Securely Wipe Hard Drive from BIOS and Reinstall Windows

Can you wipe hard drive from BIOS so as to reinstall Windows or for other purposes? The clear answer is NO, but you can change the BIOS settings and then format hard drive.


by Ivy Updated on October 17, 2022

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Can you wipe hard drive from BIOS?

Searching keyword “how to wipe hard drive from BIOS” online, you may see many user case in the forum, looking for steps to perform this operation. But can you actually wipe hard drive from BIOS? The answer is No, it does not have the ability to do that.

Wipe Hard Drive from BIOS

To clearly understand this, you need to know what does BIOS can do. BIOS is placed on an erasable, programmable, read-only chip, it’s used to be sure if the hardware items, including the central processing unit, dedicated graphics card, ransom access memory and hard drives are operational on startup.

So, if it is not the BIOS, what allows you to format a hard drive? It’s the operating system you start, and of course, the current system drive cannot be formatted. If the computer is not working properly, you still can change BIOS settings and then format hard drive from boot, using cmd or during installation.

Why need to wipe hard drive from boot?

Speaking of the reasons why you do you need to wipe hard drive from boot, reinstall Windows or clean install Windows can be one of the most common one. This operation requires formatting the system partition (usually C: drive), but it’s cannot be executed within Windows.

Another reason is something goes wrong with the bootable partition and your computer is not bootable now. This partition contains the start up sequence, so you need to reformat it and remade. But as with the rest of the operating system, this cannot be done while it is in use.

In addition, your computer may encounter a startup error, such as, your computer ran into a problem loop. Then, have no choice but wipe hard drive and disk data from boot.

Wipe Hard drive from BIOS using installation disc

To wipe hard drive using installation disc, you may need the help of media creation tool if your computer does not come along with a disc. You can create bootable USB or CD/DVD with it, the previous media requires 8GB at least.

Then, you can check the following methods and its steps to wipe hard drive, select the one suitable for your situation.

Method 1: Wipe hard drive from boot

Step 1. Shutdown your computer completely and connect your installation media. Then, restart your computer, press the prompted key(s) on the initial screen to access BIOS and set this media as the first boot option.

Step 2. Restart your computer and you will be asked if you want to boot from disk, please select this option.

Step 3. Then, in the pop-up window, you will see a set of commands. Select the drive you want to wipe and delete any and all partitions on it.

Step 4. Select the unallocated space and create a new partition with it. Select NTFS or FAT if you are asked how you want to format it.

Step 5. Wait until the formatting process is complete. Then, you can reinstall Windows 10 or previous version of Windows with it, sell it out or use as a second-hand storage device.

Method 2: Format during Windows installation

Step 1. Connect installation media and set boot priority for it in BIOS.

Step 2. Restart your computer and go to the Windows installation screen. Keep the default settings and click Next.

Step 3. Click Install Now.

Step 4. Type the product key of your operating system or skip it. If you install the same version of Windows, it will be activated automatically when your computer connects to network.

Step 5. Select the installation you want, Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) installation.

Custom Install

Step 6. Then, you will see several options including Format, just select the system partition and click Format.

Step 7. Click OK to confirm you want to wipe system partition and wait for the final result.

Method 3: Format hard drive using DiskPart

Step 1. Go to the Windows installation screen, click Next and then Repair your computer.

Step 2. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt to open the command prompt windows.

Command Prompt

Step 3. Type the following commands and press Enter in order.

  • diskpart
  • list volume(to list all the existing volumes)
  • Exit(to exit diskpart.exe)
  • Dir C:( to list the directory of volumes and find out the system partition.)
  • Format C: /fs=ntfs (C: is the system partition you have found and the drive letter may change in BIOS)

Wipe Hard Drive DiskPart

Format System Partition

If the hard drive you want to wipe has a volume label, you will be asked to type later, just do as instructed. It can be found in diskpart.exe list volume.
Compared with FAT32 or FAT file system, NTFS has better stability and higher security.

Step 4. Type Y to confirm you want to wipe hard drive and disk data completely.

Step 5. Wait until the process ends. Format other partitions on the disk using the same steps above.

Wipe hard drive from BIOS using AOMEI Backupper

You cannot erase the hard drive directly from the BIOS, the same applies to third-party tool. Thus, you still need to create a bootable USB or CD/DVD with the tool you use, here is bootable hard drive eraser software - AOMEI Backupper Professional, it’s an one-step solution that allows you to wipe hard drive and create bootable media.

Please note that the wiping process will erase all your data and it cannot be recovered. It’s suggested to backup files in advance.

Then, download the software AOMEI Backupper Professional and prepare the items mentioned earlier. Then, follow stepwise guide below and wipe hard drive and disk data from BIOS using AOMEI Backupper.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect the bootable USB or CD/DVD and set boot priority for it in the BIOS.

Step 2. Restart your computer and go to main page of AOMEI Backupper, click Tools Disk Wipe to open the bootable hard drive eraser software.

Disk Wipe

Step 2. In the wiping type window, choose Wipe selected partitions & unallocated space on the disk, or Wipe disk. Then, click Next.
>> Selected partitions & unallocated space on the disk: This option is to delete the selected partition(s) or unallocated space.
>> Wipe disk: This option will delete all the partitions on the hard drive.

Choose Wipe Disk

Step 3. Select the disk you want to wipe and click Next.

Select Disk

Step 4. In the wiping method window, select Fill sectors with zero and click Start. It’s enough to erase data thoroughly, but it’s not impossible to recover. To be safer, you could consider using fill sectors with random data, DoD 52220.22-M, Gutmann wiping methods.

Wiping Method

Note: If you have any further question, you could click the Help button at the left-bottom corner and learn more about Disk Wipe. Also, you can contact us via [email protected] for help.

Wrapping things up

In theory, the answer to “how to wipe hard drive from BIOS” is negative, but you still can bypass the hard drive with operating system installed using installation media or bootable device and then erase disk and data.

If that what you want, you can check the given methods above and zero out hard drive with one of them. Among them, AOMEI Backupper is the easiest one and integrates with many useful features, such as, system backup, disk backup, schedule backup, daily incremental backup, disk clone, PXE boot tool, etc.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.