How to completely wipe a hard drive
Anyone can wipe a hard drive in two ways. Here’s what you would like to understand to get it done quick and straightforward .
There is data on your hard drive that you simply want to urge delete. Perhaps the pc is close to be sold or donated to charity; maybe you only want to make sure the info on the drive is completely erased before you utilize it yourself.
Whatever the case, you’ll delete the drive in Windows using native or third-party tools.
Why does one got to Erase Your Hard Drive?
There are various reasons why you would possibly wish to completely erase your hard disk drive.
You may worry about others seeing the data on the drive if you’re going to
1. Sell the hard drive.
2. Give it away.
3. Donate the PC to charity, church, or a college.
However, you would possibly not be getting to spare the device. Wiping the disk could be necessary to:
1. Remove a virus or ransomware.
2. Overwrite sensitive personal data.
3. Start using a second-hand disk drive that the previous owner has not wiped.
There are many reasons why you might want to wipe your computer’s disk drive. regardless of the case, Windows users have two options:
1. Native Windows 10 tools.
2. And applications such as Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN).
Let’s check out each option successively.
The Easy method to Wipe a hard disk drive in Windows 10
Although some good third-party tools are available, you would possibly be during a little bit of a rush. As such, getting to the difficulty of finding, downloading, and installing software isn’t what you would like to try to to.
Fortunately, you do not need to worry. There is a dedicated command in Windows 10 for wiping your hard drive.
Before proceeding, however, make sure you know the right drive letter for the disk you would like to erase. you will find this in Windows Explorer, so make a note of the drive letter. Note that you simply won’t be able to wipe the Windows C drive from within Windows (see subsequent section for a solution to that problem).
To do this you will need to use the Windows PowerShell environment, a command line tool into which you’ll input text-based instruction. The command you are going to use follows this syntax:
Format volume /P:passes
Here, volume refers to the drive letter, while /P is that the format command. Meanwhile, passes refers to the amount of times you would like each sector of the disk to be overwritten.
In that case, if your drive letter was X, and you wanted five passes of formatting, simply do this:
- Right-click Start.
- Select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Enter Format X: /P:5.
It’s as simple as that. Once the device has been wiped, you can reuse it.
Wiping a hard Drive in Windows 7 and Windows 8
Need to wipe a hard disk drive while using Windows 7 or Windows 8?
You’re in luck! a similar instructions for Windows 10 will work with earlier versions of Windows, back to and including Vista.
How to Totally Wipe a hard Drive With DBAN
What if you would like to destroy the data on your C: drive? this is often typically the disk drive that Windows is installed on and can’t be wiped using Windows’ built-in formatting tool.
Several third-party tools are available, but perhaps the most effective is Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN). Designed specifically for the task of destroying data in bulk, DBAN will run in your computer’s memory, very similar to a recovery disk, or a Linux live disk.
Two versions of DBAN are available:
The free, personal use disk erasure tool, and therefore the premium Blancco Drive Eraser. Because the free DBAN will effortlessly erase your HDD, you won’t need the paid version (unless you’re a business or organization).
Among the free DBAN features permanent data erasure, with 6 erasure standards, and supports SATA, ATA, and SCSI connectors. this could cover all hard disk drives. But what does this mean? Well, if you would like to wipe a hard drive inside your PC tower or laptop, DBAN can handle it.
Ready to back up? You can wipe your hard drive by following these five steps.
1. Identify Your hard drive
To avoid accidental erasure, start by ensuring you’ll identify your HDD.
The easy way to do that is to open Windows Explorer and check the C: drive. As long the device is labeled something like OS C: or Windows C: then you’re within the right area.
However, problems can arise if the C: drive is one among several and they are all partitions on an equivalent physical disk. It is possible that all partitions of the drive, not just C:, might be overwritten inadvertently.
Right-click the drive letter and choose Properties > Hardware to seek out the hardware name of the device. this may assist you to identify the drive in DBAN.
