how to permanently erase a hard drive

how to permanently erase a hard drive, windows 7  to destroy computer

Hi,

The easiest way would be to delete everything on it, then reformat it by not using the "Quick Format"... This will overwrite everything on it...

Then delete everything again...

The problem with this is that you can not do it to the drive with Windows on it while it is running... Just other HDDs.

There are programs available to "Wipe" HDDs and write zeros to every space, some of them are free... You need one that is bootable from a CD or flash drive to wipe your Windows drive... This takes quite awhile.

Among others, there is a program called Parted Magic with a Erase Disk feature... Version 9 and earlier are available as a bootable ISO that can be burned to a CD... The newer version 10 requires that you purchase it to create bootable media..

If you want to be really safe in "Destroying" it, you can remove the HDD and smash it with a large hammer... That's not really necessary though...

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Hi, Open CMD as Administrator and type the DISKPART command / list your disks using "list disk" command and then select the disk you want to erase by typing "select disk n", where n is the number of disk shown in listing your disks; finally type "clean" and press enter!irancontin

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Use DBAN:

Data Removal: Darik's Boot and Nuke - DBAN

Darik's Boot and Nuke download | SourceForge.net

Anything that is given here is good to prevent most processes from being able to access your data; but there is no way to completely remove data from a hard drive, unless you melt it with an oxy torch

Cheers.

___________________________________________________

Bill Smithers - Microsoft MVP July 2013 - Dec 2020

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Only one sure way to "erase" a hard drive.  Remove it from the computer, which is usually not hard at all.  Hit it hard several times with a  hammer.  The middle is the best place to hit it.

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You have to destroy  the magnetic surface of the platters or the platters themselves where the data is stored..

https://www.gillware.com/blog/articles/data-recovery-hard-drive-platters/

Sometimes, if the damage to the platters is too severe, the data stored on them can be unrecoverable. For example, some of the more extreme cases we’ve seen in our data recovery lab involve shattered platters, melted platters, or platters that have had the magnetic substrate completely removed from them from such a high degree of rotational scoring. When the platters are broken, incinerated or stripped of their coating, there is simply nothing to recover the data from.

In situations where the magnetic substrate is largely intact, Gillware utilizes sophisticated equipment used by hard drive manufacturers, re-engineered for the purposes of data recovery, to measure and eliminate platter debris and imperfections.  The process is known as burnishing. In order to undergo burnishing, the platters are removed from the hard drive chassis in a controlled, cleanroom environment. The platter is mounted on a custom fixture that spins the platter in excess of 10,000 RPM, which is nearly twice as fast as the platters rotate in an average hard drive. A robotic arm passes a specially designed burnishing head over the platter, which works as a precise scrub brush to remove debris and repair damage on the platter surface. Then the platters are remounted, the new heads are installed and the drive is calibrated.

Although it will not be in perfect working order, the drive is now operational to a point at which the data can be successfully extracted from the device and recovered.

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Bill Smithers - Microsoft MVP July 2013 - Dec 2020

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Last updated July 22, 2020 Views 1,543 Applies to: