How to Wipe Hard Drive and Reinstall Windows 11?

If you plan to reinstall Windows 11 on your computer but have no idea how to do it, don’t miss this article. It will give you a step-by-step tutorial to guide you how to wipe hard drive and reinstall Windows 11 safely.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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How do I format my hard drive and reinstall Windows 11?

“I'm planning to reinstall my Windows 11. Now the questions. Does doing a clean install wipe out all the garbage that has been accumulating, like old registry entries and such? Do I need to do a format of the drive before I do the clean install to make it really "clean"? This is the first time I've attempted something like this, and I really want to know how to wipe hard drive and reinstall Windows 11. Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated!”

When using a computer, many cases like PC has slow performance or EFI partition is RAW might push you to reinstall Windows so that you could run your computer normally and successfully. But it's known to all that reinstalling Windows is a big and difficult project and many users even don't know where to start. To this end, this post will focus on cleaning up hard drive for Windows 11 reinstallation step by step.

How to wipe hard drive and reinstall Windows 11?

To better understand and master the operation process, the next content will be divided into three parts:


★Before you begin, there are several notifications you need to pay more attention to:
Make sure the device you want to install Windows 11 on meets the minimum system requirements, which will ensure the Windows 11 system can run normally and smoothly after reinstalling.
Prepare a USB flash drive (at least 8GB) used to create Windows 11 installation media.
Since wiping a hard drive will erase all the data completely and the data can't be restored even by professional recovery software, so please back up your important files beforehand in case you need to use them one day.

▶ Part 1. Create Windows 11 installation media

The first thing you need to do is to follow the steps to download the media creation tool to make a bootable USB.

Step 1. Connect the prepared USB to the PC. Go to the Microsoft official website to download the Windows 11 media creation tool.


Step 2. Run the tool, select the suitable language and edition and click “Next”.


Step 3. Choose "USB flash drive" option and select "Next".


Step 5. Follow the prompts to install Windows 11 on the USB and remove your USB. Now, you have gotten a Windows 11 installation media.

▶ Part 2. Wipe hard drive for reinstalling Windows 11

Wiping a hard drive is not difficult, but using a professional disk wiper can make your task easier. Here I highly recommend you to use AOEMI Partition Assistant Professional, which is a very powerful disk partition manager with many useful features. And most importantly, it's available to wipe a system disk!

As we know, Windows built-in feature like DiskPart doesn't allow you to clean up the system disk while the system is keeping on but AOMEI software can help you wipe the hard drive with the system on in a safe and quick way. Besides, this software provides four different ways to wipe a hard drive in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, and Vista: Fill sectors with Zero, Fill sectors with random data, DoD 5220.22-M, and Gutmann. You could select anyone according to your needs.

Note: If your hard drive is SSD, this software enables you to use the "SSD Secure Erase" feature to completely and permanently clean your SSD without hurting it.

Below is the demo version, click it and follow the step to have a try how to wipe a hard drive and reinstall Windows.

Free DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. In the main interface, right-click the hard drive that needs to be wiped, and select "Wipe Disk" in the pop up menu.


Step 2. In the pop-up window, you could choose the wiping method. Here we choose Fill sectors with Zero, which is safe and quick. This operation will delete all partitions and erase all data on the selected hard drive. Click "OK" to continue.


Step 3. It will pop up a note to ask you if you are sure to delete all partitions including system partition. If the system partition is deleted, your computer won't start the next time. If there is no problem, click "Yes" to move on.


Step 4. Then, click "Apply" to start wiping. When it completes, the disk will show as unallocated.


▶ Part 3. Reinstall Windows 11 from USB

Then, we come to the last part of "how to wipe hard drive and reinstall Windows 11 from USB". The detailed steps are as follows:

Step 1. Insert the Windows 11 installation USB into your computer and restart it. When entering the BIOS/UEFI interface, set the USB as the first in the boot sequence list.

Step 2. Restart the computer again and boot from the USB.

Step 3. Then you will see the Windows Setup interface. Select the right parameters and click "Next".


Step 4. Click "Install now" button .


Step 5. Then, you will be asked to enter your product key. If not, please click "I don't have a product key" to skip it.


Step 6. In the new window, select "Custom: Install Windows only(advanced)".


Step 7: When you are asked "Where do you want to install Windows?", you will find there is only unallocated space for you to choose because you have wiped the disk. Click "Next" and Windows will generate a system reserved partition (on MBR disk) or recovery partition (on GPT disk) and C: drive.


Step 8: Finish other necessary settings and you will complete the installation.



This is the full guide about how to wipe hard drive and reinstall Windows 11. In this post, we have mentioned a versatile tool named AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Apart from wiping hard drive for reinstalling Windows 11, it has more advanced features you can experience, such as cloning Windows 10 from HDD to SSD, moving folders to a different drive, migrating OS to M.2 SSD without reinstallation, converting the disk between GPT and MBR, and so on. Additionally, there is Server Edition to help you manage your Server system computer more efficiently.

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.