Whether you want to sell, dispose of, or give away your hard drive, wiping the data from it is necessary. Usually, you may think that just deleting the files would do the trick, either by emptying the recycle bin, using the Shift + Del key, or formatting the drive. But, just deleting or formatting your hard drive is not enough at all. You have to wipe the hard drive instead.

When it comes to wiping the hard drive data, you’d have to use special software tools. We’ve discussed two robust data wiping tools that can help you permanently wipe the hard drive. However, before this, there are a few things you need to do.

Backup your hard drive

Before you wipe the hard drive or reset the PC, make sure you back up your data to a different external hard drive or a web service. The smartest thing to do is to take the backup of your data regularly. Hard drives may fail, corrupt, crash, or physically damage at any moment. The best defense against data loss is backup. You can back up your data on another storage drive, such as HDD, SSD, USB drives, etc. Another option is to use cloud backup options.

Don’t just delete files from your drive

You may delete or format your drive to remove the existing data. But it will not help you completely wipe the drive. When you delete the data or format the hard drive, the data becomes inaccessible. Only the data pointers get removed, but the data remains there, which can be recovered using a powerful data recovery software until overwritten. If anyone with harmful intentions performs data recovery, it may lead to a data breach, data theft, identity theft, or other threats.

Hence, you must wipe the old hard drive beyond the recovery scope. And for that, you need to use dedicated data eraser tools.

How to Wipe Hard Drive?

We’re sharing two free data erasure programs here that will help you completely erase the old hard drive data.

Method 1: Wipe your drive with DBAN

DBAN, which stands for Darik’s Boot and Nuke, is an open-source data eraser tool for securely wiping hard drive data in Windows 10. This DIY data wiping tool can erase everything on a hard disk drive (HDD), including system files, applications, and sensitive files. It can even wipe the operating system. Moreover, it can efficiently remove any virus or spyware from the system, leaving no chance for data theft or data breach. You can follow the given steps to use DBAN to wipe the old hard drive:

  • Connect the hard drive from which you want to erase data.
  • Download the DBAN program from its official website.
  • On doing so, an ISO file will be downloaded on the PC.
  • Now, insert the bootable USB drive that burnt the ISO file to your PC and restart it.
  • Afterward, choose an option from DBAN main menu.

Note: You can use this program only with the help of a keyboard. There will be a few commands for which you’ll need to use keyboard keys only.

  • A blue screen will appear on the screen with multiple instructions.
  • Press F3 with the Fn key (Windows 10) to start using DBAN with Quick Commands. (See Image 1)
Image 1: Press F3 to run Quick Commands
  • Next, choose the DBAN data sanitization method. (See Image 2)
Image 2: Choose data sanitization method
  • Select the hard drive to wipe.
  • Let the tool erase the files. (See Image 3)
Image 3: Wait for the tool to erase hard drive data
  • Once done, a message will pop up stating that the data is wiped from the old drive.(See Image 4)
Image 4: Erasure process completed message will show on the screen

Drawbacks:

  • You need to burn the ISO file on a CD or USB drive to run the software. Many users may find it difficult.
  • Many modern laptops and PCs don’t come with a built-in CD drive.
  • It doesn’t detect or work with SSDs (Solid-State Drives).
  • No guarantee of data erasure from the drive.
  • No software updates and support available with the free version

Method 2: UseBitRaser File Eraser

BitRaser File Eraser is a powerful data erasure tool that can permanently wipe your old drive’s data. This DIY tool is relatively easy to use as it comes with a neat and user-friendly GUI. It can efficiently erase the already deleted data, files, folders, internet traces, app, and system traces, etc., beyond the scope of recovery, thereby offering complete peace of mind.

Unlike DBAN, BitRaser File Eraser allows you to select the type of data and choose the location from where they want to erase it permanently. The software doesn’t affect your systems’ C: drive and the data stored in it. It uses data erasure algorithms based on the US department of defense standards to ensure secure data erasure. You can use this software without any expert’s help. To wipe the old hard drive with BitRaser File Eraser, follow the given steps:

  • Download, install and run BitRaser File Eraser on your PC/laptop.
  • ClickErase Deleted Data, select the drive, and then click Erase Now to erase files removed from the hard drive. (See Image 5)
Image 5: Choose to erase the deleted data
  • Choose ‘Erase Files & Folders’to to delete the files you want to remove.
  • Click on ‘Search & Erase’ to wipe some specific files and folders. You can also click on ‘Add items’ to add the files and folders to the erasure list to erase them beyond recovery. (See Image 6)
Image 6: Select specific files and folders to wipe from the hard drive.
  • Once the erasure process is done, your sensitive files will be gone forever beyond the recovery scope.
  • Using the software, you can also enable the Scheduler to perform the data erasure automatically at a given time and date.

Users can download and use a free 30 days trial to erase data. After that, theycan activate the software if they want to continue using it.

Closing Thoughts

 In this post, we’ve mentioned the two effective tools to wipe hard drive. These tools help you permanently erase the data stored on your drive to safeguard you against data breaches, data theft, or such other threats. Though they come with some drawbacks, you can check both tools and check which tool will be more suitable for your data erasure needs.

We’d recommend you use a BitRaser File Eraser. It is a DIY data erasure tool that you can use without expert help and wipe hard drive data within a few simple steps. You can rely on this software as it uses data erasure algorithms based on US department of defense standards, ensuring secure data erasure and complete peace of mind.

Author

Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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