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Swynne
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I want to restore factory settings on windows 7 professional.

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Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

Getting rid of computer.  Want to wipe it clean.  Have read directions and it doesn’t work.  Want to find “restore to factory settings” so everything is deleted.  Thank you.

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WAWood
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@Swynne 

First thing you need to understand is that a factory reset only REFORMATS the drive; it does not WIPE it. That means any standard forensic data recovery tool will be able to retrieve most, if not all, of your personal data from the drive.

So what you need to do is the following:
1) Remove the drive from the desktop
2) Connect the drive to a working PC using a USB-to-HDD drive adapter (like the one illustrated below)
3) Download and install the free partitioning tool MiniTool Partition Wizard (MTPW) onto the PC
4) Use MTPW to Wipe the partitions on your old drive
5) Reinsert the now blank drive back into your PC

Make a bootable USB recovery drive using the HP cloud recovery tool on a working PC.

The recovery drive can then be used to install Win10 and the HP drivers and utilities that originally came with your PC.

Here is the link: https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c06162205

Boot your PC  with that USB stick and use it to factory reset your PC. Since the drive is actually blank, there will be nothing for anyone to recover from it.

Eventually, the PC will reboot into initial setup. At that point, turn off the PC.

 

Typical USB-to-SSD adapter:

USB-Drive-Adapter.jpg

Good Luck

***If my post helped, click the thumbs-up symbol to say thanks***

***Please mark Accept As Solution if my post solved your problem***

I am a volunteer and I do not work for, nor represent, HP
Swynne
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@WAWood

Thank you for responding.  One thing I forgot to mention is: its an old HP all-in-one computer.  I don't know much about this topic, can you advise how I would "Remove the drive from the desktop" ?  Thx.

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