30th March 2017, 17:37 #1
What to do before sending computer for repair?
As I have not found a business or anyone willing to replace the emmc drive in my 2-in--1 Tablet PC I am very probably going to have to send it from the UK to USA for replacement / repair, under warranty. I am very much in need of advice regarding this unfamiliar and unwelcome action.
For example, if possible should I format the C drive? And before doing this should I backup all or some of it to an external drive first, or is it likely this will copy the faults in the drive?
Secondly, with regard to the imminent Creators update should I try to install this before sending the machine back, or should I try to send it back before the (compulsory) update arrives?
I may well be able to carry out these procedures because I understand (although the machine is not in my hands at present) it is still usable for many activities, despite the faulty drive, which is however causing more than a dozen malfunctions, like being unable to download / update Store apps, or set a PIN code for signing in, or use links in Mail, etc.
I would keep the operating system and the antivirus software. I would probably uninstall as many other software as is possible & convenient - including its History. As far as IE, Edge, Apps, other browsers are concerned, log out of all your online accounts.
Use a Local Account login - and not a Microsoft Account login - for your PC.
Backup all your data and files to an external hard drive.
Then use a software to completely shred or erase data files permanently. Shredding refers to a technique where the space on hard disk is written with some random characters so that the data underneath becomes unrecoverable. As discussed above, there are certain software that help you do this. The more passes you use for shredding (or wiping as it is better known), the more secure you are against data theft.
A simple Delete/Empty Recycle Bin won't be of use. Formatting helps to a certain point. Since the mechanism used to store data on hard disk is to create scratches representing ones and zeroes, it is still possible for forensic software to recover disk images and thereby, your data.
Use CCleaner or Privazer or Wipe or any privacy & junk cleaner to delete browsing and other History.
You could install the Creators Update afterward too. Shouldn't be a problem at all.
UPDATE: Please see Precautions to take before sending your PC or Laptop for repair