Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

How to Completely Erase a Hard Disk Drive

Erasing a hard drive is a step that most computer users overlook. Just simply going through your data and using the delete key in Windows does not entirely delete the data. This just simply removes the shortcuts making it not visible to the user. If a person wanted, they can easily use software to obtain the data off the hard drive.

Fun Fact
A study was done and were 158 used disk drives were collected and the data retrieved. The two students found 5,000 credit card numbers, medical reports, detailed personal and corporate financial information, and several gigabytes worth of personal e-mail and pornography on those drives.

Disk Wiping Methods

There are two common methods for erasing data. These are formatting and wiping. Formatting a hard drive will not erase the data on the disk but will delete the address tables making it more difficult for average users to see the data, however, a computer specialist who is skilled can obtain some or all of the data using tools. Disk wiping is a more effective method and basically write over the data with 1's or 0's. The more times the disk is overwritten the more secure it is.

Disk Wiping Software
There are numerous free software utilities out there that will wipe your hard drive. I will recommend two programs and briefly go over them.

Eraser - Click here for download

Eraser is a advanced security tool for Windows that will completely remove data from your hard drive. It has a simple to use interface and uses multiple wiping methods such as Peter Gutmann's paper Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory.

You can use this program to delete files, folders, recycle bin contents and even free space on a drive. Click here for a quick start guide which will give you the basics.

-You can even use Eraser to wipe your flash drive.

Darik's Boot and Nuke - Click here for download

Darik's Boot and Nuke is basically software you boot your computer into. You can load the software into a floppy disk, CD, or USB stick if supported by your computer. Once you boot into the program, you select the wiping options and it will do the work. This is an effective program and I have used it before.

In order to boot your computer to the software you will first need to load the software on the media(usb/cd/floppy) described above then insert the media into your computer. Turn off your computer and as it is booting up you want to go into your computer BIOS. Usually, it will tell you what to press to get into BIOS during the boot up process. Once inside the BIOS you will need to change your boot order so it boots to the media device first. Once done, exit the BIOS saving your changes and the computer will boot into the media and start the data wipe software.

Tips

-If you are installing a new operating system I recommend you first wipe the hard drive using the methods described above, then formatting the drive for the new operating system. If you are giving away the hard drive or computer, I would recommend you wipe the hard drive before doing so.



I hope this article was informative. Be sure to check out my other tips and tricks by clicking on my name then clicking on "Tips" under my profile.


Regards,
G33k



Keywords
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unistall windows 8 pro


You have to install another operating system
Restart your computer during the boot process you will see on the screen to press a certain key to enter setup usually the Delete or F2 key

Press and hold that key during the boot up process to enter BIOS then using the arrow keys scroll down to advanced bios features press enter change your first boot device to cd press escape then press f10 to save to cmos to restart

Note this will erase you operating system you will have to have an operating system disk to load it onto you hard drive or create a partition to load another operating system

Note after you have loaded the operating system you should go back and change the first boot device to failsafe or optimised defaults after windows has loaded

your computer will automatically restart it might restart 2 times one to finish the installation
the next will be because the operating system is loaded and will boot from your cd

or
Formatting a hard drive to erase its contents does not mean the files are necessarily gone forever. Using data-recovery software, someone still could retrieve sensitive data and files from your hard drive even after you've formatted it. Instead of simply formatting your hard drive, use disc-cleaning software to permanently erase its contents. Disc-cleaning programs work by repeatedly overwriting the contents of a hard drive with random data patterns, making it virtually impossible to recover the original files. Download and install the freeware program Active@ KillDisk (see Below). http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm Click the Windows "Start" button and select KillDisk from the "All Programs" list. Click the check box next to the hard drive you want to erase in the "System Local Disks" menu. Press the "Kill" button. Select the erasing method you want to use from the "Erase Method" drop-down menu. Active@ recommends using the "US DoD 5220.22-M" method. Click "Start" to begin erasing the hard drive. Download and install the freeware program Hard Drive Eraser (see Below). http://www.harddriveeraser.org/ Click the Windows "Start" button and select Hard Drive Eraser from the "All Programs" list. Check the radio button next to the hard drive you want to erase under "Select Drive to Erase." Select the erasing method you want to use from the "Shredding Scheme" drop-down menu. The developers of Hard Drive Eraser recommend "DoD 5220-22 M" Press the "Start" button to begin erasing the hard drive. Download and install Iolo DriverScrubber (see Below). Click the "Windows" Start button, "All http://www.iolo.com/ds/3/ Programs" and then the DriverScrubber program icon. Click "Wipe all contents of a drive," and then click "3.5-Inch Floppy Disk." Insert a blank floppy disk and click "Next." Restart your computer with the floppy disk still inserted. Your computer will boot directly to DriveScrubber. Press the down arrow on your keyboard to highlight the hard drive you want to format in the "Available Physical Drives" menu. Press the space bar to select the hard drive. Press "Enter" to continue. Press the down arrow to highlight "Seven Overwrites" in the "Available Data Wiping Methods" menu, and then press the space bar to select it. Press "Enter" to continue. Press "CTRL," "ALT," "Shift" and "W" at the same time to wipe the hard drive. Hope this helps.



