Re: Seeking expert advice regarding laptop
You can format it using a Windows XP install disc which will wipe your data and leave a fresh install of XP, i assume you still have the licence key on the underside of your laptop...
If you want it slightly more secure get a book disc with hard drive tools and format the drive, then write the whole disk with data then reinstall Windows over the top of that. The boot disc that this forum offers should do it using Darik's Boot and Nuke.
Primary - Gigabyte GA-990-FXA UD7, Phenom x6 1100T, 16gb Corsair Vengance, WD Caviar Black 750gb, CM 850w, XFX 6850 XXX x2 CrossfireX, CM HAF-X
Secondary - Asus P5K, Intel Q6600, 4gb OCZ 800mhz, Samsung 500gb, Corsair 600w CX600, Nvidia 8800gts, X-Clio A1
NAS: Seagate BlackAmor 400 2x 1.5tb Barracuda RAID1