Should I wipe my computer before repair?
Another important question that I always get asked is ‘Should I wipe my computer before repair?’
Your computer is where you keep a lot of personal and sensitive data. As a result, it’s critical that you prepare your machine by ensuring that nothing vital gets lost before handing it over to a computer technician. And if you suspect that the repair might be upgrade or downgrade your OS, then it is better to backup the entire machine.
If you chose Computer Technicians, it’s not necessary to wipe your computer before you send it for repairs. When you are getting a repair done, there are high chances that the technician may reset the device, as the operating system maybe too corrupted for a repair. If you do not want your computer to get reset, make sure that convey the same to the repair technician.
Read on to find out these nitty-gritty of preparing your PC for repair:
1. Get into the habit of doing a backup
It’s always a good idea to clone your SSD or hard disk drive. Even if the experts erase your HDD clean to reinstall Windows, you’ll be able to retrieve all of your data because you cloned it. You’ll be able to restore Windows in its previous working condition even if they didn’t need to reinstall Windows but made a bit of mess during the repair process. There are numerous free backup programs that may help you create backups of your operating system.
2. Remove private data
Sensitive information, such as credit card and bank statements, tax forms, and other documents, could be stored on your computer. This data might include credit card numbers and banking details, tax file numbers, and other such information. Such critical information should be kept hidden.
3. Delete your browser cache
Did you know that your internet browser stores cached copies of visited web pages? The cached copies are saved on parts of your hard disk drive. You’ll see this caching in Google Chrome by pressing CTRL+H and then delete “http://www.” Deleting the cache isn’t usually necessary for repairing Windows but it’s good practice just in case they need more than one session with Windows during repairs.
Deleting your computer internet history also keeps your browsing sessions private.
Just remember that deleting cookies and browser history may also delete your saved passwords.
4. Best change your Windows password to something temporary
When giving out your laptop or desktop computer for repair, it’s best to change your Windows password to something temporary. This makes things really simple for the technician. By changing it temporarily, you will avoid losing important data during the repair process. The best course of action is to write down your temporary password or print it somewhere for reference.
Changing passwords may not seem necessary but we all know how easy it is to forget a password…especially if we use more than 1!
5. Erase all unnecessary files and programs
Even though it’s not necessary, deleting all unnecessary data can help speed up repairs, updates, and make the computer feel brand new when you get it back. Delete all files in folders that are not necessary to your everyday workflow. For example, if you don’t use iTunes or iCloud, delete them . If you don’t use iMovie or Garageband, delete them too. These programs take up hundreds of megabytes on top of other system files that can be deleted to allow disk space for repairs.
6. Remove any third party software
System repairers often recommend removing programs that run automatically when Windows starts (e.g. anti-virus, firewalls, game launchers, etc.). This is because the computer needs to be reset back to a state before it was infected or they may need to access other information. If you have a lot of programs that run automatically, you can just uninstall the programs and then delete them by going to “Start>Control Panel>Add or Remove Programs” and looking for the unwanted program.
This should be done especially if you give your PC away for a motherboard repair service as third party software may interfere with the working of the new motherboard.
7. Delete any third party drivers
Another thing you can do before taking your computer in is to remove any third party hardware such as printers, keyboards, mass storage device drivers and any other devices that aren’t built into Windows. Even removing a printer will save time because the technician won’t have to install it for you.
Printers can be uninstalled from “Start Menu – Control Panel – Hardware and Sound – Devices and Printers” then right click on the device and select “uninstall”. This action will take care of all the software that is associated with that device.
8. Be picky about who you entrust your device with.
Unfortunately, not all repair shops are of the same quality. A seasoned company with a track record of satisfied clients is preferable. Look out for Google reviews!
Make sure you ask the question – will my data be private and secure?
Here are some commonly asked questions:
However, what exactly is “wiping” and how does it work?
‘Wiping’ a computer is the process of erasing all information that is stored on the disk drive. It is a common practice for companies that are disposing of old computers or devices, to wipe them clean before handing it over to avoid any security threats. The same applies for when you are looking at getting repairs done with your computer.
How can I tell whether my computer needs wiping?
If your computer’s operating system is corrupted way beyond repair, then your computer will most likely be wiped before it can be fixed.
If wiping isn’t required, how do I make sure all files are safe during transfer?
Best to ask the technician to take a backup of all the files before any work is done on the laptop.