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How to Wipe a Hard Drive without Deleting Windows

Updated by Tracy King on Jan 10, 2022
Written by Roxanne

Getting a new PC and want to sell or give away the old one? Should you recycle your computer with others in the same company? Before carrying out these actions, there is one thing you have to do. That is to wipe the hard drive. It will help you protect sensitive data like financial records, business information, payroll information or anything else private from leaking. 

And in some special scenarios, for example, recycling a computer between employees, you will have extra requirements - wipe a hard drive without deleting Windows so that the computer's new owner can directly use it. But how can you do it?

How to Wipe a Hard Drive Without Deleting Windows 

Some users might choose to delete the files or format the disk manually. Here I should say it is not the best choice as there is so much third-party data recovery software that can retrieve data in these situations. To achieve a satisfactory result of abandoning a computer naked, with nothing else to be found anymore, you need two essential tools: [1] Hard drive wipe software - EaseUS BitWiper; [2] Windows Recovery program. The third-party software needs a minute to download, while the Windows program is available in Settings. I'll present the whole steps with my own computer, as an example.

wipe a hard drive without deleting windows example

On my personal computer, as you see, there are six partitions in total. If I plan to wipe all partition data without affecting the operating system, I need to go through two sections.

  • First, I don't care about all the five data partitions at all, so use EaseUS hard drive wipe software to wash them all at once.
  • Second, I got Windows OS as well as some personal data & programs on the system partition, so I need to perform a factory reset to remove everything except the Windows system.

Next, we will show you how to wipe a hard drive without deleting Windows. This tutorial is available for all the Windows versions including Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista.

Part 1. Wipe Data Partitions Using EaseUS Partition Wipe Software

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Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Step 1. Launch EaseUS BitWiper and click "Wipe Partition".

Select Wipe partition

Step 2. Select the volume or partition you need to wipe or erase, and click "Next" to continue.

Make sure that you've selected the correct partition to wipe out.

Select partition to wipe

Step 3. Choose the wiping method - EaseUS Secure Erase and click "Next" to continue.

You can also select other wiping methods available on the pane to clear your target partition. 

Select Wiping Method

Step 4. Click "Wipe" to confirm and permanently erase all data from your selected partition again.

Confirm to wipe partition

Step 5. Wait patiently, when the wiping process finishes, click "Done" to end the task.

complete wiping partition

NOTE: Since each time you can wipe one partition, so it's going to take you equal time to handle all the disk partitions. In my case, I should repeat another four times of the three steps.

Part 2. Wipe System Partition Data by Resetting 

By restoring Windows to its factory default configuration, resetting will erase all the personal data and applications on the system partition. 

To get it done, refer to the standard path to the Settings:

Click Windows menu and go to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Reset this PC" > "Get started" > "Remove everything" > "Remove files and clean the drive", and then follow the wizard to finish the process.

rectory reset windows 10 steps

After finishing all the above steps, you can completely and securely wipe everything off a hard drive except the OS, and no one can get access to the deleted files.

Complement - How to Wipe a Hard Drive and Reinstall Windows

By combining the EaseUS BitWiper and Windows factory reset options, you can absolutely reach the goal of keeping nothing but OS on a given-up PC or laptop. Though the more data partitions you configured on a hard disk drive, the longer time it takes to accomplish the whole task, it's the most comprehensive solution to wipe the programs, settings, hidden items, downloads, and private data files on the selected hard drive, meanwhile, keep the Windows system and boot files intact.

Just in case, if you want a more straightforward way to wipe a hard drive for one time, you may undertake the other two processes.

  • First, wipe an entire hard disk using EaseUS BitWiper.
  • Second, reinstall the Windows 7 or Windows 11/10 operating system from scratch.

Part 1. How to Wipe an Entire Hard Drive

Since you're going to delete everything including the operating system on the hard drive, you can use the "Wipe Disk" feature in EaseUS BitWiper for help. To let the software take effect, you just need to simply select the entire target disk and then start the wipe process:

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Step 1. Run EaseUS BitWiper. Click the "Wipe Disk" tab.

wipe disk 1

Step 2. Select the targeted HDD or SSD to wipe.

Notice: Please make sure you have chosen the correct HDD or SSD. Once the wiping starts, your data is irrecoverable.

wipe disk 2

Step 3. Choose Wiping Method and click "Next."

Choose a suitable wiping method. Recommend EaseUS Secure Erase!

wipe disk 3

Step 4. Check the warning message and click "Wipe" to confirm.

wipe disk 4

Step 5. Wait for wiping finish and click "Done."

wipe disk 5

Part 2. How to Clean Install Windows

Use installation media to reinstall Windows 11/10, for example.

Step 1: Go to the Microsoft software download website, download the media creation tool, then use it to create installation media on a DVD or USB drive.

Step 2: Follow the detailed guide for how to reinstall Windows 11/10.

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

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