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How to blank all user accounts


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#1 mystic12

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:46 AM

Hey guys, friend of mine had allowed his friend to create an admin account on his laptop and wishes to sell the laptop which he doesn't need anymore. He had upgraded to the free win10 from win7, there isn't a recovery partition to do a reset. What are my options here please? I would like to remove/disable all user accounts as first option.



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:55 AM

Because Windows 10 was a free upgrade the digital license is on Microsoft Servers. If the person does not need any of the programs they installed wipe the drive and do another install of Windows 10. When asked for a key enter nothing and click next. The computer will activate when online.



#3 mystic12

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:56 AM

This has win10 Pro, I have only win10 Home on disc



#4 britechguy

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:04 AM

The Windows 10 media contains all versions of Windows and will reinstall whatever edition was originally on the machine.

 

Still, unless you were to do a drive wipe before reinstalling it is possible for the really dedicated seeker to use utilities to find stuff that would still be left in free space created.

 

My advice is my usual:

 

1.  With one of the existing accounts with administrative access create a new local account that has administrator privileges.

 

2.  Use that newly created account to remove all existing accounts on the machine.

 

3.  Download CCleaner or the tool of your choice that includes a drive wiper function for free space on a drive.  Run it and do a one-pass or three-pass wipe of the free space on the drive.

 

There should be no user data that should be recoverable.  There's also no need to reinstall the OS.


Edited by britechguy, 06 October 2017 - 08:05 AM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:04 AM

I believe the Media Creation Tool will allow you to pick Home or Pro. 

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

 

You can also use this tool to pick Windows 10 Pro.



#6 mystic12

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:10 AM

I am not seeing an option to choose Home or Pro on the Media tool. I think it's doing it on the other tool


Edited by mystic12, 06 October 2017 - 08:12 AM.


#7 britechguy

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:13 AM

You do not "pick" home or pro.   The ISO contains the components for both editions.

 

What determines what gets installed is the pre-existing license key for the machine on Microsoft's servers (when reinstalling) or the license key itself, when brand new.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#8 mystic12

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:14 AM

Wait a minute, I am seeing the win10 Pro key using Produkey



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:20 AM

You do not "pick" home or pro.   The ISO contains the components for both editions.

 

What determines what gets installed is the pre-existing license key for the machine on Microsoft's servers (when reinstalling) or the license key itself, when brand new.

Brian, if the OS is to be installed on a wiped drive how does Windows determine which version to install? I was under the assumption one had to use a generic key, either Home or Pro, depending on the installed OS to have the correct version start the install on clean drive or does Windows 10 pre-install the network adapter drivers and then connect to Microsoft before the install.



#10 mystic12

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:52 AM

I got the win10 pro iso downloaded, creating a bootable flash drive with Rufus but trying the F2 and F12 keys to get to the bios or boot menu is not working on this Acer Aspire 5252 laptop?



#11 britechguy

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:53 AM

John,

 

         It does something that allows it to communicate with Microsoft's servers before the actual install commences.  There is no other way that one could reinstall on a wiped drive without a license key, and there are multiple accounts of people doing just that on these very forums.

 

         If one is booting from the install media, which you are when dealing with a drive that's a "blank slate," there has got to be a way that Windows 10 checks to see whether the motherboard on the computer in question has had a Windows 10 license activated for it in the past.  This would be true even if Linux were on the drive at that moment in time (or Windows 10, for that matter, since it's not using anything on the HDD/SSD itself when installing from bootable media).

 

         My main point, though, is that one does not choose Home or Pro when downloading the Windows 10 ISO.  I believe that one can choose 32-bit, 64-bit, or the combination ISO but the last time I downloaded the combination ISO it was too large for burning to a DVD.  You can actually upgrade from Home to Pro on a Home machine with no internet connection, because all the components for Pro (though not necessarily their latest versions) are on a Home machine, but they are not activated under a Home license.

 

          Windows 10 is essentially one OS that has component parts that can be activated, or not activated, depending on how it was licensed.  This, also, is a change from how prior versions of Windows worked prior to the Windows 10/Windows as a service era.

 

           Another thing it could be doing is installing "unactivated" and doing the activation as soon as a user sets up the internet connectivity after logging in.  Windows 10 will install without a license key in 30-day "demo mode" but, of course, if it finds a license key related to the motherboard on the machine it activates itself.


Edited by britechguy, 06 October 2017 - 09:00 AM.
Note about "after the fact" activation.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#12 britechguy

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:04 AM

The User Guide for this model indicates that the F2 key press is the BIOS entry key.

 

You should be pressing this about once per second when the machine is booting up *FROM SCRATCH*.  If you are shutting down and restarting under Windows 10 then you must be certain that Fast Startup is OFF or you must use Restart and begin hitting F2 about once per second as soon as you're back at the "black screen"


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#13 mystic12

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:08 AM

The User Guide for this model indicates that the F2 key press is the BIOS entry key.

 

You should be pressing this about once per second when the machine is booting up *FROM SCRATCH*.  If you are shutting down and restarting under Windows 10 then you must be certain that Fast Startup is OFF or you must use Restart and begin hitting F2 about once per second as soon as you're back at the "black screen"

How would I turn Fast Startup to off please?



#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:11 AM

Can you access BIOS by tapping F2 using an USB keyboard? If Windows is installed you can access your UEFI settings withing Windows.

 

  1. lick the Start icon_windows8_key.png menu and select Settings..
  2. Click Update & security.
  3. Click Update and recovery.
  4. Select Recovery from the left column, then clickRestart now.
  5. Once the boot menu appears, select Troubleshoot.
  6. In the Troubleshoot menu, select Advanced options.
  7. In the Advanced options menu, click UEFI Firmware Settings.
  8. Click Restart. The system will restart and enter UEFI (BIOS).

Edit: Make sure you also disable FastStart or QuickStart in your UEFI setting if you see these.


Edited by JohnC_21, 06 October 2017 - 09:15 AM.


#15 britechguy

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:12 AM

Control Panel, Power Options, "Choose What the Power Button Does" link, "Change Settings that are Currently Unavailable" link, Uncheck box for "Turn on fast startup (recommended)" and save your changes.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 





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