Wiping out data without removing Windows 10
Do you want to wipe out data but keep Windows 10? Maybe you want to keep the computer clean and runs smooth like before. User Dudley from tenforums is wondering how to wipe out data without removing Windows 10, he said:
I want to prepare my desktop before selling it and wipe all personal data. I am aware of tools like DBAN which would wipe out the entire disk including Win 10. I would prefer not to do that. source
Then Brink, the administrator, suggested resetting Windows 10 by wiping personal data without removing the operating system, but Dudley argued that by resetting Windows 10 data would not be overwritten and can still be visible to some data recovery software. His worries are below:
I really do not want to sound paranoid but just resetting Win 10 would not overwrite the entire disk, right? What I mean is that I understand my current files would not be visible to a regular person but they would be recoverable (or at least some of them) with special software if someone really tried.
Apparently, Dudley doesn't want any leakage of his personal data, not even any chances or traces can be left to any file retrieve programs. Brink also admitted that
It will not do a secure erase of the drive, but the data will pretty much be unrecoverable by the average Joe.
As for this situation, ByebyeData Eraser may provide the best solution, which is to erase free space on C Drive and erase the data drive at the same time. Or you can use this program to erase the entire disk and clean install Windows 10 with the setup CD.
Method 1: Erase free space
Note: Erase free space will NOT erase any files or folders on the drive but only erase free space, deleted space and unused space on the disk. There is no need to backup any data you're using, but it is highly recommended closing other running programs when erasing.
This method is for users who had already deleted files and uninstalled programs/software before selling their computer or reinstall Windows 10. Erase free space is to erase the deleted files space and overwrite these sectors with standard algorithm. OK, let's cut the craps, and go to the details:
1. Download ByebyeData Eraser and install and click Yes to the UAC windows and here comes the main interface.
2. Click the Erase free space tab and multi-click the drives on the disk, C Drive, D, E and other free space you want to clean.
3. And then check the erasure standards and choose one for the drives you picked up to erase.
4. Click Erase Now and confirm the order. And it is time to say bye-bye to the deleted data.
Method 2: Erase the entire disk and reinstall Windows 10
This method is for users who don't want to keep the current slow running system and all personal data, only want to install a pure, clean Windows for the purpose of selling or donating computer. Erase the entire disk will erase everything on the hard drive or SSD, so before proceeding to the following steps, to do a backup on the data that have meaning to you are recommended.
1. Since you may have already downloaded the software for Windows 10, please run it and click Bootable media and prepare a blank media, CD, DVD, or USB will do. We'll burn the software to the bootable disc later.
2. Now an ISO file is created, we click on that file and burn it to CD/DVD, you could use other software to burn it to USB when the default setting on running ISO file is to read CD/DVD only. The burning step may take seconds and after which we should close the software along with other running programs and Restart the computer.
3. Press some key to change the boot order according to prompt of rebooting and choose boot from CD or USB. Save and Exit BIOS. It will reboot and we should boot from the media now.
4. Click the Erase disks tab in ByebyeData Eraser and check the disk, always be the first one, contains Windows and select on erasing method from the right side and click Erase Now.
5. The disk now clean and it is time to reinstall Windows 10, take out the erasure CD/DVD or disconnect the USB and put in the Windows 10 setup CD or plug in the Windows installation USB and reboot again.
6. Install Windows 10 according to the instructions.