By Jessie / Last update August 20, 2021

User Case

“I need a bootable program that destructively wipes, make the previous data on the drive unrecoverable. I used CFL Shredder but the 7 passes took 70 hours on one hard drive, that is way too long as I have multiple computers to wipe. Is there a faster way if I want to do a seven-pass secure erase? Any other software you can recommend? Thanks!”

7 Pass Secure Erase

If you need advice on this issue, this article will share two ways to perform seven-pass secure erase in two different systems, so you can choose any of them based on your own needs. Please read on for more details.

What Is Seven Pass Secure Erase?

Seven-pass secure erase is a safe way to erase data from a hard drive. It will overwrite the data seven times and therefore it is difficult to recover data from the drive. It can help you protect your data, especially some sensitive data when you need to replace your drive or transfer it to someone else. Many disk wiping software offers 7 times wipe feature. Some can even offer the option to erase more times.

Wipe Disk on Mac with Seven Pass Secure Erase 

The first method is to use a built-in tool called Disk Utility. If your computer is a Mac system, you can choose this method to help you complete seven pass secure erase. This tool will erase the data on the drive at first and then overwrite the existing data with new randomly generated data, making it inaccessible or unrecoverable. It offers four erase options, including option seven pass secure erase.

Here are specific steps below:

Step 1. Open Applications and find Utilities. Then launch Disk Utility.

Step 2. Choose the drive you want to erase.

Step 3. Click the Erase > Security Options button.

Step 4. You’ll see four available choices, choose 7-Pass Erase.

Secure Format Mac Hard Disk Drive

Step 5. Confirm your operations and click OK.

Wipe Disk on Windows with Seven Pass Secure Erase 

If you have a Windows system computer, you can choose a professional disk wiping software for Windows to help you wipe disk. I consider AOMEI Backupper Professional is a great option for many people. It let you choose what to erase as well as which wiping method to use based on your own needs.

It supports erasing partition, unallocated space or the whole disk with different methods including seven pass secure erase. It’s DoD 52220.22-M, which allows you to set the erasing times by yourself, with a minimum of three and a maximum of seven. If you want a more thorough erasing way, you can choose Gutmann which can erase disk 32 times.

Notes: 

  • Seven pass secure erase will wipe all data, you need backup your important files before erasing.
  • If you are using a server version of Windows, you can choose  AOMEI Backupper Server to help you erase your disk.

The following are the specific steps. 

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install, and open it. Then click Tools > Disk Wipe.

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Disk Wipe

Step 2. Select Wipe disk and click Next.

Wipe Disk

Step 3. Choose the disk you want to erase and click Next.

Select Disk

Step 4. Select the DoD 5220.22-M wiping method and set 7 passes. Then, click Start.

Dod

Summary

I believe you have learned the methods of seven pass secure erase to wipe the disk. If you are a Mac user, you can choose the built-in tool - Disk Utility.

If you are a Windows user, you can choose a safe and reliable disk wiping software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It can not only meet your needs of erasing seven times but also allows you to determine the number of times you want to erase.

Besides, this software provides other useful functions, such as how to clone a large disk to a smaller one. If you want to enjoy more features, go to download and use it!

FAQs to Seven Pass Secure Erase

How Long does Seven Pass Secure Erase Take?

The time it takes to perform a seven-pass secure erase is primarily determined by the size of your hard drive. Since the software erases every bit on the drive, the time required for each erase is directly proportional to the size of the hard drive. Usually, it takes several hours to erase seven times. The overall time may also be influenced by the hard drive's speed, the software program you use, and possibly the computer's processor speed.

Can Seven Pass Secure Erase Completely Wipe a Hard Drive Clean?

Usually, seven-pass secure erase can already prevent data from being recovered. Many disk wiping software offers three or five wiping times options, so seven times is enough for many people to wipe the disk clean. If you still want to erase more thoroughly, then you can choose software that offers a higher number of wiping times.

Can I Cancel Seven Pass Secure Erase?

It is better not to cancel seven pass secure erase, because closing the disk wiping software during erasing process, or force it to close will cause data loss. Even if the software has not finished seven pass secure erase, the data on the original disk will be deleted.