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Dec 30, 2012 | Dell Computers & Internet

5 Answers

deleted files after format


im not sure wht you want to do if you want to recover your data/files You could try this software it sounds pretty good although I have not used it so I am unable to direct you on how but it reads as though it has a recover data accidently deleted as well as windows password cleaner and a blank the password utility on any user that has a valid account on windows system and many other tools you might find helpful also listed other freeware recovery programs http://majorgeeks.com/Dr._Freeware_System_Utilities_d6416.html Dr.Freeware System Utilities which includes data recovery software, data backup, password reset tools for Windows helps you to maintain your system. Dr.Freeware is freeware, you can download and use it for free.
Data Recovery/Data Backup: Supports Logical scan and Raw scan, Supports NTFS, FAT, UFS 1, UFS 2, EXT2FS, EXT3FS, and ISO 9660 file sytem, Supports IDE/SATA/USB Hard Drives.

Data Recovery - Recover your lost data
Available in Live CD to run offline
Recover accidentally deleted files in your hard drive
Recover data from RAW Drive(partition table or file system is damaged)
Support NTFS, FAT, UFS 1, UFS 2, EXT2FS, EXT3FS, and ISO 9660
Support IDE/SATA/USB Hard Drives, memory cards, "
USB Memory Drives"

Drive Dumper - Backup your hard drive
Available in Live CD to run offline
Available to run on Windows
Support Windows 2K / XP / 2003 / Vista / 7 (Windows Editition)
For data rescue, backup, migration, or computer forensics etc.
Transfer important important data from damaged Drive(partition table or file system is damaged, has lots of bad data blocks)
Support NTFS, FAT, UFS 1, UFS 2, EXT2FS, EXT3FS, and ISO 9660
Support IDE/SATA/USB Hard Drives, memory cards
, "USB Memory Drives"

Windows Password Cleaner
Available in Live CD to run offline
This is a utility to blank the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your Windows system.
You do not need to know the old password to blank the password.
Support Windows NT/2k/XP/Vista
Support IDE/SATA/USB Hard Drives


http://majorgeeks.com/Avira_UnErase_d5284.html
What is gone is gone? Far from it! Avira UnErase recovers data that have been deleted from the hard drive - either accidentally or as a result of a virus infection, an uninstaller or defective software. The danger of important data being lost forever is averted with Avira UnErase.
The private, non-commercial use of Avira UnErase Personal is free
.



http://majorgeeks.com/FreeUndelete_d4407.html

FreeUndelete restores deleted files, including those removed from Windows Recycle Bin. In case of accidental removal of files on a NTFS (1.0 and 2.0) (default for Windows Vista , XP, 2000 and NT), FAT32, FAT16 or FAT12 file systems this is the utility to help.
Supported file systems:
NTFS 1.0, NTFS 2.0, FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32
The recovered files are saved into a new user-selected location to prevent overwriting the deleted files on the original media.





Oct 02, 2011 | Western Digital Passport 320GB External...

1 Answer

How do I delete all the info backed up on my irocks external hard drive?


Usually hard drive disks are erasable so long as was an an empty space. However, the type of setting chosen during data encription causes the situation of erasability. For example, using an external harddrive disk as back up media storage media has specific requirements. The computer provides an integral means of least being compromised where data permanent encription may have been the options available during backup copying. The compoter provides the procedures of recording data into any connected external devices. Once the external device is reconnected to the computer, the options of requesting the user to either erase what has already been copied becomes one of the several displayable promps. Also, backup disks usually on connection to the computer assumes a necessity to restore to functioning mode. However, a least malfunctioning computer would simply display prompts asking the computer user to perform the most recent backup, or disregard because of least disfunction recognised from the system. Attempting is erase what has already been recorded becomes appropiate whenever the computer recognises any curroption of the files. A prompt is display asking to fix errors soon after connection. The computer user simple chooses to restore to default functionality the external hardrive. Amongs the options usually provided of the program prompt are format, delete, restore, or backup computer files once connection is recognised. keep in mind that, an external hard disk may be default rrecordable proving no options of erasing. Refer to the hard disk drive user guide as reference to achieve the process. Also, the user guide would have specified if the device is capable of alternations or not.

Jan 14, 2011 | i-rocks External Hard Drive Enclosure -...

1 Answer

how to reboot a computer with erasing hard drive


You need to get a little more familiar with terminology; 'reboot' simply means restart and while PCs start from the hard drive, erasing the drive means making the hard drive momentarily empty of data or system files.
Did you mean 'reformat?' This can make the drive empty of any recoverable files if done properly or, if done with the quicker method, it simply makes the file names different and unusable meaning the content can be recovered if desired.
If you are trying to destroy existing data but want to preserve the operating system, there are numerous free utilities that will do that securely and remove sensitive material.
I use this one for secure deletions, it's pretty simple and easy to use and can make any data totally 'gone' by several different methods.
Eraser

May 19, 2010 | E-Machines eMachines Desktop PC

7 Answers

recover deleted files from Cruzer?


Since you are using Macbook, you can go to this program USB Flash Drive Recovery for Mac for help. If you are running a computer with Windows, go to Data Recovery for Windows. It should help you out.
Note: before recovery, DO NOT save more files to the USB drive.

Nov 23, 2008 | SanDisk 2GB Cruzer Micro SDCZ62048A10 Hard...

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