Format a Computer Hard Drive and Erase Everything.
To format or wipe a hard drive means to completely erase everything from it to its factory default.
You can not format a hard drive by just deleting the files in it. There are other extra steps that are required in order to wipe completely all the data to factory default.
When you delete files on a hard disk, they go into invisible mode but they are still on the computer. However, this can be recovered using Data recovery tools.
There are several methods that can be used to wipe a hard drive completely.
If you want to make sure that your private information has been wiped off completely, the following steps below will guide you on how to do it.
How to Wipe a Computer Hard Drive.
To erase your hard drive, you can either use a software or system format command.
The time taken to completely wipe a hard drive may vary, this depends on the method or software used.
Important: You need to Backup all the files and documents you want to keep. This is because, after the hard drive wipe is complete, there will be no way to recover anything on the drive back.
Wipe a Hard Drive using a software.
There are several programs that can be used to wipe a hard drive completely. Some of them are easy to use while others are complicated.
The best way to go about it is to Wipe the hard drive according to the program’s instructions.
Some of the programs are saved in ISO image and require you to download and save the image to either a CD or DVD and then booting from the disc to run the program.
Here are a few examples of free data destruction software programs available today.
- DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke).
- CBL Data Shredder.
- HDShredder Free Edition.
These are just a few but to mention. We have written a post on Free Data Destruction Software Programs.
You can visit the article through the link above to learn more.
How to Wipe a Hard Drive on Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10.
Windows XP and 2000.
- Insert the Windows XP/2000 installation CD in the CD-ROM drive.
- Restart your computer and press F8 to boot from the disk.
- A message will appear on your screen “Press any key to boot from CD,” press a key on the keyboard.
- A new Windows XP Setup welcome screen will appear having Terms and Agreements.
- Press F8 key to accept the Terms and agreements to continue with the setup.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to select a hard drive partition to format and install Windows XP on.
- You can create new partitions if you want to at this stage by entering the size.
- Your hard drive will be formatted and all data will be erased.
Windows 7 and Vista.
- Insert the Windows 7/Vista installation CD in the CD-ROM drive and restart the computer.
- Restart your computer and press F8 or F12 to boot from the disk the key to press depends on the type of computer or laptop.
- A message will appear on your screen prompting you to “Press any key to boot from CD,” press a key on the keyboard.
- Press the Enter key at the Windows Setup welcome screen.
- Select Your preferred language On the “Install Windows” page and click next.
- Accept the terms and agreements and click Next.
- On the Installation, choose the Custom option and select the Drive Options (advanced).
- Delete all partitions you should see a single entry named “Unallocated space.”
- Create a new partition by selecting “create new partition” and select where to install.
- Click Next and your installation will continue.
- Press the Windows key plus the “C” key to open the Charms menu.
- Chose the Search option and type reinstall in the Search text field.
- Do not press enter at this stage.
- Select Remove everything and reinstall Windows on the left side of the screen and click Next.
- Click “Reset your PC” screen, you will see a message “Do you want to fully clean your drive”.
- Select Fully clean the drive to have all files erased.
- On the “Ready to Reset your PC” screen, click Reset.
- The hard drive will be erased and Windows 8 will be reinstalled.
- Open the Start Menu.
- Select the Settings option that looks like a gear.
- In the Settings window, select the Update & security option.
- On the left navigation pane select the “Recovery option”.
- Click the Get Started button in the “Reset this PC” section.
- Click on Remove everything option and follow the prompts to begin the installation process.
These step by steps guide will help you Wipe a Hard Drive completely. However, all the files inside will be erased completely beyond recovery.