How to Wipe a Hard Drive on a Dead Computer?

To completely wipe a hard drive on a dead computer before selling or giving it away, you can resort to the professional software to make it instead of physically destroying the hard drive.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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How do I wipe my hard drive when my computer won't turn on?

"I have an old laptop, which is by now completely dead, it does not turn on, nothing happens when I push the power button. I would like to recycle it, but I'm sensitive about leaving information on the hard drive. I would like to format/erase the hard drive completely, so my sensitive data cannot be recovered by bad people. What is a good way of erasing the information on the hard drive of a dead computer, before disposing of the unit?"

People want to wipe hard drive for various reasons. Here we conclude the most commonly seen situations:

★ When selling, throwing out, or giving away the computer. If you no longer use your computer, remember to completely erase all the data on your hard drive and make sure they are unrecoverable so that your private data won't be transferred to others.

★ When reusing the hard drive. If there is nothing important on your hard drive, you may want to wipe it thoroughly so that you are able to reuse it like a new drive.

★ When upgrading HDD to SSD. After migrating your data from a hard disk drive to a solid state drive to optimize the performance, you can wipe your old hard drive if you plan to dispose of it.

As we can see, there are many occasions where you need to wipe a hard drive and you may find different methods to work on it. However, what is easy to ignore is when your computer won't boot as the user described above. The breakdown of your computer doesn't mean your hard drive data is missing. If you dispose of it easily, your private data is likely to be recovered for bad use.

Therefore, how to wipe a hard drive on a dead computer has been discussed vigorously. Fortunately, the following content will show you how to deal with this tricky and troublesome issue.

How to wipe a hard drive on a dead computer?

Firstly, if you can't boot your computer, how can you access to your hard drive? Thus, the first thing you need to prepare is a running computer. Secondly, wiping a hard drive is not the same as directly deleting the files on a hard drive because deleting files only hides data from the operating system but not really eliminate data on it so they can be easily recovered by some professional recovery tools.

Therefore, the need of powerful and practical wiping software is on the verge. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is such a powerful and practical utility that is designed for Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista users. Its "Wipe Hard Drive" function uses zero-filling method to overwrite a hard drive only in several clicks, which will prevent the data from being retrieved.

Pay more attention to which hard drive you are erasing. It's significantly easy to get confused and wipe the wrong one.
The data removed via this method is impossible to recover, so you can clone the hard drive to another drive to back up your important data.

Now, you can download the demo version and follow the guide to see how to wipe a hard drive on a computer that won't boot.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Since the computer with the hard drive is dead, in order to make your hard drive accessible, you can choose to eject the hard drive from the dead computer and install it on a running one to operate, but we recommend you try an easier way:

① Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant on a well-performed computer to make a bootable media.


② Connect the bootable media with your dead computer, when you start it, remember to change the boot order to boot from this media. Then, you will directly enter into the software, and all of your disks will be displayed on the main interface. Right-click the hard drive you want to wipe and select "Wipe Hard Drive" in the pop-up menu.


Step 2. Then choose "Fill sectors with Zero" and click "OK". Or choose other wiping methods based on your need.


Step 3. Finally, click "Apply" to execute the operations.


Note: With the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you can easily figure out how to wipe a hard drive on a dead laptop. As we know, the SSD is different from the HDD, so if you tend to use the same way to wipe a solid-state drive, the lifespan of SSD will be certainly decreased and even worse, the entire drive will be damaged.

Luckily, AOMEI software also provides a special way named "Secure Erase SSD" to permanently erase data on the SSD and optimize it at the same time. Therefore, if your disk is SSD, this feature can help a lot in solving how to wipe a hard drive on dead computer.



How to wipe a hard drive on a dead computer? AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional has provided the easiest and safest feature to help you erase data on a hard drive (whether HDD or SSD) and make sure they won't be restored. Apart from the wiping function, you can also use it to do many operations without damaging your computer, such as merging partition, formatting partition, converting MBR to GPT, etc.

In addition, if you want to perform these operations in Windows Server, the Server Edition is waiting for you to experience.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.