Deep clean hard drive
Want to do a deep clean on the hard drive after found that data recovery software can still pick up contents of deleted files on reinstalled operating system? Still wondering why the deleted files can be easily restored by other free programs dealing with residual data? Well, we indeed need to do one more step before we sell the old computer or give it away to friend: Erase the hard drive.
Delete may be the fast and recommended operation to free up disk space when the computer is still at service, or the shift+delete method, but it is not a good option to handle data when things come to the secure disposal of the device. Deep clean doesn't mean just remove the references of data, but all the contents left behind.
So, will Format do the erasing job?
No, the Format operation does more than Delete, it also creates file system and partition table for a drive, it's actually focus more on creation then deletion.
Then what's the proper way to deep clean?
The right way of deep cleaning a hard drive is to overwrite the hard drive with meaningless characters. That's right 1s or (and) 0s on the original contents of deleted data, leaving recovery software only many 1s and 0s but no useful information. The overwrite process is called erase, and that's how ByebyeData Eraser works.
For Windows 10 and 8 users who had just 'Reset this PC', the following steps will do the deep clean job:
Windows 10 Reset this PC > Remove everything (Removes all of your personal files, apps, and settings) is the viable option, but if need a DoD 5220.22 M method as your company requires, you can run ByebyeData Eraser > Erase free space > select DoD 5220.22 M > select all the drives > Erase Now > Confirm.
For Windows 7 and lower version Windows users, do the follows:
Run ByebyeData Eraser as Administrator > Create bootable media (if you want to erase the entire disk including the OS) > Set BIOS to boot from CD or USB > Click Erase entire disk in the WinPE ByebyeData Eraser > select DoD 5220.M standard > select all the disks (Disk 0 and other Disks if they’re available) > Erase Now > Confirm.
Then make a clean install on the erased hard drive, or just leave is as empty according to your needs.