How to Delete/ Wipe Hard Drive Data Permanently?

delete/ wipe hdd permanently

Is permanent hard disk data erasure possible?

Deleting everything doesn’t mean that wiping storage drives data permanently. When you usually delete the file system from the storage, the data becomes invisible or no longer indexed when you delete a partition. But, the resided data can be recovered using an advanced software or file recovery system.

Why is overwriting not enough?

Overwriting is the process in which the computer usually overwrites all the data, eliminates your previous data, and replaces it with meaningless zeros or ones. However, overwriting a file means that it gets deleted so that hackers can find the fragments of files. In contrast, data wiping needs multiple steps to restrict the possibility of data recovery completely. 

Wiping the data from my server hard drive:

The process of wiping data takes several minutes to several hours, depending on the size of the hard drive and the selection of technique. You can back up the files, images, or data automatically using an online backup service. If not, you can save them to a hard drive offline using backup tools. 

Different methods existed for erasing a hard drive. Data destruction software is easier to use and allows using the hard drive again. The data destruction program is available free of cost and works great for data wiping. You need to complete the necessary steps for software installation. Based on the instructions of a program, the hard drive is wiped. When it’s said to finish, you can assume that the data erasure process is completed permanently. 

What to do before erasing the data from the hard drive?

Before processing the data removal from storage drives, you need to consider some preliminary work to ensure that the wiping should be accomplished without any issues. 

    • A practical and easy-to-use wipe tool should be downloaded and installed on your computer. You should ensure that it works on a bootable drive.
    • You make sure that the system has a full battery or connect to the power because the drive may undergo disaster due to the lack of power during disk clearing.
    • Before proceeding with the data erasure, it’s required to back up your data to a different hard disk. 
    • It’s mandatory to record software serial numbers that can be required after reinstallation. 
    • A bootable USB or CD drive is needed to wipe the computer hard disk.

Once you have set up all the above things, you can start wiping computer hard drives or disks. 

How do you permanently delete the hard drive data?

Different methods have been used to erase the computer data contained in hard drives permanently. 

  • Wipe hard disk data by resetting your PC

The reset feature used during the reinstallation process for data wiping. For example, follow the below steps for erasing the data in hard disks in Windows 10:

  • Step 1: Go to the ‘start’ menu and choose the ‘settings’ option. Click on the ‘Update & security tab on the window. 
  • Step 2: Tap on the ‘recovery’ button to view the left navigation options and click the ‘get started’ option under ‘reset this PC’. 
  • Step 3: Choose the ‘remove everything’ option, and it will erase your files, applications, or data. 
  • Step 4: Click on the ‘remove files and clean the drive’ button when you’ve asked about cleaning the drives too. The process may take a longer time, but it’s not possible to recover the data. 
  • Step 5: Finally, tap on the ‘next’ and ‘reset’ buttons to accomplish the data erasure. 

You can use free hard drive eraser software for wiping the data permanently or destroy the hard disk physically. 

Are there any chances for data leakage?

When you discard the device without completing the data wiping, there is a chance of data loss. If a hard drive doesn’t clean or erase properly, cybercriminals can take advantage of using your data or files. Otherwise, the proper data erasing will assure zero data leakage. 

Is formatting a hard drive the same as wiping it?

No, formatting is not the same as wiping data. Because the data is stored in the digital pattern on a hard disk. When you save data, files, or images, hard drives store it in binary data like rows of zeros or ones. The saved format of zeros or ones files don’t affect when you format or delete the file. The recovery of deleted files is possible if they didn’t get damaged or overwritten. 


For erasing or wiping sensitive data that lies in hard drives, it’s better to use software that can be accessible and easy to use that should erase data permanently. Before wiping storage drives, make sure that backing up essential data to external disks. 

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