How to wipe a hard drive without deleting windows?
About two months ago, we wrote about how to erase the hard drive without removing Windows 10 and some users contacted us to say thank you about the second method solved their problems, but before we're about to cheer up we found that they mentioned the first method may sometime won't work, because when you press Ctrl + A to select all the files and folders on the target drive and press shift + delete to empty the partition, Windows may popup some error messages like below:
1. Cannot delete file; Access is denied. Make sure the disk is not full or write protected and that the file is not currently in use.
2. Cannot delete Folder; It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.
3. Cannot delete file: Cannot read from the source file or disk.
4. Can’t delete folder because it wasn’t found. The file or folder may have been renamed, moved, or deleted.
5. E drive is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
Scenario: The previous page shared two methods to wipe computer clean and keep the Windows operating system, the first one is to erase free space on the hard drive which had all files and folders deleted. There’s no problem about this method, but when deleting everything on the target partition, the above listed errors may show up.
Users of ByebyeData Eraser ran different Windows, some of them still use Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, some of them ran Eraser on Windows 7 and 10, although they didn’t send us screenshots on deleting errors, we can google that images and know more details. The screenshots above are from the internet.
So when you can’t proceed to the steps of erasing free space, you can try to the alternative solution below:
1. In ByebyeData Eraser click Entire drive and right-click in the erasing list section, choose Select All to select all the data drives, all the drives can be erased except the system drive. Or just select the only target drive.
2. Choose a wiping method from the security column or just skip this step when you prefer the default simple overwrite method (zero-filling).
3. Click Erase Now and click Yes to confirm.
These three steps are dealing with the data partition on the hard drive, after erased, all the partitions become one unallocated space, and they’re not ready for using unless you format them and create new simple volume in Windows Disk Management.
Also, by erasing drives directly instead of deleting all files previously, you don’t have to face file deletion error and also you saved time from it.
Now it’s time to clean C Drive. We cannot erase C Drive when Windows is running, but that’s exactly what we want, we would like to keep the operating system but clean out contents of previously installed programs or deleted files from free space. Run ByebyeData Eraser as administrator again and we’ll try the followings:
Click Erase free space > select C Drive (Now in the erasing list, there’s only C Drive is selectable if you had erase all the rest partitions) > select a wiping plan > Erase Now.
Please contact us when this alternative plan meets new problems.