How to Completely Wipe Out Hard Disk

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Your current PC is not enough for you now to support all the latest games, software etc. You may want to upgrade your hard disk or lending anyone else to use. In such situations, you have to think twice about your security. Even if you’ve deleted any confidential file/folder, there’s still a good chance that the new user will be able to recover them using special tools. That’s why it’s the best to wipe out your hard disk before going any further.

How “delete” works

Every data in the hard disk is identified by the operating system. In the file system, the OS keeps a record of the file’s location in the HDD. When you delete a file, the file is only disappeared from the file system of the drive. The data in the hard disks are never completely removed. They’re simply overwritten.

OS keeps the space on the hard disk for overwriting newer data. Unless the data is overwritten, using tools like data recovery software, the deleted files can be retrieved.

How to remove data for good

In order to remove data for good from the hard disk, you have to use special software to erase the space. The trick is very simple. These software will rewrite the hard disk with garbage data like “0”. Once overwritten, the previous data is never recoverable. If your PC or hard disk is about to change hands, this is the best step to ensure your privacy.

How to wipe data

There are 2 ways you can wipe the data.

Method 1

It’s a safer and better option. Delete all the confidential file(s)/folder(s) from your PC. Then, you can use these tools to run wiping process on the free spaces of your drives. Those free spaces contain the deleted files, so the deleted files will be erased for good.

If you’re a Windows user, the best tool available is Eraser. It’s a free tool with simple and easy-to-understand GUI. There are numerous supported data erasing methods including secured erasing. Using this tool, it’s very easy to clean up the free disk space. After installing, you’ll see the option of “Erase Unused Space” on every drive.

There are also other tools like Permadelete, File Shredder etc. to do the same job.

If you’re a Linux user, there’s also a tool available named BleachBit. This tool is also available in Windows version. Download and install BleachBit. Once installed, you can very easily “Wipe Free Space” from the tool.

Method 2

If you’re selling your hard disk or computer, it’s the best option to follow. This is an OS independent method and deletes data completely. So, before proceeding any further, BACKUP your important data.

There are several tools available for such function. The most popular one is DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke). It’s a free tool that’s available in bootable ISO. The entire process is a bit complex, so take a look at the video for better understanding.

If you’re not feeling comfortable with DBAN, you can use other tools like HD Shredder, CBL Data Shredder etc.

Take a note that the entire process of disk wiping is very time-consuming. Make sure that you run the process only when you have plenty of time and no other application running. The disk usage will rise to 100%, so don’t be afraid. Moreover, be cautious not to use data shredding tools too often. The process puts lots of pressure on the hard disk and too many shredding might cause trouble with the hardware.

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