How to Secure Erase Hard Drive in Windows 7?
Sometimes you need to erase all data on your hard disk drive or solid state drive. Here you can learn how to secure erase hard drive in Windows 7/8/10.
“Recently, I’m planning to change my old 1TB hard drive to a 2TB hard drive. I have deleted all data on the hard drive, but I heard it is not enough if I want to reuse or sell it - it is not safe for my personal information, cause others may use some data recovery tool to steal my private data. While secure erase hard drive in Windows 7 could erase all data on the hard drive securely and permanently that nobody can restore data back. So anybody knows how to secure erase hard drive in Windows 7? Any advice would be thanked.”
It is important to erase your personal data from the hard drive before you dispose of them. Windows erase hard drive is not a simple delete and format hard drive. Here, you can learn how to do it easily.
It is always a worry when you depose of your computer or hard drive that all personal data on the hard drive could be recovered via some data recovery tool. Thus, secure erase hard drive is meaningful to users. Well, Windows 7 actually has its own free built-in tool for securely erasing, not just whole hard disks, but specific folders as well. Microsoft says that this feature is here for cleaning empty folders and drives that need to be erased, and it is an excellent way to save money on expensive third-party software. That is the cipher.exe tool, which has been around for years now and is used for managing the EFS (Encrypted File System) feature that preceded BitLocker. Run cipher.exe from Command Prompt as an Administrator. Type cipher /w /? to displays or alters the encryption of directories [files] on NTFS partitions.
Type cipher w:x:\folder (x:\folder for the location you want to wiped). It will write a series of 0s, 1s and then random characters to every sector of the drive or folder to erase all data securely. After that, you are not going to get your data back.
Using command line to execute tasks will face a big question, the operation is irrevocable. Once there is a wrong operation, it could cause an irretrievable damage. Fortunately, the next content is for how to secure erase hard dive in Windows 7 with intuitive users’ interface.
Secure erase hard drive means to delete and erase all data on the hard drive permanently and without hurting the HDD/SSD. Thus, a good third party software is very important. The AOMEI Partition Assistant is such a great disk manager that provides you the specific methods for wiping hard disk drive (HDD) and erasing SSD securely. Because of the different constructions of HDD and SSD, you can’t use the same way to use HDD to SSD. Here you can learn how to secure erase hard drive (both HDD and SSD) in Windows 7/8/10.
Note: Wipe hard drive clean would delete all partitions and erase all data on the selected hard drive by over-writing it. If there is anything important, backup to cloud or external.
How to secure erase hard drive in Windows 7 permanently? The AOMEI Partition Assistant provides you the very simple way to help you erase all data on the hard drive securely. That is using its “Wipe Hard Drive”. you can follow the steps below to do that:
Step1. Connect your hard drive to your Windows 7 computer (Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 is also supported by AOMEI Partition Assistant).
Step2. Free download AOMEI Partition Assistant, install and launch it. It will detect all hard drives on your computer and you can see all drives on the main interface. Right-click the hard drive you want to erase securely, select Wipe Hard Drive.
Step3. Here you can specify the wipe times. ClickOK.
Step4. When you back to the main interface, clickApply to submit.
If your hard drive is a solid state drive (SSD), you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to Secure Erase SSD in Windows 7. If you use Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, you need to unplug the hard drive and re-plug it to a Windows 7 computer.
Step1. Connect your SSD to a Windows 7 installed computer. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click the SSD you want to erase, selectSecure Erase SSD in the pop up window. Or you can selectSecure Erase SSD Wizard in the left pane.
Step2. It will give you a note that the operation will delete and erase all data on the SSD. If you have any important data, backup before erasing. Read it and click Next.
Step3. Here you should choose the SSD you want to erase securely. Click Next.
Step4. You’ll need to do a hot swap as your SSD is in frozen state. You can follow the hint by clicking “here” in the following operation page.
Step5. After that, you can continue to secure erase SSD by clicking Next. And then, wait till the job done.
It is much easier to secure erase hard drive in Windows 7 with AOMEI Partition Assistant than cipher.exe tool. AOMEI Partition Assistant can also help you manage your hard drive better, such as repartition hard drive, resize partition, delete partition, format partition, initialize disk, etc.