How to wipe an external hard drive?
To wipe an external hard drive or a portable hard drive like a USB hard drive is not just empty the disk but overwrites everything in it.
Many of you may have deleted files and folders on the hard drive or just have made the drive blank, so all you need to do for the rest of time is to wipe free space on the HDD.
ByebyeData Eraser has the ability to erase free space with several government standard wiping standards, of course, DoD methods are included, both the 3-pass and 7-pass standards are included. Now check the following guide to wipe free space of an external hard drive.
Steps to wipe an external hard drive free space:
1. Download > Install > Run ByebyeData Eraser as administrator.
2. Click Free space and select the external hard drive from the erasing list.
3. select a wiping method for the selected item and click Erase Now.
The screenshot is from ByebyeData Eraser running on Windows 7 though, it also runs on Windows 10, no need to worry about that.
Which erasing standard should I choose?
There’re as many as 14 overwrite methods built-in ByebyeData Eraser, categorized to 4 types: simple, advanced, complex and very complex methods.
As for home users, we would like to recommend the simple overwrite plans: zeros, ones and pseudo-random, they’re all 1 pass overwrite, with fast and secure features.
And for business users, when the USB hard drive belongs to the IT department, or the company, you may follow the privacy laws or the IT Dept. rules. More likely they would require DoD wiping methods or other government standards. If they don’t have such rules, still the best option is the simple overwrite ways.
How to delete everything off the external hard drive?
After deleting files and erasing free space on the external hard drive, you’ve completely had the hard drive cleared.
But if the portable device has many partitions in it, and all the files and folders are of less important to you or you just had a backup of them and you don't want waste time on deleting them first, then you can directly wipe the entire disk instead.
To Wipe the whole disk in ByebyeData Eraser, click Entire disk > select the disk > select a wiping method > click Eraser Now > confirm.
For the entire disk erasing, we don't recommend the very complex method, the Gutmann's algorithm, which will cost you an entire week if the hard drive capacity reached up to 500GB.
How to empty a hard drive?
To empty a hard drive or to blank a hard drive is much easier than to wipe a hard drive.
The delete button on the keyboard or the option in the right-click menu, the format option in Windows explorer or disk management are all the best option to empty a hard drive.
You can check the complete guide of empting a hard drive in Windows 10.