Do you plan to get rid of your PC? This is how you ensure that all personal files on your hard drive are deleted and cannot be recovered regardless of whether you are running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, or Windows 7. Wipe Your Hard Drive with the guides in this article.
Do you want to sell, donate, or rent your computer? Maybe you have already deleted personal files and information or reinstalled or restored Windows, which deleted your private information. Either way, you’re not done yet. You have to take an important step before saying goodbye to your old friend. You need to clean your hard drive.
Most laptops and many desktop computers are now equipped with solid-state hard drives rather than mechanical hard drives and you need to wipe them if you must get rid of all the files in it. The SSD is faster than their mechanical counterparts but can be more difficult to clean. Simply deleting your files will not work as they can be restored from the Recycle Bin. And even if you empty the Recycle Bin, your deleted files can often be recovered using the appropriate recovery mode.
You can factory reset Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 to factory settings using the built-in reset functions. However, if you want a safer and more reliable way to clean your hard drive, a good hard drive wiping utility is sufficient. When cleaning a mechanical hard drive, you need an eraser utility that complies with the DoD 5220.22-M standard. This means that the utility will completely erase your hard drive by overwriting your data with different characters three times.
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Wipe up your hard drive in Windows 10
With the help of the recovery tool in Windows 10, you can reset your PC and clean the drive simultaneously. Go to Settings> Update & Security> Recovery and click Start under Reset this PC.
You will then be asked whether you want to keep your files or delete everything. Select Clear All, click Next, and then click Reset.
Your PC will restart and reinstall Windows. Once you are done, your PC will restart, and you will be shown on the Windows configuration screens. If you plan to sell or deliver your PC to someone else, you should go through the setup process to configure your PC for someone else. If you want to get rid of the PC, shut it down immediately.
Clean up your disc in Windows 8.1
In Windows 8.1, go to Settings> Change PC Settings> Update and Restore> Recovery. Under the Remove All and Reinstall Windows heading, click the Start button. On the next page, click Next.
You have the option to delete your files or to clean the drive completely. Select Clean Drive Completely and then click the Reset button.
Your PC will restart, and Windows will be reinstalled. After restarting your PC, you will be on the Windows settings screen. If you want to sell or deliver your PC to someone, you can go through the configuration process to configure it for them. If you want to throw the computer away, turn it off.
Wipe up your hard drive in Windows 7
Windows 7 does not offer the same restart tool as Windows 10 or 8.1. However, you can reset your Windows 7 hard drive to the factory settings under the relevant conditions. To simplify the process, you need a recovery partition or the Windows 7 installation CD.
Open the Control Panel and click Recovery. On the next screen, click the link for advanced recovery methods. Please note that an error message may appear here if your PC does not have a recovery partition that prevents progress.
The next screen shows different options depending on how you reinstall Windows 7. Select the appropriate option for your scenario. When you’ve made your selections, choose Skip when prompted to back up your files, then click Restart.
Windows will then restart. Depending on the option you choose, you can now reinstall and configure Windows 7 to remove the previous installation. To provide a safer removal method, you should use a third-party utility.
Disk erase utility
Disk Wipe is a free portable eraser utility that runs from a USB drive and erases the Windows startup drive. Download the DiskWipe.exe file, run it on your PC, or create a boot environment on your USB drive and run DiskWipe. The simple user interface shows the drives and partitions. Select the one you want to delete and click Clean Disk.
The program asks you how you want to format the drive: NTFS, FAT or FAT32. Then choose the type of erasure pattern and the number of passes you want to use, e.g., Department of Defense Zeros, One Pass Random, or DoD. The more passes you choose, the longer the process generally takes, but the safer the elimination is.
Parted or separate magic utility
Parted Magic is an all-rounder. For $ 11, this utility offers disk partitioning, hard disk cloning, file recovery, and disk wiping. The software also supports SSD. To run this Linux-based program from a bootable USB drive or CD / DVD, you need to use a tool like Rufus to configure support. This process is explained in a useful YouTube video.
Start your PC and select the bootable medium you created. Double-click the icon on the Parted Magic screen to erase the disc. In the “Eraser” menu, select the option “Secure Erase” or “Block Erase” (the program describes the differences between the two) and then the desired erase method. In the preceding window, select the drive you want to delete, click OK, and the drive will be deleted.