How to Wipe a Hard Drive And Reformat for Reuse?

How to wipe a hard drive and reformat it for reuse? In this post, you can find a convenient way to completely wipe a hard drive for reusing or selling.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Perhaps you have chosen to forego the current system updates and dispose of your computer system to get a new one. Still, the fact that the previous hard drive contained a large amount of sensitive information presents a knotty security problem.

If you want to sell your old hard drive, be sure you don't sell more than you intended. Your crucial business information, passwords, personal papers, and credit card numbers might be recovered if all data is not cleaned. When you send it away, you never know where it will end up or whether it will get into the hands of a bad individual who can restore previously captured and erased data.

Can you truly wipe a hard drive?

Simply deleting and formatting your hard drive is insufficient security. You can spend hours going through your hard drive and deleting all of the files and documents you desire, but deleted files still exist on the hard drive, and a short search on the Internet will reveal several alternatives for system recovery software that will allow anybody to restore that data.

Formatting the hard drive is more secure than deleting the files. But, only the address tables are erased when a disk is formatted, not the data. While the format may be sufficient for reusing an old hard drive, it is insufficient for selling.

In a word, you can’t truly wipe a hard drive via deleting files or formatting.

How to wipe a hard drive and reformat

As long as you understand that formatting is not a 100% safe approach to entirely wiping all data from your computer, you should choose to format over even more secure ways. One of all options to clean a hard drive is to overwrite useless data to cover the original information. So, if someone attempts to recover data on the target disk, he'll get nothing useful.

To realize a thorough wipe for your hard drive with this method, you can choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a disk and partition management tool designed for Windows PC users

This software has the feature “Wipe Hard Drive” which offers 4 wiping methods for users:

▶ Fill sector with Zero: This way will overwrite a hard drive with zero. It is safe and fast to prevent most recovery programs and software to lift any data.
▶ Fill sectors with random data: It writes random data to the hard drive to wipe a hard drive. Safer than the first option, but it takes a little more time than the first way.
▶ DoD 5220.22-M: It is a software-based data sanitization method, which overwrites a drive with 3 passes: zeros, ones, and random data. It is a very safe way and takes more time to finish.
▶ Gutmann: It performs 35 passes to wipe a hard drive. It is the safest way to prevent nearly all recovery methods, and programs from restoring any data. But it overwrites a drive so frequently that it can cause wear on the drive. And it takes more time.

Users can select one method to completely wipe their data on the hard drive. With only a few clicks, you can easily and safely wipe your disk. And after the wiping, you can choose “Format Partition” to reformat your hard drive to a suitable file system, and then, you can reuse it.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Part 1. Completely wipe a hard drive

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, and right-click on the hard drive you want to wipe, and choose “Wipe hard drive”. 

Wipe hard drive

Step 2. Here you can choose a wiping method from the 4 options, and click “OK”.

Select wiping method

Step 3. And you can view preview the operation on the main interface, and click “Apply” to execute the task.


Wait for a while, your hard drive will be cleaned.

Part 2. Reformat a wiped hard drive

Since your hard drive is wiped, the disk will show as unallocated. If you want to reuse it as a data disk, you’ll need to reformat it. AOMEI Partition Assistant also allows users to format partition and disk, and it supports NTFS, FAT32, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, and exFAT32 file systems.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the drive you want to format and select “Format Partition”. 

Format unallocated space

Step 2. In the pop-out windows, select the file system and type a partition label. Then click “OK” to continue. Here we select FAT32 as an example.

Select file system

Step 3. Till this point, the program hasn’t done anything to your hard drive but shows you how it will be after the formatting. If there is no problem, click “Apply” to execute the process.


Then you can reuse your old hard drive.

Further reading: How to wipe SSD

If you have an old SSD that you wish to clean for reuse, do not wipe it as an HDD. SSD stores data in different ways due to its different components compared with HDD. Wiping an SSD will hurt its lifespan and even damage it.

SSD needs secure erase to clean all data. AOMEI Partition Assistant also has this function.

Note: SSD Secure Erase is only supported by Windows 7 operating system at present. If the operating system is not Windows 7, please connect the SSD to a Windows 7 computer.

Secure erase

Final lines

How to wipe a hard drive and reformat it? If you thought that it’s easy to format hard drive to erase all data, then the truth will upset you. To completely wipe hard drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant can help you a lot. What’s more, if you’re using Windows Server, you can choose the Server Edition.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.