How to Wipe a Hard Drive Without Deleting Windows 10
Whether you are selling your old computer or laptop or giving it away because you have a new unit, there are several preparations that you must do before handing it out to another person. One of these is wiping your hard drive. This is an essential task because you wouldn’t want your sensitive data or files to be accessed by other people.
With this, you need to be equipped with the necessary knowledge on how to wipe your hard drive. Doing it without background information can lead to erroneous results such as mistakenly erasing relevant files without backing them up. In some instances, you may also delete the operating system, rendering your machine to be unstable and vulnerable to damage.
In this article, we will teach you how to wipe a hard drive without deleting Windows 10. It is worth noting that computers with other recent Windows Operating Systems can follow these instructions. So without further ado, let’s start.
As mentioned above, there are several reasons for wiping a hard drive. One of the most common reasons is to wipe them clean before selling or giving away their computers.
However, wiping a hard drive is not as simple as it seems. It is not similar to formatting a hard disk nor deleting a file from a flash drive. If not done correctly, you can accidentally lose all the critical data and even eliminate the operating system of the computer. Simply put, formatting a hard drive or deleting its content is not the same as wiping out a hard drive.
Hard drives are storage devices that help store large amounts of data. These files are placed on the surface of the magnetic platters which rotate within the hard drive. The unit changes magnetic property as the platter reads the data being transferred to it. With this, all the data on the hard drive will be saved on a binary format. Meaning, the data are presented as rows and columns of ones and zeros.
When erasing a hard drive, all these binary data is not affected. The pointer that directs to these files is the one being deleted and modified. This allows users to recover deleted or erased files just before they are overwritten with another set of ones and zeros.
Before Wiping a Hard Drive
Before jumping into the discussion of wiping a hard drive, let us first talk about the different things you need to do before cleaning the computer’s hard drive. These actions are important so as not to lose any critical data that you don’t want to be affected in the process.
The first thing you need to do is to download and install the software that performs the wiping process. If ever, you want to do away with third-party apps and opt to do it yourself, you also need to be equipped with a disk wiping tool. It is also worth noting that the software you will be using can function adequately on a bootable drive.
Another important detail you need to make sure is the computer’s battery level. You need to be assured that the battery of the laptop is full. When the power is interrupted during the process, this can lead to disastrous effects on the hard drive and can corrupt the operating system.
Before wiping your hard drive, you also need to make sure that all the critical data is backed up on a different hard drive or computer. Backing up data is a simple process and can even be done on a scheduled basis.
Another critical step is to take note of the serial numbers of your essential programs. Most programs come with a yearly subscription and a serial number along with the renewal of these programs. When wiping a hard drive, it is expected that you will be deleting all the software installed. If the software comes with an installation fee, keying in the serial keys will forego the payment process, and everything will work as it was before the hard drive wipe. However, without the serial keys, you might have to once again, pay for the subscription.
Aside from the serial keys, you also need to download drivers and installers. Wiping a hard drive also entails reinstalling the operating system. With this, you need to reinstall the necessary drivers for the system to work correctly. Moreover, you need to make sure that these drivers are working correctly and are up to date.
Before wiping a hard drive, you also need to equip yourself with a bootable disk. Whenever wiping the main hard drive of the computer, you need to do the process without the need to boot the system. This is where a bootable hard drive comes into the picture.
Once you have already done these steps mentioned above, you are now ready to wipe your hard drive.
Wiping a Hard Drive Without Deleting Windows 10
Most users want to keep their hard drives, free from unnecessary data by deleting them manually. While the process with this is very convenient and easy, doing such does not get rid of the third party data recovery files that may still linger after deleting the root files.
With this at hand, wiping a hard drive is the best option. Cleaning a hard drive is simple and easy to do.
The first thing that you need to do is to wipe the data partitions using third-party applications such as the EaseUS. You only need to launch the EaseUS partition application and then right click on the partition that you want to delete or do changes. After choosing the partition, select Wipe Data.
After doing this, a pop-up window will appear which allows you to select the time at which you want to erase the partition. Once you have made your decision, click on OK. Click on the Execute operation option that is placed on the top right portion. Look into the changes and then select Apply. At this point, you already have deleted data on the partition.
Following the steps mentioned above, you then need to wipe the system partition by doing a restoring process. You need to restore the Windows to the default settings. This is the critical part as it deletes all the files in the hard drive including the programs.
To do this, you need to go to Settings and then go to Update and Security. Click on Reset this PC and then choose to Get Started. Afterward, you need to click on Remove Everything or in some cases, click on Restore Factory Settings. Do not turn off the computer during the entire process.
After following all the steps mentioned above, you now have a clean and secure new hard drive, without doing anything to the operating system.