Completely Wipe Hard Drive and Reinstall Windows 10 Easily

This page covers a complete tutorial on how to completely wipe hard drive and reinstall Windows 10. Read it to fully erase your hard drive and reinstall Windows 10 OS for better computer performance.


By Jonna Updated on November 20, 2023

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Why Need to Completely a Wipe Hard Drive?

I've got a desktop that has had some issues with the HDD and performance has been super unreliable and slow. I want to completely wipe the hard drives, wipe EVERYTHING that is on them, and start a fresh install of Windows 10. How can I completely wipe hard drive and reinstall Windows 10?

Completely wiping a hard drive is necessary in various situations for security, privacy, and data protection reasons. Here are some common scenarios where a thorough wipe of a hard drive might be necessary:

  • When selling, or donating a computer: Simply deleting files on hard drive doesn’t make sure sensitive and personal information is not accessible because it can be restored with recovery tools. Wiping the drive clean will do the trick.
  • When getting rid of damaged/full drive: The old hard drive is damaged or full, so you want to upgrade to a large hard drive to SSD for better performance.

With the intention to erase a hard drive in mind, you may be eager to know the best way to erase a hard drive. Below I will walk you through how to completely wipe a hard drive including OS and reinstall Windows 10 easily.

How to Completely Wipe Hard Drive and Reinstall Windows 10

In this chapter, we will cover a stepwise guide on how to wipe hard drive on Windows 10 and reinstall Windows 10.

Part 1. How to Wipe a Hard Drive on Windows 7/8/10/11

AOMEI Backupper is one of the most professional disk wiping software that runs on all Windows operating systems including Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP. It can help you wipe a selected entire disk, a specific partition, or unallocated space, and the data will be irrecoverable after wiping.

⌛ It offers the capability to wipe USB flash drives, SSDs, and HDDs (both internal and external, including the system disk).
⌛ It offers 4 erasing methods, including Fill Sector with 0, Fill Sector with Random Data, DoD 52220.22-M, and Gutmann.
⌛ Except for disk wiping, you can also use it to create system/disk/partition/file backup and restore, clone system/disk/partition to another HDD/SSD, or create bootable USB for your Windows for disaster recovery.

To figure out how to clear a hard drive on Windows 10/8/7 completely using this utility, download it and follow the guidelines outlined below.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
This version is universally compatible with all Windows versions. If you are a server user, please turn to AOMEI Backupper Server.
Notably, this tool does not currently support wiping dynamic disks.

Step 1. Launch this reliable disk-wiping software on your PC. Open it, click Tools, and choose Disk Wipe.

Disk Wipe

Step 2. On the Wiping Type screen, opt for Wipe Disk and proceed by clicking Next.

Choose Wipe Disk

Step 3. Choose the hard drive with Windows that you want to erase and click Next. Confirm the operation's need for reboot mode by clicking OK.

Choose System Bootable Disk

Step 4. On the Wiping Method page, select Fill sectors with Zero to thoroughly wipe all data on the disk. Then, click Start to initiate the disk wiping process.

Fill Sectors With Zero

✨Tip: You can also choose safer wiping methods, like Gutmann, which come with more passes and lower wiping speed according to your own situation.

Step 5. Then you will enter the erasing process page. If you want to stop this process, you can click Cancel in the right corner.

Wipe Process

Part 2. How to Reinstall Windows 10

That’s all done about wiping a hard drive on Windows. Now, you can reinstall Windows 10 on the hard drive with the following instructions.

Step 1. Insert the Windows 10 installation media and initiate the boot process from it.

Step 2. Choose your Language, Time, and Keyboard method, then click Next. Then, click Install now.

Install Now

During installation, Windows 10 setup may prompt for a product key multiple times. Since you are reinstalling Windows, select I don’t have a key and Do this later. Automatic activation will occur later.
Ensure you select the correct edition (Home or Pro) when prompted to choose the edition you have a license for.

Step 3. Allow setup to prepare for file copying, then accept the license terms and click Next.

Step 4. Opt for Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

Custom Install

Step 5. When you are asked where you would like to install Windows, typically the primary drive, select that and click Next.

Select Drive 0 Unallocated Space

Step 6. The installation will continue. Initially, a screen will display for several minutes, followed by a computer restart and a black screen with a blue Windows icon. This phase requires no user input.

Step 7. Subsequently, the blue install screen with a rotating circle and the message: Just a moment..., you’re almost there. This process takes several minutes and includes additional text.

Step 8. Then, you’ll reach the Windows setup stage, proceed through the setup, and your Windows is now ready for use.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wiping Hard Drive

#1. Does a Factory Reset Completely Wipe a Hard Drive?

Yes, a factory reset typically involves restoring a device or system to its original state, often removing anything that wasn't there when the computer left the factory. However, the effectiveness of a factory reset in wiping a hard drive varies based on the device and how the reset feature is executed. And one important thing is that data will still live on the hard drive that can be recovered.

#2. Does a Clean Install of Windows 10 Wipe Hard Drive?

Yes, a clean install of Windows 10 involves wiping the designated hard drive or the partition where you're installing the operating system. During a clean install, the installation process formats the selected drive or partition, removing any existing data and file systems. But other drives, such as a secondary hard disk or an external drive connected to your computer, remain unaffected unless they are instructed to be wiped by Windows.

#3. How to Wipe a Secondary Hard Drive on Windows 10?

While Windows lacks built-in tools for erasing secondary hard drives, you can achieve that with the professional disk wipe software AOMEI Backupper. You can use it to wipe any hard drive (local & external) with simple clicks.

Final Thoughts

This article describes how to completely wipe hard drive and reinstall Windows 10. After the disk wiping with the best disk eraser - AOMEI Backupper, you can reuse this hard drive. Once the disk wiping is complete, the wiped data can not be recovered, offering a safeguard against the leakage of sensitive information.

What’s more, AOMEI Backupper extends beyond its role as a disk-wiping tool. It is also a backup and restore utility that can help create full PC for continuous data protection. Moreover, it proves invaluable for efficiently cloning Windows OS to SSD/HDD, when you want to replace the old hard disk, saving you a lot of time and effort without the trouble of reinstalling the system.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.