Protect your data
1. Back up. Back up everything you want to retain for use in the future. You’ll need to use an external hard drive or a server to store your files.
2. Save your software serial numbers. Any installed software will also be lost when you wipe your computer (whichever method you use). Review what’s currently installed and dig out corresponding install discs and serial numbers.
3. Remove programs. Sort out your software licenses for any programs you want to continue using on the new computer.
4. Clear Cookies and sign out. Make sure you delete your browsing history and clear your cookies. It’s also worth making sure passwords for your email accounts have not been saved. Go to your webmail account, Facebook and any other site at which you regularly log in and deselect any options to log you in automatically. Your web browser may also have settings for logging in.
5. Delete. You’re now ready to delete the contents of the hard drive. Drag everything from your Documents, Pictures and Music folder into the recycle bin, then right-click on the Recycle Bin to delete its contents.