Need to clean my 'Puter
April 9, 2008 2:21 PM   Subscribe

How do I clean up the computer I use at work?

I am leaving my current job and don't want to leave any traces of the bit torrenting I have done. (Please note: the torrenting I do is the legal kind, primarily live Grateful Dead). My boss knows and is cool with it but I just want to leave the computer free of any downloads.

Obviously, I can remove any software and delete any files, but aren't there still records in the Temp folder that need deleting?

Basically I want to have the computer like new (or as close to it) without having to reload the OS.

I am somewhat computarded so any advice on a quick and easy clean up would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
posted by rare_g to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: What's your operating system? On Windows, CCleaner will delete a lot of temporary files and will show you a list of both the Windows temp folders and application-specific temp folders it will clean. I would run CCleaner and to be really sure delete the %Appdata%\$Your_torrent_client\ folders and whatever folder you'd been using to store the .torrent files themselves. After that, assuming you've kept track of what's you've downloaded and copied it to another medium to take with you and then deleted it off the computer, you should be good to go.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:29 PM on April 9, 2008

I also notice that if I download a folder called This.DVDRip.2008.PSYCHO, where PSYCHO is the release group, Windows will think ".DVDRip.2008.PSYCHO" is a file extension and add it to the registry. CCleaner's registry cleaner will clean this up as well. I've used it for ~2 years on both XP and Vista and never had any problems.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:31 PM on April 9, 2008

In addition to the above, you might try doing a search for all folders called "Temp" just to be sure.
posted by jinatrix at 3:05 PM on April 9, 2008

Log in as local administrator and delete your profile. Everything under c:\documents and settings\username. Do a shift-delete on the file that contains your username.

Now download sdelete from microsoft and do an sdelete.exe /z Let this run for an hour or so.

This will overwrite all the blank space on your drive. This is far from a perfect solution but its gets most everything.
posted by damn dirty ape at 3:51 PM on April 9, 2008

Before returning an old laptop at work I booted to floppy reformatted the C: drive. Drastic but effective.

I worked at a large company where I could ask PC support to reinitialize the PC (like using a system restore disk). They have that process automated because they customize every PC before they put it on a desktop. In that case it would be standard procedure to ask a tech to re-initialize your PC for the next user.

I do not have a specific product in mind, but I know there is delete software that write over deleted files making them unrecoverable.

posted by swarkentien at 6:50 PM on April 9, 2008

I also recommend ccleaner.
posted by radioamy at 7:44 PM on April 9, 2008

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