Returning a defective laptop - How do I "de-register" (i.e. remove Microsoft account and all other personal data)?


Fun Guy

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This new laptop is a trainwreck. But of course, I had to log in with my Microsoft account to find what a trainwreck it is.

Question - How do I remove all (every last bit) of personal information from the machine before I return it?
 
Windows Build/Version
New Laptop

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11

markw51

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Windows 11 build 10.0.22581.100
This new laptop is a trainwreck. But of course, I had to log in with my Microsoft account to find what a trainwreck it is.

Question - How do I remove all (every last bit) of personal information from the machine before I return it?
Reset Windows through settings
 

My Computer

System One

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    Windows 11 build 10.0.22581.100
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Manufacturer/Model
    Microsoft Surface Pro 7
    CPU
    Intel i5-1035G4
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    8GB
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    Surface keyboard
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    Surface keyboard / MS Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse
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Archigos

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Open Settings (Win+I), go to System -> Recovery and click "Reset PC" and tell it to do the option where you do NOT save anything and start from scratch.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro β
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion Laptop 15-eg0070wm
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
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    1920x1080
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    512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
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    macOS Big Sur
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    Apple iMac 27" 5K (2017)
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    3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
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    40 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
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    Radeon Pro 570 4 GB
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    32GB NVME, 1TB SSD

Servo

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I would do the same as Archigos has said.
 

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System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
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    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self build
    CPU
    3900x
    Motherboard
    Asus 570 plus
    Memory
    32
    Graphics Card(s)
    Rtx 2070
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    on board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    samsung 4k 28"
    Screen Resolution
    1900x1080
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    2 x 1 gb nvme
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    Corsair 650w
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    midi tower
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    Watercooled
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    rgb wireless
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    wireless logitech
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    50m
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  • Operating System
    Windows 11 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
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    Beelink
    CPU
    Amd ryzen 7 3750H
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    beelink
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    32 gig
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    Vega RX 10
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    on board
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    samsung 4k
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    1920 x 1080
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    2 x 1tb nvme
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cereberus

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Open Settings (Win+I), go to System -> Recovery and click "Reset PC" and tell it to do the option where you do NOT save anything and start from scratch.

@Fun Guy

OP should select yes for "clean data" option - takes longer but almost impossible to recover data. Also advise clicking yes to others as shown.

Also, when pc resets, and get to first screen asking for keyboard, switch off pc, and any links to MS account are lost.

1651178683559.png
 

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My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
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    Edge mostly
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    Defender
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    TPM 2.0

GCG1000

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This new laptop is a trainwreck. But of course, I had to log in with my Microsoft account to find what a trainwreck it is.

Question - How do I remove all (every last bit) of personal information from the machine before I return it?
FWIW: The old fashion way to completely clean a hard drive, of all data, is simply to do a full reformat of the entire drive. Good Luck!
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A-540 Idea Center AMD Ryzen
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 3 3200GE with Radeon Vega Graphics
    Motherboard
    3703, LENOVO
    Memory
    8.00 GB (5.95 GB available)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon(TM) Vega 8 Graphics (2.00 GB)
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition Audio Device, Realtek High Definition Audio, DFX Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo 24-Inch LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLB256HBHQ-000L7, 238 GB (256,052,966,400 byte)
    Case
    std
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless / Bluetooth
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless / Bluetooth
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Pro / Windows Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP 15tegooo [HP Pavilion Laptop Intel I-7]
    CPU
    Intel I-7-1165G7
    Memory
    8 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP HD micro edge, Bright View, 250 nits
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x768
    Hard Drives
    256 GB DD4-3200 SDRAM
    Case
    Std HP Laptop
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    std
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security

Archigos

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The old fashion way to completely clean a hard drive, of all data, is simply to do a full reformat of the entire drive.
True, but if you're returning a computer to the store, they may try to power it on to see if it works and if the drive is blank you have to explain to the employee.... and let's be honest, 'some' of them aren't that smart
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro β
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion Laptop 15-eg0070wm
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
  • Operating System
    macOS Big Sur
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple iMac 27" 5K (2017)
    CPU
    3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    Memory
    40 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Radeon Pro 570 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    27" 5K, 34" UW
    Screen Resolution
    Mon 1: 5120 × 2880 Mon 2: 2560 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    32GB NVME, 1TB SSD

cereberus

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True, but if you're returning a computer to the store, they may try to power it on to see if it works and if the drive is blank you have to explain to the employee.... and let's be honest, 'some' of them aren't that smart
Also a format does not clean up drive, so data can be recovered.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0

glasskuter

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 22000.832
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 m.2 2230-256+1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
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    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 21H2
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    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
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    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
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    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium

