How to Securely Wipe a Hard Drive

Aamir Khan

Do you want to remove the hard drive and windows PC files? Today we will show you how to obliterate your files, Securely Wipe a Hard Drive, and ensure that these files and data will not be recoverable. No matter which windows you use (windows 11, windows 10, windows 8.1, or windows 7).

You must wipe your system’s hard drive when you sell it to someone or want to reinstall windows or any other OS. Wiping a hard drive is not just deleting files or reinstalling OS. It’s the way to delete or erase your hard drive so that it will never be recoverable.

Deleting files alone has disadvantages since they can be recovered from the Recycle Bin or the Right Utility. No matter which windows you use, all windows have a built-in feature to reset your OS.

In this modern era, almost all new devices come with SSD(Solid State Drive), which is nearly 10x faster than the traditional hard drive. So it also works faster than its mechanical counterparts. In SSD, it is trickier to erase data. To ensure that your data will not be in the wrong hands after you sell your computer, a good hard drive eraser utility is still your best bet if you want a more robust and more secure method of wiping your drive.

In this guide, we will show you how to wipe a hard drive in windows 11, windows 10, windows 8.1, and windows 7. So be with us to the end of this guide.

How to Securely Wipe a Hard Drive in Windows 11

Securily Wipe a Hard Drive

To wipe out the drive in Windows 11 is almost similar to Windows 10, with a few changes, however. Follow this to wipe a drive in windows 11;

  • Go to Settings > System > Recovery and click Reset PC
  • When it asks for erase, then select remove everything.
Securily Wipe a Hard Drive
  • Now select the local install as it is faster than the cloud download because it first downloads the files and then installs them. While on the other hand, in local installation, the downloaded files are installed, which takes less time. Select cloud download if you face any error by installing the first option. In the additional settings windows, click the Change settings link, enable the switch for Clean data, and then click Confirm.
Securily Wipe a Hard Drive

To start the process, click the Next button and then reset. Now the process is started, and windows are going through the process of resetting, and it wipes your drive. The windows will be reinstalled, and after the process, you can set it again if you want to keep it to yourself; otherwise, shut it down.

Erase a Drive in Windows 10

Securily Wipe a Hard Drive

Follow this guide to wipe your drive in Windows 10;

  • Go to Settings > Update & security > Recovery.
  • Now click on get started, and next to it, choose the option Remove everything.
  • Now select the local reinstall option to reinstall the Windows rather than the cloud download.
  • In the Additional settings window, click the Change Settings and turn on the Clean switch data.
  • Click Confirm and then click Next. Click Reset to start the process.
Securily Wipe a Hard Drive

After completing this process, the drive is wiped, and Windows is reinstalled. If you want to keep and use this device again, go to the windows setup process; otherwise, just shut it down.

Wipe Your Drive in Windows 8.1

If you are a windows 8.1 user and you want to wipe your device, then follow the given guide;

  • Go to Settings > Change PC Settings > Update and recovery > Recovery.
  • Under the Remove everything and reinstall Windows section, Click Get Started. 
  • Click Next and then Fully clean the drive; remove everything in your drive.
    Securily Wipe a Hard Drive
    • Click the Reset button.

    Now you have successfully cleaned your drive and Reset and reinstalled your windows. After you reboot your PC, you will be on the Windows setup screen, where you can go through the setup process again if you plan to keep the PC. Otherwise, shut it off now. You have Securely Wipe a Hard Drive.

    Wipe Your Drive in Windows 7

    A different method exists to restore or wipe the hard drive in windows 7. It is different from the newer versions. To make the process smoother, you need a recovery partition(Opens in a new window) or the Windows 7 installation disc(Opens in a new window)

    Follow this guide to wipe your hard drive in windows 7;

    • Open the control panel and click Advanced recovery methods in the recovery option(If you haven’t created a recovery partition, you will face an error).
    • Here you will be given many options to choose how to reinstall windows 7.
    • Now skip the option to create a backup.
    • Click the restart to reset windows.

    The process of starting to wipe your hard drive has begun, and it will take some time. After some time, it restarts, and if you want to use it again, set up your windows; otherwise, just shut it down.

    Third-party Apps

    Some popular software tools used to wipe hard drives are listed below.

    1. DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke)
    2. CCleaner
    3. Eraser
    4. KillDisk
    5. Parted Magic
    6. Active@ KillDisk
    7. Disk Wipe
    8. Roadkil’s Disk Wipe
    9. Secure Eraser
    10. Hard Disk Scrubber

    Be sure that this process will permanently remove all data from your hard drive, and note that this process is irreversible, meaning that once it is complete, you will be unable to recover it. So if you have any important data and don’t want to sell this PC, create a backup of your data and then erase your drive.

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