How to clean out a hard drive?
Wipe a Windows desktop clean is not just to wipe C Drive clean but the entire disk, including all the personal settings, downloaded files, sensitive documents and all the traces on the hard drive, because such things may get yourself into trouble if they were fall into the wrong hands. Thus clean computer before selling with professional data sanitation software is a must to secure personal data.
What is erasing?
Erasing is to overwrite hard drive's cluster with random and meaningless characters so that data recovery software won't be able to get files back by scanning traces of previous file in each sector.
It's easy to understand that storing is to write files onto the disk with meaningful messages in continuous sectors or dispersed clusters if the file is too large and clusters size are too small. Erasing actually does the same job as storing, but only to fill sectors with nothing useful and meaningful.
Deleting, as you know, is to remove the reference of files or folders, contents of which are still there to be discovered and restored by recovery programs. It's the best solution to replace files in a fast and efficient way, but it's far from secure deletion when you decide to donate a computer to others you may never know.
Do I need to erase?
When you have full control to your computer and have no plans to give the hard drive away, you don’t have to erase anything if the device hasn’t been affected by virus or malware.
When computer is running slow, or get crushes from time to time, it’s better to erase the operating system and reinstall Windows. That’s to remove the possible virus traces on the hard drive; a clean install on a clean disk may help a lot.
Before selling computer, it’s recommended to erase the hard drive completely, so that the personal stuff will stay safe.
Just bear in mind that you can always turn to ByebyeData Eraser when you need to make data secure.