When you format a hard drive or delete a partition, you are generally only deleting the file system, making the data unnoticeable or no longer laboriously listed, but not gone. A file recovery program or special tackle frequently recovers the information. However, you will need to wipe the computer hard drive using special software, If you want to make sure that your private information is gone ever.
How to Wipe a Computer Hard Drive
This process could take several minutes to several hours depending on how big the drive is and what method you choose.
- Back up anything you want to keep, like photos, software product keys, etc. When the hard drive wipe is complete, there will be absolutely no route to get anything on the drive back.
Back up everything you want to keep; sometimes several virtual drives share space on a single physical hard drive. View the drives (volumes) that sit on a hard drive from the Disk Management tool in Windows.
- Download a free data destruction program. Any of the first six programs we recommend on that list will work great because they can be used to wipe a hard drive from outside of Windows. A necessary point if you want to wipe the drive that Windows is installed on.
We are major fans of DBAN, our first pick on that list. It’s presumably the most extensively used hard drive wiping tool (but please know that it does not wipe solid-state drives). See our How to Wipe a Hard Drive With DBAN tutorial if you are nervous about hard drive wiping or prefer a more detailed walkthrough.
- Complete whatever steps are necessary to install the software or, in the case of a bootable program like DBAN, get the ISO image on a CD or DVD slice, or a USB device like a flash drive.
If you’re using a CD or DVD – This process generally involves burning the ISO image to a disc and also booting from the disc to run the program, If you are using a CD or DVD.
If you’re using a flash drive or other USB drive – This process generally involves burning the ISO image to the USB device and also booting from that USB drive to get started, If you are using a flash drive or other USB drive.
- Wipe the hard drive according to the program’s instructions.
Plugin your laptop or verify the battery’s fully charged. The total time it takes to finish the HDD wipe depends on the size of the drive and the speed of the computer.
When it’s all said and done, you can be confident that whatever information was on the drive is now gone for good.
So you are able to successfully wipe a computer hard drive. You can now install Windows on the drive, produce a new partition, vend or give away the hard drive or computer, reclaim or dispose of it, restore your backed-up lines, or whatever differently you need to do.