back with zero information that I can use for other purposes?”
If you’re using Windows 8.1, there’s a reset function that will allow you to take it back to factory settings with just Windows and its included apps. Just type “reset this PC” in your search box and click on the results. It will walk you through it.
But since you say it’s an old laptop, you may want to explore the methods we talk about in this article for wiping a drive of information but leaving Windows intact: http://www.worldstart.com/donating-computer-wipe-data-without-losing-windows/
Now if you want to install a new operating system as well, you can just overwrite the one that’s already on there and kill all of your files with it.