How to Wipe a Hard Drive without Deleting Windows
Source: Switched On Network
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:  Free hard drive wipe software - EaseUS Partition Master;  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.
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 10/8/7/XP/Vista.
Part 1. Wipe Data Partitions Using EaseUS Free Partition Software
Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition you want to erase data from, and choose "Wipe Data".
Step 2. In the new window, set the time for which you want to wipe your partition, then click "OK".
Step 3. Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-right corner, check the changes, then click "Apply" to wipe the data on your 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.
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 Partition Master 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 the other feature of EaseUS Partition Master bootable disk.
- Second, reinstall the Windows 7 or Windows 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 need to boot your computer from a WinPE environment, so you can use the "Wipe Data" feature of EaseUS Partition Master. To let the software take effect, you need to create a bootable disk first, and this time choose the hard disk instead of a single drive partition to start.
Step 1. Start to wipe data.
- Select the HDD/SSD. And right-click to choose "Wipe Data".
- Set the number of times to wipe data. (You can set to 10 at most.)
- Then Click "OK".
Step 2. Check the message.
A message tells you that the computer would restart after disk erase is recommended. Then click "OK".
Step 3. Click "Execute the operation" and then click "Apply".
Part 2. How to Clean Install Windows
Use installation media to reinstall Windows 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 10.
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Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.
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. Read More
Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes. Read More
It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool. Read More
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How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7
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