GCG1000

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True, but if you're returning a computer to the store, they may try to power it on to see if it works and if the drive is blank you have to explain to the employee.... and let's be honest, 'some' of them aren't that smart
I completely agree.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A-540 Idea Center AMD Ryzen
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 3 3200GE with Radeon Vega Graphics
    Motherboard
    3703, LENOVO
    Memory
    8.00 GB (5.95 GB available)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon(TM) Vega 8 Graphics (2.00 GB)
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition Audio Device, Realtek High Definition Audio, DFX Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo 24-Inch LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLB256HBHQ-000L7, 238 GB (256,052,966,400 byte)
    Case
    std
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless / Bluetooth
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless / Bluetooth
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Pro / Windows Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP 15tegooo [HP Pavilion Laptop Intel I-7]
    CPU
    Intel I-7-1165G7
    Memory
    8 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP HD micro edge, Bright View, 250 nits
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x768
    Hard Drives
    256 GB DD4-3200 SDRAM
    Case
    Std HP Laptop
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    std
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security

GCG1000

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Also a format does not clean up drive, so data can be recovered.
I guess the most thorough way to completely zero the HD is to use CMD and Type format g: /fs:NTFS /p:0 and press Enter to format the G drive with the NTFS file system and write zeros to every sector of the drive once. Where 'g' in this case would be "C".
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A-540 Idea Center AMD Ryzen
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 3 3200GE with Radeon Vega Graphics
    Motherboard
    3703, LENOVO
    Memory
    8.00 GB (5.95 GB available)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon(TM) Vega 8 Graphics (2.00 GB)
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition Audio Device, Realtek High Definition Audio, DFX Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo 24-Inch LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLB256HBHQ-000L7, 238 GB (256,052,966,400 byte)
    Case
    std
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless / Bluetooth
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless / Bluetooth
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Pro / Windows Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP 15tegooo [HP Pavilion Laptop Intel I-7]
    CPU
    Intel I-7-1165G7
    Memory
    8 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP HD micro edge, Bright View, 250 nits
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x768
    Hard Drives
    256 GB DD4-3200 SDRAM
    Case
    Std HP Laptop
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    std
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security

glasskuter

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All these are valid points, but if you return a device for refund, whether it be to a manufacturer or a retailer, it has to have an OS on it or you probably won't get a refund. You should perform a reset Remove everything and reinstall Windows. You'll be asked to choose whether you want to erase data quickly or thoroughly. If you choose to erase data quickly, some data might be recoverable using special software. If you choose to erase data thoroughly, this will take longer but it makes recovering data less likely.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 22000.832
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 m.2 2230-256+1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 21H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium

GCG1000

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Windows 11 Home
All these are valid points, but if you return a device for refund, whether it be to a manufacturer or a retailer, it has to have an OS on it or you probably won't get a refund. You should perform a reset Remove everything and reinstall Windows. You'll be asked to choose whether you want to erase data quickly or thoroughly. If you choose to erase data quickly, some data might be recoverable using special software. If you choose to erase data thoroughly, this will take longer but it makes recovering data less likely.
Excellent advice.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A-540 Idea Center AMD Ryzen
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 3 3200GE with Radeon Vega Graphics
    Motherboard
    3703, LENOVO
    Memory
    8.00 GB (5.95 GB available)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon(TM) Vega 8 Graphics (2.00 GB)
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition Audio Device, Realtek High Definition Audio, DFX Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo 24-Inch LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLB256HBHQ-000L7, 238 GB (256,052,966,400 byte)
    Case
    std
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless / Bluetooth
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless / Bluetooth
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Pro / Windows Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP 15tegooo [HP Pavilion Laptop Intel I-7]
    CPU
    Intel I-7-1165G7
    Memory
    8 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP HD micro edge, Bright View, 250 nits
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x768
    Hard Drives
    256 GB DD4-3200 SDRAM
    Case
    Std HP Laptop
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    std
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security

Dru2

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Windows 11 Pro 21H2 (22000.795)
All these are valid points, but if you return a device for refund, whether it be to a manufacturer or a retailer, it has to have an OS on it or you probably won't get a refund. You should perform a reset Remove everything and reinstall Windows. You'll be asked to choose whether you want to erase data quickly or thoroughly. If you choose to erase data quickly, some data might be recoverable using special software. If you choose to erase data thoroughly, this will take longer but it makes recovering data less likely.

^^^ This ^^^ (y)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 (22000.795)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built
    CPU
    Intel i9-9900K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme
    Memory
    32G (4x8) DDR4 Corsair RGB Dominator Platinum (3600Mhz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon VII
    Sound Card
    Onboard (ESS Sabre HiFi using Realtek drivers)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC PA242w (24 inch)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    5 Samsung SSD drives: 2X 970 NVME (512 & 1TB), 3X EVO SATA (2X 2TB, 1X 1TB)
    PSU
    EVGA Super Nova I000 P2 (1000 watt)
    Case
    Cooler Master H500M
    Cooling
    Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
    Keyboard
    Logitech Craft
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    500mb Download. 11mb Upload
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
    Other Info
    System used for gaming, photography, audiophile media center, work.
  • Operating System
    Win 11 Pro Dev 22H2 (build 25140.1000)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1
    CPU
    Intel i7-7600U
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    16igg
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 620
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14.0 WQHD OLED Touch
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVMe Drive (OEM)
    PSU
    laptop
    Case
    laptop
    Cooling
    Laptop cooling
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Anywhere 2S
    Keyboard
    Laptop
    Internet Speed
    100MB
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
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