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Secondhand

@rogers.com

How do I make sure my second hand computer is safe?

I apologize if this is in the wrong place.

The computer is an IBM with Pentium 4. Looks like it originally had Windows XP on it but the person I got it from installed Windows 7 which it is currently running. I don't have the install discs for Windows 7 otherwise I would just do a fresh install... so what can I do to make sure the PC is safe? Is it possible to start over without those Windows discs?

I've got Avast free and Malwarebytes and have run them and everything looks safe according to those but I'm sure there could be things hidden. I'm not quite a newbie when it comes to computers but I'm not that knowledgeable either. I'd appreciate any help anyone would care to offer. Thanks.


beerbum
Premium
join:2000-05-06
Reading, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
if it were me.. other than the standard virus/trojan/malware checks.. I would uninstall everything, save for Windows and any necessary drivers.. then create a new user with admin rights, switch over to that user and delete any old user(s) including their files..

after that run msconfig to see what if anything is set to run at startup.. disable and remove anything that isn't system/driver related.. same with services - 3rd party services are usually easy to find.. disable those or uninstall them if you can.. then run windows update to bring the system up to date.. after all that then start installing or reinstalling programs.

all this is on the premise that I have no usable install media to do a clean install after wiping the disk..


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to Secondhand
Before you go much further, I'd first make an image rescue disk of the drive as it currently exists. Not having the OS disks, that will at least get you back to where you are now if things should go sour at some point. Otherwise, if things crash seriously, you'll risk having to buy a new set of Windows disks...

Later, once you get your system cleaned up and running to your satisfaction, create another "baseline" image rescue disk for future reference.
--
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville


antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:5
reply to Secondhand
Do you trust that person who installed Windows 7? Is that even a legal copy?