In such a case that you want to start using a hard drive from scratch, you will need to erase the drive. Yet, even so, you may still be reluctant to lose the drive data. So, in this article, we will guide you to safely erase your hard drive.
To erase a hard drive refers to wiping all information of the drive completely. It is not the same as deleting all files on the drive or formatting the drive. For instance, after you format a hard drive, in reality, experienced data recovery software still can recover the drive data. However, if you erase a hard drive, drive data will be unrecoverable thoroughly. Now, if you want to erase a hard drive and ensure that all your private data is gone permanently, you can follow the 3 steps below.
Step 1: Comprehensive Drive Backup
First of all, you have to back up the drive in prior to erasing a hard drive. As we all know, when it comes to evading data loss, data backup is unquestionably one of the most effective and essential ways. Erasing drive will clean up all drive data. So, it is a critical to back up your drive, no matter to another external hard drive or to the cloud. In this way, after erasing, you’re able to restore backed up data to drive with effortless ease, such as to recover Outlook data from backed up PST file.
Step 2: Wipe All Drive Data
After an effective backup, your next step is to wipe all the drive data. Some users may incorrectly think that it refers to manually deleting files from the drive. But, as a matter of fact, this method is not recommended. By this means, you may miss any files accidentally. Also, by this approach, in fact, deleted data still exist in the drive until new data overwrite them. Hence, to wipe drive, you had better use other methods, like resorting to a third party tool. For more details about wiping drive, you can refer to our previous article “3 Effective Methods to Wipe Data on Your Hard Drives Thoroughly“.
Step 3: Reformat Drive
Lastly, if you intend to continue using the hard drive on your computer, you will need to reformat the drive. Reformat will clean up the drive once again and will rebuild the file system for the drive. Hence, it is the last and necessary way to be sure that the drive data is erased thoroughly and cannot be recoverable any more. As for how to reformat drive, you can read “6 Easy Approaches to Format a Hard Drive in Windows“. Formatting process may take several minutes to hours. You’d better keep patient. Don’t interrupt it at will. Otherwise, unexpected damage will occur to the drive.
Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including recover sql and outlook repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com