By Bryce / Last Updated May 12, 2023

Reformatting hard drive in Windows 8 erase all data totally?

You may want to remove all data from your hard drive in Windows 8 laptop or desktop for various reasons like reusing old hard drive, selling outmoded computer and so on. It is well known that you can delete all things or reformat hard drive to make data saved on it disappear. But will deleting or reformatting erase all data totally and irrecoverably?

The answer is negative. Formatting hard drive in Windows 8 just hides data from operating system but not really eliminate data on the hard drive. It is not difficult to retrieve deleted or formatted data as long as you use professional data recovery software. If you don’t want the data to be recovered easily, you need to wipe hard drive.

Two ways to wipe hard drive in Windows 8 easily

Here offer two different ways about erase data completely from disk, pick up one way based on your own situation.

Note: It is suggested to backup data to cloud or external since all files on the hard drive will be erased.

Wipe disk in Windows 8 from Command Prompt

You can wipe hard drive and prevent data being retrieved easily through writing zeros to it from Command Prompt. Here are detailed steps:

1. Click Start, type “cmd”, right click the program and select Run as administrator to get into the Command Prompt.

2. In the pop-up window, input “format f:/fs:NTFS/p:1” and hit Enter to write zeros to every sector of the drive once

● “f” is the drive letter of the partition on the hard drive that you want to wipe, you can change it based on your own situation.
● A single pass of zeros to a hard drive can prevent all software-based file recovery applications from extracting information from the drive. To be safer, you can replace p:1 with p:2 to do two passes of zeros. If you want to format or wipe the drive that holds running Windows 8, you can insert Windows installation CD/DVD to your computer, enter BIOS to boot machine from the CD/DVD and then go to System Recovery Options window and choose Command Prompt to do steps that mentioned above.
● These steps are suitable for wiping hard drive in Windows 10/8.1 or Windows 7.

Wipe hard drive in Windows 8 with an easy-to-use GUI tool

It is not a bad choice to wipe disk in Windows 8 from Command Prompt, but it can be a little bit complicated for a green hand in computer and you’re probably to wipe wrong drive, causing data loss. If there are multiple partitions on the hard drive, you’ll need to repeat the operation on every partition.

Thus, a tool with a concise and simple graphic user interface – AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, is introduced. It allows you to wipe the entire hard drive in one time whether there is one partition or multiple partitions on the hard drive.

What’s more, it has make bootable media function, allowing you to boot the computer from the created bootable device and wipe hard drive that contains OS, which is very helpful when you don’t have a Windows installation disc and want to erase all data totally on system hard drive.

Install, run it on your computer and have a look at how it works.

Or you can free download its demo version to have a try at first.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. In the main user interface, right-click the hard drive that you want to erase and choose Wipe Hard Drive.

Wipe Hard Drive

Step 2. Choose a wiping method to wipe the target hard drive and then click OK (here I choose the second way).

Fill Sectors With Random Data

Four wiping method:
☞Fill sectors with Zero: write zero to all sectors on a hard drive.
☞Fill sectors with random data: write random data to every sector on a disk, more powerful than the first option.
☞DoD 5220.22-M: a software-based wiping method, able to stop all software-based file recovery software recovering data.
☞Gutmann: is much more powerful than the first three options, capable of preventing all software-based file recovery software and most hardware-based file recovery tools.

Step 3. Click Apply and Proceed to commit the operation.

Apply Wipe Hard Drive

● AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can work with Windows 10/8.1/8/7; to wipe a hard drive in Windows Server, use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.
● You can use AOMEI Partition Assistant to clone system hard drive, migrating Windows to SSD and so on.

Can you wipe SSD as wipe HDD?

The detailed steps about how to wipe a hard drive has been illustrated in the above content. But if you want to wipe data on a solid sate (SSD) & recover its performance, it is not advised to take the aforementioned way since SSD differs from HDD in structure and formation.

At this time, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can be helpful! Its SSD Secure Erase function is specially designed for wiping SSD, which can erase data on SSD thoroughly and restore SSD to its peak performance. Run it, right click the SSD that you want to wipe data and choose SSD Secure Erase. Then, do as the next prompts to complete this operation.

Ssd Secure Erase

Note: SSD Secure Erase has to be performed in Windows 7 and the selected SSD should not be the boot drive. Thus, you need to uninstall the SSD and connect it to a working computer running Windows 7 to make SSD secure erase.

Further reading

The previous content has presented how to wipe all data from hard drive in Windows 8 laptop or desktop and make it hard to retrieve the data in detail. If you plan to keep the computer and just want to wipe the disk with all applications, settings, and information, you can choose to reset your computer to factory settings.

For many computers, such as Lenovo laptop, it comes with OneKey recovery function, enabling you to restore your machine to original status easily. Now, check out the steps about how to reset Lenovo computer and start over.

Step 1. Shut off your computer. Press Novo button for a few seconds. Choose System Recovery when the Novo Button Menu appears.

Step 2. In this window, choose “Restore from initial backup”.

Step 3. Click Start and wait the whole process to finish. Then, do as the next prompts to configure the settings.

Note: It is available to reset computer under the help of Windows installation disc.