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Purchased a Desktop from Craigslist, Cautionary Measures?

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#1 Haptic3


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Posted 02 October 2017 - 04:19 PM

Recently purchased a Dell Optiplex 9020 off of craigslist. Met at the guy's apt and his wife and kid was there. Dude had an IT career and knew what he was doing. Still, I'm never fully trusting.

The computer has a fresh install of Windows 7 on a 128 SSD. It also has two 500GB HDDs that are RAID 1 mirrored. The OS is licensed and registered. He even gave me key/image on a Dell flash drive for Windows 10. Dude claims this was an office computer and they rotate every 3-5 years (pretty common).

Question is, should I zero all of the drives just to be safe? I've never reformatted or zeroed an SSD and HDSentinal says its at an estimated 80% health so I don't want to decrease it's health even more.

What do you guys think I should do?

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#2 Kilroy


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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:18 AM

Welcome to Bleeping Computer.


It really depends on how paranoid you are.  I always do a fresh OS install for any machine I purchase for myself, mostly to remove all of the extra garbage that is installed by the manufacturer.  I don't think I'd bother with wiping the drives unless I had some reason.  I wouldn't zero the SSD.  SSDs work differently than mechanical drives.  The only reason to zero a SSD would be if you suspected a root kit or you were giving the drive to someone else and didn't want any of your information recovered from it.


You don't say if you want to stay with Windows 7 or want to go to Windows 10.  Myself, I'd do a fresh install to Windows 10.  Since it is a Dell flash drive you may get some "extra" stuff installed like Dell Support software and software from any company that paid Dell to be installed.


Check the C:\Users directory and see how many user accounts are there.  If it is just Administrator, Default, Public and one more you are probably safe keeping it as Windows 7.  If there are more than five Users on the machine I'd reload and delete the existing partitions when I did.

#3 pistol22cal


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Posted 19 October 2017 - 07:11 AM

Do a DOD wipe of all drives, period.


1. You never know what data could have been on there at what point.

2. YOU NEVER KNOW.....Trust me do a DOD wipe!!!!\

3. Did you wipe it yet?

4. WIPE IT!!!!!!


Ok good!


Now setup the drive how you want in whatever raid or JOBD you chose.


Install Windows 10 - SUCCESS!!!!!


You win. 

I Love Lamp!

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