This is my first post to the forum, so I wanted to say hello and maybe, hopefully someone has an answer to my question
I am selling my desktop computer and upgrading to a newer system. Through my extensive research online, I am aware that I should have my hard drive wiped clean and a clean version of Windows installed prior to selling the system. Although I do not have that much personal information stored on my computer, I think it would be foolish of me to NOT wipe out the hard drive entirely because you never know who you're dealing with these days and identity theft is becoming more and more of a problem.
So I understand what I need to do...I just don't know how to do it. I am pretty smart when it comes to using the computer, but I wouldn't want to attempt this and screw something up dearly. Really what I could use is a simple, step-by-step guide from someone here on how to wipe out my hard drive and ultimately keep my operating system intact. (If that means I need to reinstall Windows, so be it.)
I have already transferred my important files to an external jump drive, and most of the programs I currently have on my C: drive I will not need as I am getting a new system. In the instance that I do, I have the CD's that came with many of these programs and could reinstall them if need be.
So what would I need to do to accomplish what I'm asking? The one thing I would like to mention is that I do not have a recovery disk for Windows Vista. I don't believe I was ever given one. But I am led to believe that if I hit F11 or F12 when starting my computer, that I can access the recovery disk that way as it is already built into my system? Not sure if this is accurate and it would be great if someone could confirm this for me as after wiping my hard drive clean I would obviously need some way of reinstalling Windows.
If possible, I am looking to use free online software to wipe my hard drive clean, then reinstall Windows. As I said earlier, I just need a relatively simple, step-by-step guide that I can print and use and get this done with. Thank you to everyone in advance for your help and I look forward to hearing back from someone!!