Does formatting external hard drive erase everything?
I have stored my work documents on my old external hard drive, now I want to sell it but how to ensure the drive is clean, does formatting the hard drive erasing everything?
NO, formatting doesn't erase everything. Delete files and format hard drive will not erase anything, what you deleted or formatted can still be retrieved by data recovery programs, not some professional ones, any of them, even freeware can easily get them back. So if you're about to sell the external hard drive, selling it after it is clean.
Then how to erase external hard drive?
To erase everything on the hard drive, we need to use a data clean tool to make sure the drive is erased. ByebyeData Eraser is the one we're going to talk about, with which we can erase hard drive, external or internal; erase free space; erase individual files and folders. And we have two solutions to erase the hard drive you just formatted.
#1. Erase free space
The external hard drive is just formatted and nothing is stored on it. It looks like empty, so we run ByebyeData Eraser and follow steps below to erase it:
1. Click Erase free space in the main window and Eraser will list all the drives you have connected to the system, maybe you have multiple drives on the hard drive, you can select them all.
2. After confirmed all the drives have been selected, click one erasing methods for these drives. You can choose simple overwrite, or advanced; complex and very complex overwrite methods will take longer time, and even longer time when you have huge capacity for the external hard drive, say 1TB or more. If you're not sure which partitions are from external hard drive, run Disk management and they will list in the disk map. Or jump to the second solution.
3. Click Erase Now and Eraser will ask you again if you're sure about that, Confirm and let Eraser do its job.
#2. Erase disk
When you're not sure how many partitions are in the external hard drive you want to erase, just ignore the erase free space solution and try this one: Erase disk directly. It works the same no matter you formatted the disk already or not. It just erases the entire disk, partitions number will not matter. here is how this function works:
1. Click Erase disk and select the external hard drive in the list, which is much shorter than the list in Erase free space section.
2. Choose one plan to erase this disk from the security column, 14 erasing methods are listed here, choose any one of them will ensure data clean. The faster ones are Simple overwrite methods.
3. Erase Now and Confirm, and then Eraser will erase the entire external hard drive.