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What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

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What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Old 08-22-19, 08:38 AM
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What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

My friends wants me to delete all stuff from his harddrive before he brings in to recycle.

Can i just factory reset the PC through settings menu? or just take all contents to the recycle bin and then delete recycle bin?

Thanks for help.
Old 08-22-19, 12:22 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

If there are no highly confidential or any incriminating/embarrassing documents, then it doesn't matter how the drive's content is deleted.

Personally I would remove the hard drive and destroy it with a sledgehammer. The other remaining hardware could be recycled.
Old 08-22-19, 12:34 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

You don't just want to delete and format, you want to overwrite the old data. Use a utility like this one: Disk Wipe - Free software

Or just destroy it as morriscroy recommends.
Old 08-22-19, 12:40 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

If you have the patience, overwrite the entire drive several times with randomly produced data streams.

The more paranoid your are, the greater number of rounds of overwriting with randomly produced data.
Old 08-22-19, 12:42 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

A drill. Seriously, if you’re just taking it to get recycled, just drill a big hole in it. That’s pretty much 100% full proof.
Old 08-22-19, 01:39 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

CCLeaner has a drive wipe feature. You can tell it how many times you want it to overwrite, and then leave it to do its thing.
Old 08-22-19, 04:06 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Agreed, destroy the drive. If it's a 2.5" drive all it takes is one hammer strike.
Old 08-22-19, 04:10 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

You can easily take the drive apart with bit tools...pretty cheap on amazon. Then you remove the platter and smack it with a hammer.
Old 08-22-19, 05:11 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

ok, aside from mass destruction , can't i just delete the drive in settings? i don't know what set up they have or what i am looking at. all i want to do is delete all the files on their harddrive without taking apart and destroying...
Old 08-23-19, 01:23 AM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Originally Posted by E Unit View Post
A drill. Seriously, if you’re just taking it to get recycled, just drill a big hole in it. That’s pretty much 100% full proof.
My brother & I have drilled holes in about 10 hard drives so far.
Old 08-23-19, 03:23 AM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Originally Posted by OldBoy View Post
ok, aside from mass destruction , can't i just delete the drive in settings? i don't know what set up they have or what i am looking at. all i want to do is delete all the files on their harddrive without taking apart and destroying...
If it’s Windows 10 you can “Reset the computer” which would make it like a fresh install. To make sure the old files are destroyed install CCleaner and wipe the empty space on the drive.
Old 08-23-19, 07:20 AM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

30 seconds in a microwave should take care of it.
Old 08-23-19, 08:37 AM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Originally Posted by kahuna View Post
My brother & I have drilled holes in about 10 hard drives so far.
When I worked at Dell many years ago, I oversaw some of the destruction processes. Systems returned from government agencies had a certain wipe protocol, which just about all businesses adhere to when they want sensitive data removed. The only "full-proof" way was to take a drill to the hard drive. Even hammer hits can theoretically be salvaged. So when in doubt, and you absolutely positively need to have a drive restored with no hope of recovery, a drill with a big bit will do the trick.
Old 08-23-19, 02:37 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Originally Posted by kahuna View Post
My brother & I have drilled holes in about 10 hard drives so far.
Hmmm...why?
Old 08-23-19, 03:37 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Drill is best, otherwise: https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase
Old 08-23-19, 08:22 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Why not do a DOD overwrite, and keep the drive for emergency use? If it's 500 GB or greater, it can serve you very well indeed in a pinch. Is it an old IDE or small-capacity drive? Then, a drill does make more sense. Unless the drive has hardware defects (bad sectors), use it yourself for, at the minimum, backing up your own system to that drive. Repurpose it for your own use before getting out the drill! It probably has a good amount of use left.

I've done this repurposing for several "throwaway" drives I've been given by friends. Each of those has several iterations of important backups of my own data. Man, you just never know when those backups might save your own hide. And, the total cost? The simple expedient of purchasing a SATA-to-USB cable and imaging your own drive(s) via this cable using ddrescue or similar utility. Very cheap, and easy to do. And then you don't have to fool with cloud services, etc.

Last edited by zyzzle; 08-23-19 at 08:27 PM.
Old 08-23-19, 09:28 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

I have no idea of anything. I told her to give me the desktop and I’ll smash, try to open and find the hard drive, if I can and smash that...
Old 08-24-19, 12:03 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Several apps are available that wipe the data from the hard disk and I would recommend the Eraser software. Here https://www.digitaltrends.com/comput...-a-hard-drive/ you can see the entire step-by-step guidance. The second option could be the physical destruction of the disk.
Old 08-24-19, 12:14 PM
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Re: What's the best/easiest way to delete all contents from a harddrive?

Drill it, or smash it. It's the quickest and easiest.


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