How to Completely Erase Hard Drive and Recover Data

How to Completely Erase Hard drive

Do you want to securely erase your hard drive completely? You must be wondering, what are the safest methods to go through this procedure. In this guide you will get all the methods that can completely wipe the hard drive.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 27, 2020 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

Q: How to completely wipe the hard drive?
"This is the third year that I am using the same hard drive. I knew this day would come. My hard drive has become really slow in these past few months because of a lot of unwanted stuff in my hard drive. I want to know methods to completely wipe out my hard drive in a very secure manner. This would surely help me in many aspects"

This is quite obvious that the hard drive becomes slow when used for this long. Unwanted data in your hard drive makes it loaded. Many people come with the decision to wipe the hard drive completely. No worries, in this guide you will have the securest methods to completely erase your hard drive. Further, you will be given reasons why to actually erase your hard drive and what to do with it once it is done.

  • Part 1: why do you need to erase your hard drive?
  • Part 2: the easy way to wipe a hard disk drive in windows 10?
  • Part 3: how to totally wipe a hard drive with DBAN?
  • Part 4: what can you do with a wiped hard drive?
  • Part 5: how to recover lost data from hard drive?

Part 1: why do you need to erase your hard drive?

There can be two scenarios where you would be willing to erase your hard drive. In scenarios one, you would be worried about anyone violating your privacy by seeing your data if you are planning to;

Every person has different reasons to erase the hard drive, according to their situations.

Part 2: What is the easy way to wipe a hard disk drive in windows 10?

There are multiple tools to erase your hard drive but you might not be in a situation of trusting any. Many people firstly desire to wipe a hard disk using the windows itself. The window has a built-in command to wipe a hard disk. Just before, doing this task ensures that you know the drive letter which you want to erase. You can't wipe out "C" drive from within windows. Follow these steps to do so;

Step 1: Click on the icon of start, now open windows power shell (admin). This will open a new window. In this tool, you can input-text based instructions.

Windows powershell

Step 2: Use this command line; Format volume /P: passes. In this command line volume is the drive letter and "p" is the number of times you want to overwrite the drive.

Step 3: Press "Enter" and your task is done.

Part 3: How to totally wipe a hard drive with DBAN?

DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke) is an astonishing third-party tool to wipe a hard drive. The fault in windows built-in the command line is that it can't wipe out the "C" drive as the windows are installed in that drive. Fortunately, DBAN is capable of wiping large amounts of data. It is efficient enough to wipe the "C" drive also. It is specially designed to destroy data in bulks. No worries, DBAN can easily handle your situation. You just need to follow these steps to use DBAN.

Step 1: Back up valuable data

Out of all the junk, there might be some valuable data on your hard drive. You have to make a back up of it before you proceed any further. You can only ignore this step if you have 100% data useless on your hard drive.

back up

Step 2: Download and burn DBAN to disc

Downloading DBAN is no big deal. It is easily downloadable following these guidelines. You need to go to the DBAN download page on Sourceforge. The ISO file will be of 17 MB in size when downloaded. After downloading it must be written to a blank optical disk using windows built-in tool. You must insert a blank disk into your computer. Lastly, right-click on the "DBAN-2.3.0_i586.iso" file and select the option of the burn disc image. Wait for several minutes till the disk is created and label it.

Source forge

Step 3: identify your hard drive

When the whole downloading and burning DBAN to disc process is completed. Make sure you have identified your hard drive first. You can use windows explorer to check the "C" drive. Open windows explorer and see if the device is labeled OS C: or windows C: then everything is going fine. You can further specify the drive by clicking on the properties and the hardware option of the drive. You can copy the hardware name of the device.

properties hardware

Step 4: Boot into DBAN

In this step, you need to insert the DBAN disc and restart your Pc. You need to reorder the boot device into the bios of your computer by taping the key "DEL or f12" to prompt the boot section area. The keys are different from different laptops and Pcs.

Boot in dban

Step 5: Wipe your hard drive with Darik's boot and nuke.

In this last step, you actually are going to wipe your hard drive with Darik's boot and nuke. These options will be available on your screen.

Disks and partition

Okay, now use arrows to select the disk which you want to select, remember the name you copied in the third step. Select the device which matches the name. Tap space to change the flag to wipe. Press F-10, it will start the wipe process. To change the random number generator destroying your data use "P". you can enable the verification mode using "V" but this action will take much more time. You will have a timer on the top corner which will tell you the time required for wiping. When the drive is wiped a new screen will pop up with "pass" highlighted in green. If it shows "fail" then your drive might be having physical issues.

wipe method

Part 4: What can you do with a wiped hard drive?

When your hard drive is wiped it is fresh and new. You can even sell it out or you can use it again. You can even donate it or give it to an unknown person because the data is impossible to recover now.

Part 5: How to recover lost data from hard drive?

There are cases when you have accidentally deleted your data. Now you would be striving to get your data back in any condition. Many people fall for wrong recovery software and end up destroying their hard drives and other devices.

Recoverit data recovery software

Recoverit data recovery software is the most effective software of all time. Recoverit data recovery software helps you recover your data in just three simple steps. It is capable of recovering any kind of data from the hard drive. It supports recovering data from multiple devices. It can recover data from almost any type of device. So, if you have lost your data from the hard drive. No worries, just follow these steps to recover your data. First of all, download and launch the Recoverit software on your computer. Now go further;

Step 1: Connect your hard drive to the computer or just insert it.

Step 2: Select the hard drive: Open the Recoverit software, now select the storage device you want to recover data from. You can also recover the data lost during the partition. Once location is selected press "start".

External device recovery

Step 3: scan the hard drive: if you have pressed start, the software will deeply scan your hard drive. This process might take some time according to the size of your hard drive.

Scanning lost files

Step 4: preview and recover data: after the scanning is complete all the files scanned will be displayed on the screen. You can preview the data you want to recover. Lastly, select the location to save the recovered data.

Preview recovered file


Erasing your hard drive is never a stiff task until you make it for yourself. You just have to make sure all the valuable data is backed up because the data can put you in many consequences. Following the steps carefully is the key element.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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