How to Wipe Secondary Hard Drive in Windows 11/10/8/7?

How to wipe secondary hard drive when you’re going to sell it or for reusing? If you don’t know how to completely wipe your data disk, this post will offer you some solutions.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Wipe secondary hard drive

Most customers sell or give away their computer or hard drive when they wish to get rid of an outdated device or upgrade to a new one. The old hard disk can then be used as a secondary hard drive for data storage.

Some users may have previously formatted or erased information on the hard disk in order to remove sensitive personal data and prevent becoming a victim of identity theft.

Does your data really disappear from your hard drive? The truth might not be what you thought.

What is the difference between formatting, deleting, and wiping?

First, let’s see more basics about how formatting, deleting and wiping work.

• Format: A method of encoding data for storage in a computer file. To be more explicit, disk formatting is usually for reusing of disk owner.

• Delete: This leaves an empty area that may be utilized to construct additional partitions.

• Wipe: Fully and permanently wipe data on a hard drive or partition; some wiping software includes overwriting random data on the disk to cover the original data to prevent data recovery.

So, erasing a hard drive is not as simple as removing data or formatting a hard disk. If you just simply delete files or empty the Recycle Bin, your data does not permanently erase data because lost files may be quickly restored with recovery tools. Similarly, formatting a hard disk does not entirely remove data.

Though the operating system cannot see deleted or erased data and the drive seems empty, typical people may readily recover lost data with hard drive recovery software.

Why do you need to wipe secondary hard drive?

As the above information, deleting and formatting can’t completely clean your data, then how wiping can clean all data thoroughly?

In a hard disk, files are stored on the surface of magnetic and revolving platters. When the disk reads or writes data, your hard drive transforms the magnetic property of the platter surface to 1 or 0. All data on a hard disk will eventually be saved as fundamental binary data.

When a file is erased, its ones and zeros are untouched, as just a pointer indicating the file is being removed is deleted.

Wiping data removes binary data by overwriting the zeros and ones with fresh data. Once a file's binary data has been altered and overwritten with new data, it cannot be retrieved. Some professional disk eraser software can fill a drive with zeros or random data sector by sector, ensuring that no data can be retrieved from a wiped disk.

Thus, wiping the disk or partition is the best option if you wish to completely erase your privacy.

How to wipe secondary hard drive on Windows PC?

If you’re going to give your secondary hard drive to another user, we suggest you choose a powerful disk wiping tool to ensure all data will be cleaned completely.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is what we highly recommend to you. It is a reliable disk management tool for Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP PC users. Its “Wipe Hard Drive” function can do what we’ve mentioned before. This tool offers users four wiping methods to protect their private data:

1. Fill sectors with zeros: Overwrite all sectors with zeros. Erasing a personal hard drive is a common procedure. It is both secure and fast.
2. Fill sectors with random data: It writes random data to the hard drive. It is more secure than the previous one.
3. DoD 5220.22-M: The DoD standard was first issued by the US Department of Defense. It's safer than "zero-filling" and "random data filling," and it's quicker than the Guttman technique. As a result, corporations and organizations frequently use it.
4. Gutmann: Overwriting a hard drive requires 35 passes. It is the safest path here, but it is also the longest.

You can select one way according to your needs to prevent your privacy from being recovered by data recovery tools.

The operation is quite user-friendly, only a few times clicking, your secondary hard drive will be completely wiped. Now, let’s see how to completely wipe a secondary hard drive with this tool.

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Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant, select a hard drive that you want to wipe; right-click on it and choose the "Wipe Hard Drive" option.

Wipe hard drive

Step 2. Choose a wiping method to wipe the selected hard drive according to your requirements and click "OK".

Wipe methods

Step 3. Click "Apply" in the toolbar to execute the operation.


Wait for a while, the task will finish in a few minutes. After the wiping, you can format the disk and use it as a data disk or directly give it to another user.

Further knowledge: How to completely & securely erase an SSD?

After we show you how to erase a secondary hard drive, now let’s do a quick look at how to erase an SSD. Since SSD is more affordable, many users may have two SSDs on the computer. If you’re going to disposal an SSD, you can’t wipe it like an HDD, which will hurt the lifespan or even damage it because SSD has a different structure from HDD.

To securely erase an SSD, you can choose the “SSD Secure Erase” feature to safely erase data on an SSD.

SSD secure erase

After erasing, you can sell your old SSD or for other use.

Final lines

After reading this guide, hope you know how to wipe secondary hard drive in Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7 PC now. AOMEI Partition Assistant is a versatile tool, you can see it has many other functions in the pictures. It can help you clone disk, migrate OS only, convert to GPT/MBR without data loss, move folders and installed programs, and so on.

What’s more, it has the Server Edition for Windows Serer 2022/2019/2016/2012(R2)/2008(R2) users and the Unlimited Edition for enterprise users to efficiently manage multiple computers.

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.