How to Completely Erase a Hard Disk Drive

Completely Erase Hard Disk DriveA new year has begun and perhaps you have decided to perform a system upgrade or get rid of your old computer system and purchase a new one. But, before you sell or donate your old computer, it is very much necessary to completely erase your hard disk drive.

Yes, every one of us are aware of this fact and so, we delete the contents of the hard disk either by using the DELETE key on our keyboard or by Formatting the hard disk.

Deleting and Formatting – Just Not Secure Enough!

But the fact is, the data will still be on the hard disk even after deleting it or formatting the hard disk. Using the delete key on your keyboard will only remove the shortcuts to the files making them invisible to users. Deleted files still reside on the hard drive and a quick Google search will show many options for system recovery software will allow anyone to reinstate that data.

Formatting the hard drive is a bit more secure way to erase the hard disk. Formatting a disk will not erase the actual data on the disk but only the address tables pointing to the data are dropped. It makes it much more difficult to recover the files. However, a computer specialist would be able to recover most or all the data that was on the disk before the reformat. For those who accidentally reformat a hard disk, being able to recover most or all the data that was on the disk is a good thing. However, if you’re preparing a system for retirement to charity or any other organization, this obviously makes you more vulnerable to data theft.

Completely Erase the Hard Disk through Disk Wiping:

So it is necessary for us to use a 100 percent secure way to erase the data from the hard disk drive. This way of securely erasing the data is called Disk Wiping. Disk wiping is a secure method of ensuring that data, including company and individually licensed software on your computer and storage devices is irrecoverably deleted before recycling or donating the equipment. Because previously stored data can be brought back with the right software and applications, the disk wiping process will actually overwrite your entire hard drive with data, several times. Once you format you’ll find it all but impossible to retrieve the data which was on the drive before the overwrite. The more times the disk is overwritten and formatted the more secure the disk wipe is.

There are a variety of disk wiping products available that you can purchase, or freely downloaded online to perform more secure disk wipes. One of my favorite disk wiping software is:

You have to use this tool by burning the iso image file onto a CD or by using a floppy disk. After burning this tool you have to boot your PC and follow the screen instructions to completely wipe out the data from your hard disk drive.


  1. john
    March 20, 2009 at 8:07 PM

    Dear Srikanth (author)

    By seeing your above post really makes me your big fan man.

    actually last month i have lost my very important data in my system actually it got deleted by me unknowingly. Now please can u help me how can i recover my lost data in my harddisk , as u said i have never booted or formatted my system after that.PLEASE HELP ME !!!

    can u give me any free site where i can download the software and recover my lost data.

    Thanks !


  2. amit
    March 29, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    sir,please tell me how to retrieve the data from the hard disk which get lost due to formatting.

    • Srikanth
      March 31, 2009 at 12:21 PM

      @ amit

      Refer the following link

      for more info do a serach for “harddisk data recovery” on google.

  3. lov
    May 6, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Another way re partetion your hard disk

  4. Khurram
    May 15, 2009 at 4:46 AM

    dear john i think i can help you to recover this data coz i tried to recover so many times the data. Harddrive was reformated twice but i got back that data and it works. so if u want my help then email me so i ll tell u how u can do it. thankx
    waiting for your reply….
    Khurram Shahab Rana

    September 23, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Dude i would love to meet you someday.
    Can you help me, how to enable task manager which is disabled.

  6. gayathri
    November 19, 2009 at 7:57 AM

    Hi, I ve downloaded the wiper software. Will my existing files get erased on using this software during booting?

  7. ashutosh
    November 19, 2009 at 7:16 PM

    go to run > type gpedit.msc> in group policy> administrative templates> system> Altr ctrl del optip > you will see a option remove taskmanage desible that one

  8. omes7922
    January 20, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    hey this is good but is there any free ones and if you can
    wipeclean your hardrive than install an iso for example you clean your
    harddrive that was xp so than you wipe clean than install windows 7

  9. tapan
    February 2, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    hey author

    u r g8 man , it so helpful 2 me . thanx buddy…

  10. PcPro
    March 9, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    Hello. Is there not an easy way. With out haveing to download software?

  11. ayushi
    March 11, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    I need to how to delete the recoverable matter from hard disc

  12. Virtual Romeo
    July 28, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    you can do this in ccleaner itself by enabling wipe frww space button in it.

    i used it and will work for sure.

  13. vinit
    May 31, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    a great job by Srikanth. like it

  14. Yassin
    September 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    hi dear
    i need your helps please send me a email about
    how to crack,hack or remove winrar password by programs or with out programs.
    specially guide me how to make phishing web page for emails thanks.
    oh really sniperspy is used for email hacking.

    sincerely yassin ahmadi

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