Completely erase all files on hard drive
To erase files on hard drive completely is not just to press the delete button or simple drag files to recycle bin of Windows system, but to overwrite each blocks with zero or other meaningless characters. Delete and format operations are efficient when you want to clean up space or get drives ready for using, but not for data security if you want to donate the computer.
In order to make data clean on hard drives, no matter its internal or external hard drive, we need to erase all traces and all the contents of deleted files on the hard drive. Since Windows didn't provide us with functions or operations to erase individual files and folders, we need help from third-party software.
ByebyeData Eraser is the data sanitization program we're going to use to completely erase all files on hard drive. Download this zip file and we'll share how to use it within the following steps:
1. Unzip the package, install it and Run it as administrator.
2. In the main interface of ByebyeData Eraser, there're 6 tabs on the sidebar, which enable us to erase files and folders, erase free space, erase entire drive, erase entire disk, create bootable media and upgrade ByebyeData Eraser. All the four main erasing function are capable of erasing data on hard drives, but time of erasing may vary, if we're erase some files on the hard drive instead of the entire drive, we can click Erase files and folders.
3. Then we click Add files, and choose files to erase, you can add as many as you, there're no limitations of erasing items, but it's all the files on one drive, it's better to choose Erase entire drive directly.
4. Then, there're 14 overwriting method listed in the security column, most of which are from government standards, like the DoD 5520.22-M wiping standard, 3 pass overwriting plan, is included. You can click one for the files about to erase.
5. Click Erase Now and YES to the confirmation message, then ByebyeData Eraser will start to erase.
Note: Erase files and folders option is not like Erase free space on the hard drive, it's better to re-check the items in the erasing list if all the files are the target before proceed to actual erasing , since once ByebyeData Eraser starts to erase, there's no possibility to get them back even after using data recovery software.
So doing a backup on personal essential files before erasing is recommended.Related: how to erase free space on hard drive?