How to Securely Erase a Hard Drive

To erase a hard drive is a simple task. The hard drive of a computer is considered as the main storage location of the computer. All personal as well as professional data gets stored in the hard drive. Complete deletion of all kinds of files and folders from the hard drive becomes necessary when you decide to donate or dispose of your computer. A used or discarded hard drive often contains much personal information which can cause real damage to your personal or professional life, if they are misused or mishandled. Unfortunately just hitting the delete button does not solve the problem. The delete button of the keyboard only removes the shortcut route of the file and these files can be easily retrieved even after being deleted from the recycle bin. There are different types of software and disk cleaning programs available in the market to counter this problem. Three main ways to remove data permanently and safely from the computer hard disk include formatting, disk wiping and using software to delete files from the hard disk.


Formatting the hard drive is one of the oldest and most popular methods used by many users to delete any data from their hard drive before disposing of it. However it should be remembered that formatting a hard disk is not an easy option and it requires some knowledge about command language to execute a formatting program. Formatting a PC does not make it 100 percent safe, because formatting only deletes the address of the file location. A well learned computer engineer can still recover files from a formatted disk.

Disk Wiping

Disk wiping is a better way of deleting data from the hard drive permanently, without causing any harm to the main component. In the disk wiping system a shredded file is used, which actually overwrites the entire volume of data on the hard drive with random numbers and data. This does not alter the size of the hard drive, but makes it impossible for a person to retrieve any information that might have been there on the hard drive. This method of erasing data from a hard drive is much more secure, safe and reliable for high profile users.

Use Software

There are many kinds of software available in the market, each of which have specialized function and ability to safely and securely delete files from your hard drive. These software programs can perform a host of functions like deleting Internet files and unnecessary junk from your hard drive. These software are quite reliable and they ensure that deleted files cannot be undeleted again by hackers or computer experts.

Besides these three methods there is also another method which can be used to delete files permanently from the hard drive. The method involves wiping the hard drive a few times with some magnetic material physically. This is bound to destroy all data written magnetically on the drive.

The hard drive is an important part of the computer and it is important to keep it clean and defragmented to ensure maximum storage space and faster processing speed to the end user.