How to Wipe a Hard Drive in Windows 7 Without CD (2 Ways)

Read this article to learn how to wipe computer on Windows 7/8/10/11. Want to wipe a hard drive in Windows 7 but don’t have an installation CD? Take it easy. You will be offered two efficient ways to erase a Windows 7/8/10/11 hard drive without CD. Check it out right now!


By Lily Updated on May 20, 2024

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How can I wipe out a Computer with Windows 7?

“Hi, I recently built a new PC and I'm looking to sell my old tower. Therefore I need to reset the PC to factory settings but when I go to 'advanced recovery methods' it says: 'Reinstall Windows (requires Windows installation disc)'.
I do not have the disc and have no way of getting it from the original retailer. I have googled it and I found something about booting from a partition with the Windows ISO. I am not sure what to do, so if I could get some help figuring out what to do that would be nice.”


Just like this user, you may want to erase a hard drive in Windows 7 before you sell, recycle, or give away your old PC. Typically, you can factory reset a Windows 7 PC with an installation CD. What if you don’t have a CD? Are there ways to wipe a Windows 7 hard drive without a CD? Certainly, there are.

👉 How to wipe a hard drive in Windows 7 without deleting OS
👉 Easier way to erase a hard drive in Windows 7 (everything removed)🔥

Why need to wipe the computer in Windows 7/8/10/11

💪Improved Performance: Over time, a computer can accumulate unnecessary files, applications, and system errors that slow it down. Wiping and reinstalling Windows 7/8/10/11 can restore your computer to its original speed and performance.
🦠Removing Malware: If your computer is infected with malware or viruses that can't be removed by antivirus software, wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows 7 ensures that all malicious software is completely eradicated.
🧾Clearing Personal Data: Before selling or donating your computer, wiping it ensures that all your personal data is securely removed, protecting your privacy and preventing identity theft.
🛑Fixing System Errors: Persistent system errors, crashes, and blue screens of death (BSOD) can often be resolved by wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system, providing a clean slate for your computer.
🚩Upgrading Hardware: When upgrading major hardware components, such as the motherboard or hard drive, a fresh installation of Windows 7 might be necessary to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.

How to wipe a hard drive in Windows 7/810/11 without deleting OS

If you have an OEM computer (e.g., ASUS, Dell, or HP), there would be a hidden system recovery partition to help you perform a factory reset. For example, you can factory reset an ASUS laptop with an ASUS system recovery partition.

If you have built a PC or there is no system recovery partition available, learn how to wipe a hard drive in Windows 7 from the boot as follows:

● This method is applicable only if you have created a system image backup before.
● Both the layout and data in the system image will be restored, so you may use this method to wipe your hard drive if you want to reuse your PC.

1. Turn on the computer. Press and hold the F8 key.

2. At the Advanced Boot Options screen, choose Repair Your Computer.

Repair Your Computer

3. Choose a keyboard layout and click Next.

4. At the System Recovery Options window, choose System Image Recovery.

5. It will immediately locate the most recent system image connected to your system. Click Next to continue or click Select a system image to manually select another system image.

Select System Image

Tip: If you see a warning message reading, “Windows cannot find a system image on this computer”, attach the backup hard disk with the system image stored to your computer and click Retry.

6. Check Format and Repartition Disks and click Next.

Format and Repartition Disks

7. Confirm the information and click Finish. When asked, “Are you sure you want to continue?”, click Yes to get started. Depending on how big your hard disk is, the restore operation can take a few hours. 

Start Reimage

Now you know how to erase a hard drive in Windows 7 without deleting the OS. If you want to remove everything on the old hard drive for sale, read on to get an efficient way.

Wipe computer Windows 7/8/10/11 with CMD

Command Prompt (CMD) is a powerful built-in tool for managing various tasks on your PC. You can use CMD to resize partitions, format disks, change drive letters, and more. Additionally, it serves as an effective utility for wiping a hard drive.

Step 1: Press the "Windows" key and type "cmd" in the search bar. Right-click on "Command Prompt" and select "Run as Administrator".

Step 2: In the Command Prompt window, type format D: /fs:NTFS ( You can replace "D" with the drive you want to format) and press "Enter". This command will format the specified drive to the NTFS file system.

Convert To Ntfs

An easier way to erase a hard drive in Windows 7/8/10/11

To wipe the old hard drive clean before you sell, recycle, or give away your old PC, you need a reliable disk wipe toolAOMEI Backupper Professional. It works well on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP. With it, you can easily wipe the computer in Windows 7/8/10/11 with no fuss.

AOMEI Backupper
Easy and Safe Disk Eraser
  • You are able to wipe an entire disk, a selected partition, or unallocated space and the data will be unrecoverable after wiping.
  • You are allowed to wipe a USB drive, HDD, SSD as well as SD card. All branded disks are supported, including Samsung, SanDisk WD, etc.
  • You can create a bootable disk wipe USB so as to wipe a hard drive without loading Windows.

Learn how to wipe a hard drive in Windows 7 without a CD as follows:

Step 1. Install and run this reliable disk eraser. Click Tools and choose Disk Wipe.

Disk Wipe

Step 2. On the Wiping Type page, choose Wipe Disk and click Next.

Wipe Disk

Step 3. Select the system disk to be wiped and click Next. You will be prompted the operation needs to be executed in reboot mode, click OK to confirm.

Select System Disk

System Disk Warning

Step 4. On the Wiping Method page, choose Fill Sectors with Zero to wipe all data on the disk and click Start to proceed.

Start Wipe

Tip: For higher security levels, you may use Fill sectors with random dataDoD 5220.22-M, or Gutmann.

FAQs about wiping computer in Windows 7/8/10/11

1. Does a Windows 7 factory reset delete everything?

Yes, a factory reset will restore Windows to its default state, removing all personal files and installed programs. However, this may not resolve all issues and could potentially create new ones.

2. What is a hard reset on a computer?

A hard reset re-initializes the core hardware components of the computer, ending all current software operations. This process effectively restarts the system at the hardware level.

3. Why can't I factory reset my PC?

The inability to factory reset your PC is often due to corrupted system files. If key files are missing or damaged, the reset operation can fail. Running the System File Checker (SFC scan) can help repair these files and resolve the issue.

To sum up

That's all you need to know about how to wipe a hard drive in Windows 7 without a CD. If you prefer to keep your operating system, you can use the system image recovery option. This method helps you restore your OS without losing important files. It's a great way to ensure that your system stays intact while cleaning up your drive.

On the other hand, if you want to wipe the computer Windows 7, you can use AOMEI Backupper to zero-fill your hard drive. This professional hard drive transfer software is also excellent for transferring data from an HDD to an SSD. With its professional features, you can easily move all your data without any hassle. Give AOMEI Backupper a try and see how it simplifies your data management tasks!

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.