How to securely erase your hard drive? Or Risks of not wiping hard drive properly:

securely erase your hard drive

When you plan to sell or recycle your outdated computer gear, ensure that all the data present in hard drives is wiped out. Enterprise data is crucial, and leaving that data for third-party access is not acceptable. Always make sure that you carry out data erasure procedures before handling your IT assets to someone else.

You might not be aware of the fact that the old assets comprise abundant information. This data includes medical records, login credentials, transaction information, bank accounts, past emails and much more. An organization can never bear losing such information to third parties. To avoid such situations, you need to erase your hard drives securely. People usually think, simply deleting files is enough, but things don’t work this way. Anyone with reliable recovery software can get back the deleted files. Thus, it is essential to carry out data erasure through software for assured data wiping. Let’s discuss basic questions people usually have regarding hard drive wiping, such as “how to wipe hard drive” and “how to erase hard drive”.

Can Rewriting or Formatting Fulfill the Purpose?

If you think rewriting or formatting is going to fix everything, then you are wrong. The only way to access assured data erasure is through data erasure software. Formatted and rewritten files can be easily accessed through disaster recovery plans and other dedicated software. Thus, complete data erasure can be accessed only through software. There are no alternatives to it.

Things to Consider Before Wiping Your Hard Drive:

When you decide to wipe the hard drive, remember you won’t be able to reverse your action. That is why ensure to follow the below-mentioned steps before carrying out the hard drive wiping procedure:

Save Files:

Before wiping the hard drive, you must save all necessary files present on it. Consider it as a precaution. Although you may already have these files on other dedicated places because of regular backups, still cross-checking them is better than losing them. Never overlook such things.

Copy the Drivers:

Before using the big eraser and wiping all data in one go, don’t forget to save your drivers. Without these drivers, your computer will be useless. Figuring out and saving every individual driver might be time-consuming but worth it. If you find it difficult, hire a professional. Then, save all drivers efficiently through a manual process.

De-Authorize, the Software

Each device comprises a specific number or id for identification purposes. Whenever the gadget is used for performing online tasks, the associated number gets saved along with the used software. Thus, considering deauthorizing the computer is crucial before selling it. Likewise, if you have access to paid software, deleting them is a must before shifting to another.

Copy the OS:

Procure a copy of your distinct operating system right before carrying out the wiping procedure. Without access to the reliable OS, your devices will be obsolete and will not perform as expected. In addition, never forget to obtain the product key of the original OS.

Steps For Securely Erasing the Hard Drive Data:

Before you hand over the assets to someone else, always carry out secure data erasure. We have mentioned the required steps that must be carried as an answer to how to delete everything on a hard drive. Follow the steps and get assured cleaning of the hard drive. These steps ensure that all required data includes documents, images, passwords, transaction and financial information, and personal data backed up before final wiping.

Backup Without Fail

Before wiping your hard drive/ or choosing the factory reset option, never forget to back up all crucial organization information to the new device, cloud, or external hard drive. Double-check that all the data has been backed up without any failure. Periodic backups can save lot’s of time in such cases. Hard drives can get encrypted, can be lost, stolen, or can get damaged. Thus, the key solution to all such problems is backing up data regularly.

Erase Data from the System

Once you are done with the backup part, you are all set to erase data from your system. If you are thinking that deleting files will be enough, then be clear it won’t work. The delete action might appear like removing files, but it stores them at the backend. Most of the data recovery programs will be enough for recovering this deleted data. But still, you need to make sure you delete all the files from your computer and trash and recycle bin.

Use Data Erasure Software

Want to know how to delete everything on a hard drive? Well, special software has been designed to delete data from the hard drives permanently. The chances of recovering data after executing data erasure software is next to impossible. No recovery programs will be effective for accessing the erased data. Data erasure programs typically execute in low-level format and overwrite the deleted files. The deleted data is amended with zeroes in addition to incomprehensible data. It results in making the task of recovery impossible. It’s better to use software to wipe hard drives. Most of the products provide you with proof of data erasure.

Install new OS

It is an alternate way of entirely rewriting over the hard drive. It can be accessed by a clean installation of the original OS provided with the computer.


It is essential to erase the hard drive before selling it and donating it to some organization or person. Carry out an effective data erasure procedure through software to wipe the hard drive. It is vital for preventing organization data from third-party access. After going through the mentioned, you can answer how to securely erase your hard drive before selling it. You have to carry out specific procedures such as backing up data, saving drivers, and deauthorizing the software. Everything is crucial in itself, so don’t skip anything.

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