SCF Advanced Search

  • Total Posts: 36753
  • Total Topics: 11614
  • Online Today: 1202
  • Online Ever: 51419
  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)

Author Topic: Erase a Hard Disk Drive Permanently - How  (Read 5640 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • SCF Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
  • KARMA: 2
Erase a Hard Disk Drive Permanently - How
« on: 19. February 2011., 12:04:51 »
A hard disk drive also known as hard drive or hard disk is a non-volatile storage device, which has the facility to stock up digitally encoded data on rapidly rotating platters and magnetic surfaces. Its design consists of a spindle which can hold one or more flat circular disks known as platters, onto which the data is recorded. It has the ability to store data more than floppy disk drives and can also access and transmit data at faster pace. Today, the boost in disk space and access speeds of hard disk drive have further facilitated the marketable viability of clients products that need great storage capacities, like digital audio players and video recorders.

However, the main problem that we are coming across is erasing data or files from hard disk permanently. Most of us think that erasing files and emptying the Recycle Bin will help in permanently get rid of those files. In fact, in most of the cases Recycle Bin tells that emptying the Recycle Bin will permanently remove items. But this statement is totally incorrect. You have to understand even after emptying the Recycle Bin, the files can be easily recovered by data recovery programs. Making the best use of delete key on actually removes the shortcuts to the files and makes them undetectable to users. Deleted files still reside on the hard drive and a rapid Google search will automatically show options for system recovery software will further allow to restore that data.

Apart from erasing the files or data from hard drive, many people also consider that the effective way to erase hard drive data is by formatting the hard drive. Though formatting the hard drive is somewhat secure than just erasing the files, but you should also note that formatting a disk does erase only the address tables. It makes it much more difficult to recover the files. However a computer specialist would be able to recover most or all the data that was on the disk before the reformat.

Disk Wiping is the next new technique that is gaining its popularity these days. Disk wiping is a new secure method and ensure that data, including individually licensed softwares on your computer and storage devices is irrecoverably deleted before recycling. Disk wiping is better method in comparison to erasing files or formatting the hard drive, because this method basically overwrites your entire hard drive with data, several times and once you format your hard drive, you may find it impossible to get back the data which was present on the drive before the overwrite.

Though disk wiping algorithms vary from product to product, they usually write the entire disk with a number (zero or one) and then a reformat is required. Today, there are many products available in the market that you can purchase or download to perform secure disk wipes.

Moreover, the two free programs that are gaining recognition for erasing data from your hard drive are:

(1) Darik's Boot and Nuke: This is an application that you can install on a bootable floppy or CD Rom. Boot and Nuke uses several methods to wipe the data on your drive to an unrecoverable state. With the facility to delete the contents of any hard disk that it detects, makes this application a suitable utility for urgent situation data destruction.

(2) Eraser: This is next famous software and does a great work of cleaning your hard drive by removing all magnetic and solid state memory. It is an advanced security tool, which further allows you to entirely remove sensitive data by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.

Now once one of these procedures is completed the drive is ready to be given away without fear of privacy invasion or fraud. These tools provide full confidence about your deleted sensitive personal information that is unrecoverable. In addition to this it also provide easy to comprehend and secure and affable graphical user interface GUI for permanent data removal.

Finally if you are still uncertain or want to ensure that deleted files are permanently gone, employ a file deletion management system. Today there are many file deletion programs designed to spot and permanently purge your computer of previously deleted files. These solutions initially scan a computer, find traces of previously erased data and finally remove discarded data including e-mail messages.


  • SCF Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • KARMA: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Naruto-kun
Re: Erase a Hard Disk Drive Permanently - How
« Reply #1 on: 30. June 2011., 12:10:28 »
Thorough explanation. Thank you!


  • SCF Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 176
  • KARMA: 22
Re: Erase a Hard Disk Drive Permanently - How
« Reply #2 on: 16. November 2011., 18:24:45 »
very interesting...very usefull!!

thanx buddy


  • SCF VIP Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3579
  • KARMA: 155
  • Gender: Female
Re: Erase a Hard Disk Drive Permanently - How
« Reply #3 on: 20. January 2014., 20:39:52 »
Thought it was time for a follow-up, including 1 new tip and some other discussions on this topic at

New tip: free windows tool to securely wipe free space of your hard drive.
There is a utility built-into Windows (even XP Pro and Vista) that will overwrite all the free space on a hard drive, insuring any files you've deleted stay dead. Launch a command prompt and type cipher /w:X where X is the letter of the drive or partition you want to wipe. Be patient—the process can take a long time if you have a lot of free space.

Secure 4-pass wipe with bad blocks support:,8055.msg20407.html#msg20407
(Linux solution with badblocks command - including Windows solution!)