2. Download and Burn DBAN to Disc
DBAN is available in ISO format, and must be downloaded to your computer and burned to an optical disc.
- Download DBAN from Sourceforge.
- Place a blank disc in your optical read/write drive.
- Browse to the downloaded ISO file.
- Right-click dban-2.3.0_i586.isoand select Burn disc image.
- Work through the image burning wizard and wait because the disc is made .
When it’s done, remember to label the disk. you would possibly want to use it again; conversely, you would not want to load it up accidentally.
3. Back up Valuable Data
Before you wipe your Windows computer, it is vital to make sure that the data on the drive is 100% useless. If there’s anything you would like to keep, it should be backed up immediately. Recovery tools are going to be useless if you mistakenly delete data you would like to keep. Your data are going to be irretrievable after using DBAN.
4. Boot Into DBAN
To use DBAN:
- Insert the disc into the drive.
- Restart your PC.
- Boot the computer from the CD or DVD drive.
However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Usually, your computer will boot from the disk drive as was common . If it doesn’t, reorder the boot devices within the computer’s BIOS. Alternatively, tap a key (typically DEL or F12 – check your computer documentation for details) because the pc starts to prompt the boot selection screen.
With the proper boot device selected, DBAN will start, ready for you to start out deleting hard disk drives.
5. Wipe Your disk drive With Darik’s Boot and Nuke
You have several options on the DBAN screen:
- F2 to learn about DBAN.
- F3 for a listing of commands.
- F4 for troubleshooting.
- Press Enter to use DBAN interactively.
- Type autonuke to have DBAN automatically wipe your entire hard drive.
You probably don’t need to use the last option. Wipe your hard drive in guided mode instead:
- Tap Enter to start out guided mode.
- Use the arrow keys to select the device you would like to wipe.
- By tapping Space, you can flag the drive with the [wipe] flag.
- Tap F10 to begin wiping when ready.
Some other options are available. Shortcut keys listed at the bottom of the screen allow you to make changes to the wipe process:
- Use P to vary which random number generator is used to destroy your data.
- R changes the number of passes for every disk sector. This multiplies the default passes for every available wipe method. For instance, the default DoD Short has three passes by default, so using R allows you to change this to nine passes by specifying a value of three.
- You can choose between six erasure methods with M, including DoD Short, DoD 5220.22-M, and Gutmann Wipe.
- A verification mode (V) also may be enabled, although this can lengthen the wipe process.
A timer in the top-right pane of the DBAN tool shows how long the wipe process will take. As soon as the disk drive is selected, a new screen will appear with “pass” highlighted in green. You’re free to reuse the drive.
Try using DBAN again if the word “fail” appears instead. Consider physical destruction (see below) if this occurs repeatedly.
What are you able to Do With a Wiped Hard Drive?
After your hard drive has been wiped, it can be sold or reused safely.
For example, you would possibly sell it on eBay to raise some quick funds, otherwise, you could use it to build a PC for a relative.
The most important thing to notice is that the data is nearly impossible to retrieve. The disk can be used in any way without the data being uncovered. Want to make doubly sure? Use some physical force to destroy the device, such as drilling through the drive locations.
You can also hammer your magnetic disks, the platters, on which your data is stored, to extract your data.
Safely Wipe a Windows Computer With DBAN
While other tools (including some built-in options) can remove the data on your Windows disk drive, the safest option is to wipe with DBAN or an identical tool.
DBAN is straightforward to use — perhaps too simple. Indeed, without due care and attention, you’ll accidentally delete the incorrect hard drive. Using DBAN successfully requires you to:
- Write the ISO file to DVD.
- Identify your disk drive.
- Boot into DBAN.
- Wipe your Windows disk drive.
Once that’s done, the drive is often reused, or safely disposed of. If the drive is struggling with poor performance before you wipe it, you would possibly like better to recycle your old disk drive.