Wiping off a hard drive or SSD is important when you want to dispose of it or sell it. Simply deleting the files or formatting the drive is not enough, as it is possible to recover the data using data recovery software. In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to wipe off a hard drive or SSD in Windows, along with the required tools and links. Please note that wiping a drive will permanently delete all the data on it, so it is important to backup any important data before proceeding.
Step 1: Download a disk wiping tool
There are several disk wiping tools available for Windows, both free and paid. One popular free tool is Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN), which can be downloaded from their official website: https://dban.org/download. You can also use other tools such as CCleaner or Eraser.
Step 2: Create a bootable USB or CD/DVD
After downloading the disk wiping tool, you will need to create a bootable USB or CD/DVD. This will allow you to run the disk wiping tool before Windows starts up, which is necessary to wipe the entire drive.
To create a bootable USB, you can use a tool like Rufus. Download Rufus from their official website: https://rufus.ie/ and follow the instructions to create a bootable USB.
To create a bootable CD/DVD, you can use a tool like ImgBurn. Download ImgBurn from their official website: https://www.imgburn.com/ and follow the instructions to create a bootable CD/DVD.
Step 3: Boot from the USB or CD/DVD
Once you have created a bootable USB or CD/DVD, insert it into the computer and restart it. Depending on your computer, you may need to press a key (such as F12) to enter the boot menu and select the USB or CD/DVD as the boot device.
Step 4: Run the disk wiping tool
After booting from the USB or CD/DVD, the disk wiping tool should start automatically. Follow the instructions provided by the tool to wipe the drive.
For example, if you are using DBAN, you can use the “Autonuke” option to wipe the entire drive. This will overwrite all the data on the drive with random data, making it impossible to recover any data.
Step 5: Verify that the drive has been wiped
After the disk wiping tool has finished, you can verify that the drive has been wiped by trying to access any files on it. If the wiping was successful, you should not be able to access any files on the drive.
Alternatively, you can use a disk wiping tool like Parted Magic to check if the drive has been wiped. Parted Magic can be downloaded from their official website: https://partedmagic.com/ and comes with a disk wiping tool called “Secure Erase”.
I hope this guide helps!