How to wipe my hard drive before selling
If you want to wipe your hard drive before selling, donating or abandoning and prevent data from recovery, you will find the solutions here.
Way 1: Diskpart Erase Hard Drive Permanently
If you have Windows installation disc, you could wipe hard drive permanently with the installation disc:
1. Insert the Windows installation disc, then boot from it.
2. Click Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
3. Run the following commands one by one:
select disk n (n is the disk number of the hard disk that you want to wipe)
If you clean system disk under Windows environment, you will get the error: Virtual disk service error clean is not allowed on the disk containing the current boot, system, pagefile, crashdump, or hibernation volume.
Way 2. Bootable hard drive eraser
There are many bootable drive wiper to perform bootable disk wipe. One of them is Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN). Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) is a free bootable disk eraser only for personal use to securely erase hard drive and the data cannot be recoverable, and only provides you the bootable CD to erase data. However, there are some limitations you need be aware:
The program only available in x86 systems that is out of date, which means you cannot use the DBAN in Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and XP on x64 systems.
DBAN does not support UEFI, USB drive, RAID, etc.
Hence, it’s time to turn to DBAN alternative - AOMEI Backupper Standard for help, which helps to wipe boot drive or other data hard disk permanently.
AOMEI Backupper as the best free bootable drive wiper, allows you to create bootable USB to wipe hard drive without Windows or wipe hard drive permanently within Windows environment, and we will show you the details about the two ways to perform bootable disk wipe.
This bootable disk eraser supports Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, including all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit.
Supports UEFI, Legacy boot mode, USB drive, external hard drive, network share/NAS, CD/DVD, RAID, etc.
Please download the the bootable hard drive eraser first.
1. Bootable disk wipe within Windows Environment
If you can boot up your computer, the easiest way is wipe the hard drive with Disk Wipe feature in AOMEI Backupper, here it is:
1. Please install the bootable hard drive eraser - AOMEI Backupper, then Choose Tools > Disk Wipe.
2. Tick Wipe disk option and hit Next >>.
3. Select the system bootable disk to wipe, and press Next >>.
4. Choose the wiping method: Fill sectors with Zero (Safe, Quick), Fill Sectors with random data (Safe, Quick), DoD 52220.22-M (Very Safe, Slow), or Gutmann (35 passes, Very Safe, Very Slow) to wipe bootable disk. And then press Start >>.
The data cannot be recoverable once the disk wipe operation finished, please make sure you erase the right hard drive.
2. Wipe Hard Drive without Windows
If you cannot boot up your Windows computer any more, you could create a bootable disk wipe USB drive to wipe your hard drive without Windows. Here are the details:
Step 1. Create bootable disk wipe USB
1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, choose Tools > Create Bootable Media.
2. Choose Windows PE - Create bootable disc based on Windows PE, and press Next >>.
3. Tick USB Boot Device option to create bootable disk wipe USB.
Wait for a while, you will get the bootable disk wipe USB.
Step 2. Wipe boot drive with bootable disk wipe USB
Then, you could wipe boot drive using the bootable disk wipe USB:
1. Please enter BIOS or UEFI BIOS to boot from the bootable USB drive, and it will bring up the AOMEI Backupper interface. Then go Tools > Disk Wipe.
2. Tick Wipe disk option and hit Next >>.
3. Select the bootable disk to wipe, and press Next >>.
4. Choose the wiping method Fill sectors with Zero (Safe, Quick) to wipe bootable disk and press Start >>.
Wait for a while, you will find your bootable disk has been wiped out.
It’s great idea to wipe data on your computer permanently before selling, donating, or abandoning to prevent data from recovery, and protect your privacy. Bootable disk wipe is easy for you according to the above two ways to wipe boot drive directly or with the bootable disk wipe USB.
Besides, you could create Windows recovery disk to restore system, create a system image on USB drive, etc. For server users, you could create Windows Server 2019 bootable USB, sync files between Windows Servers, command line backup/restore/clone and so on with the AOMEI Backupper Server.