How To: Completely Wipe a Hard Drive

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Deleting a hard disk means completely erasing the hard disk with all its information. Deleting everything does not delete the hard disk and formatting does not (always) delete the hard disk. You must take an additional step to completely erase the hard disk.

When you format a hard disk or delete a partition, you usually simply delete the file system, make the data invisible or no longer blatantly index it, but do not disappear. A file recovery program or special equipment can easily recover the information.

If you want to make sure that your personal data is erased forever, you must erase the hard disk with special software.

You may be concerned that others may see the data on the hard drive if you plan to do the following

  • Selling the hard disk drive
  • Give it as a gift
  • Donate the computer to charities, churches or schools.

However, you may not intend to unplug the unit. It may be necessary to wipe the hard disk drive:

  • Remove a virus or ransom.
  • Replace sensitive personal information.
  • Start with a used drive that the previous owner did not delete.

How does the hard disk deletion work?

You may be wondering how to delete hard disks works because deleting and formatting does not work with clean disks all the time. In addition to physical damage to the hard disk, we can completely delete the data using disk wiping technology.

As we have already mentioned, in order to completely erase the hard disk, we must delete this binary data, which means that we overwrite these zeros and those with new data. Once the binary data in a file has been replaced and overwritten with new data, it can no longer be recovered. Some professional hard disk eraser software can fill the hard disk with zeros or random information sector by sector to ensure that no data can be recovered from a deleted hard disk.

DBan (Darik’s Boot and Nuke)

This is probably the most popular program and is essentially a stand-alone boot disk. Create a boot CD with CDBurnerXP or any other burning program and start the CD when prompted after restarting your computer.

You can choose from several wiping methods, including Gutmann Wipe, Department of Defense Short and Medium, and others. I have used this program several times and I have noticed that it does an excellent job of erasing data on different types of hard disks. If DBan does not work for you for any reason, you can try the other programs listed below.

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Windows 10 Native

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Select the Settings option (looks like a speed).
  3. In the Settings window, select Update and Security.
  4. In the left navigation pane, select Restoration.
  5. In the “Reset this PC” section, click on the “Get Started” button.
  6. Select Keep my files or Delete all, depending on whether you want to keep your files or delete them all and restart.
  7. Follow the instructions to start the recovery process.

Windows will reset, keeping your files intact or deleting everything, depending on the option you choose.

Wipe your hard drive physically.

If you want to make sure that your hard disk is deleted twice, you can take additional measures. For example, you can physically delete the player. Simply remove your hard drive and take a rare earth magnet with you. Another option? Remove it with a screwdriver.

A rare earth magnet, such as the neodymium magnet, can be used to deform the metal plates of the hard disk drive. This makes it unusable. Warning : Magnets are powerful and can cause physical damage if they are not used properly.

A safer method might be to use a screwdriver to disassemble the parts of the player to make them unusable.

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