Hammer wiping:,2254.msg3562.html#msg3562 ;p

Windows: "Hard Drive Eraser", "Disk Redactor", "HDShredder", ...?   
Bootable solutions: "Darik's Boot and Nuke", " Large Drive Tools", ...?
...?,7955.msg19882.html#msg19882 (a long list of Hard Disk Tools)

Free VMware images for different Linux / Unix distributions; ready to run in Windows. You can use them for badblocks commands...,8641.msg22463.html#msg22463

Mac OS X (Leopard / Tiger / ...)?,2933.msg6429.html#msg6429

From Giovanni (
There is a FREE tool called “HDD Low Level Format Tool”, which can quickly wipe out both partitions and even MBR data with ease, exactly as this GAOTD.

This FREE GEM is a must have tool to use in case you experience constant data corruption, virus intrusion within the MBR or bad sectors in your HDs, since it re-initializes the hard drive to its original FACTORY CONFIGURATION by writing a zero byte to its each and every location on the disk: this way it can fully and irreversibly erase all data (if present) from your disk.

Low Level Formatting also hides the bad sectors in order to create a clean and error-free surface for your data.

Please note that, as far as I’m concerned, you can NOT use it to format (and wipe) your disk if you run it from the same disk, as it needs to run while the disk is not in use by your OS.
 So if you want to use this tool to format your C (Windows) partition, you will need to use a live CD or DVD with a WinPE or LiveXP or Live7 on it. In this case, to safely format or wipe your C (Windows) partition, just use the freeware Live CD MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition.

See also:

To completely erase individual FILES and FOLDERS, rather than an entire HD:

* Portable Blank And Secure
 Can securely delete any sensitive data by overwriting it with NULL (zeros) before deleting. This way, after such an operation, the data recovery cannot be performed by ANY third party recovery software.

 Overwrite the Files 1-32 times with NULL and delete.
 Fill the free HD space with null
 Remove the standard deletion tracks from the harddrive
 Optional translation feature
 Support Drag & Drop and Batch processing (so can remove multiple items at once)

Or just use the award-winning freeware PRIVAZER (provides up to 35 overwrites):


 Comment by Giovanni — January 20th, 2014 at 6:41 am


More information about bitcoin, altcoin & crypto in general? GO TO

Cuisvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore persevare... So why not get the real SCForum employees to help YOUR troubled computer!!! SCF Remote PC Assist


  • SCF VIP Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3579
  • KARMA: 155
  • Gender: Female
Re: Erase a Hard Disk Drive Permanently - How
« Reply #4 on: 20. January 2014., 21:17:35 »

23. Peter Gutman wrote a famous paper of which the part “Methods of recovery for data stored in RAM” is of most interest. You can read this and that too if you want to know about Linux wiping methods (using a live CD for example). Links:

As a said in a previous post here about the same kind of software:

1. It is not certain that 1 (one) pass is not enough to securely erase a drive.

2. More probable is the more passes the more harm to the drive.

For the paranoid:
 - Do not store anything sensitive on the main HDD, like keys, even once.
 - Do not do encrytion while online.
 - Do not trust Intel (search for AMT, microcode) nor Microsoft if you’re concerned about your privacy.
 I found on my HD a forgotten but free small portable software called Shredder. It can shred files or folders individually, wipe space, but not a entire disk/partition at once.

Usually, I use CCleaner for this no-brainer job of writing over free space —in one pass, of course. (I mostly do it when I need to compact the MFT before defragmenting a partition. I’s also a good way to clean the MFT, which gets bigger and bigger over time because it keeps track of all files, even the deleted ones.)

 Comment by papin — January 20th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Thank you Papin - interesting information! And for people looking for mwiper_portable.exe - Macrorit Disk Partition Wiper Porable v1.6.0 - Registration key = 2FEE53FC1F380855E142E755AC73DD40E258E440AB8A81C089D669, download here:


More information about bitcoin, altcoin & crypto in general? GO TO

Cuisvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore persevare... So why not get the real SCForum employees to help YOUR troubled computer!!! SCF Remote PC Assist

Samker's Computer Forum -

Re: Erase a Hard Disk Drive Permanently - How
« Reply #4 on: 20. January 2014., 21:17:35 »


With Quick-Reply you can write a post when viewing a topic without loading a new page. You can still use bulletin board code and smileys as you would in a normal post.

Name: Email:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image
Type the letters shown in the picture:
Second Anti-Bot trap, type or simply copy-paste below (only the red letters)

Enter your email address to receive daily email with ' - Samker's Computer Forum' newest content:

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Advertising