By Emily / Last Updated October 14, 2019

Format, delete or wipe a hard drive before selling/donating, which is better?

Did you guys hear the horror stories that someone buys a second-hand hard disk from eBay or the flea market, and then find lots of personal data still on the drive left by the previous user? What’s worse, if it is the cybercriminals that got such used hard drive, they might take advantage of the privacy information to threat and blackmail the previous owner.

“It would never happen to me, since I will delete all partitions on the disk, or format the drive when I don’t need it any longer, all the data is absolutely cleared” you might say. Sorry to tell that all the data you believed erased actually still exists on the hard drive. They just become invisible to the operating system, but not gone forever.

What you should do is to completely wipe the hard drive to clear the data permanently, which is much better and safer than only deleting or formatting it before selling it or giving it to others. So you might need a professional hard drive eraser.

Best hard disk eraser- AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional

To be as safe as possible, you might need a reliable hard drive eraser which can clear the disk in such a way that it’s impossible for anyone to recover the content even with a professional data recovery tool.

Here we highly recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It is designed for Windows operating systems, such as Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP and Vista.

To erase hard drives completely, it develops “Wipe Hard Drive” function and “SSD Secure Erase Wizard”, the former is used to clear all data from Hard Disk Drives, while the latter is designed to erase everything from Solid State Drives, which can help restore SSD performance to some extent.

How to clear hard drive in Windows 10/8/7 via AOMEI Partition Assistant?

As talked above, AOMEI Partition Assistant provides two different methods to permanently and safely wipe data from HDD and SSD, depending on what you want to achieve. Below we’ll offer detailed instructions for both.

Note: because the process will delete all content on the disk, please make a data backup in advance if necessary.

Part 1. Use “Wipe Hard Drive” to completely wipe HDD

This function has the following features you might want to know:

  • Securely wipe a specific volume/partition, whole disk drives, or floppy drives.

  • Overwrite data multiple times using one of four advanced algorithms that assure erased data cannot be recovered easily.

  • Be compatible with all file systems (NTFS, FAT32, FAT).

Step 1. Install and run the hard drive wipe software, find and right-click the hard drive you want to wipe, and choose “Wipe Hard Drive”.

Wipe Hard Disk Drive

Step 2. In this pop-out window, you are offered 4 different hard drive wiping methods. Choose one according to your needs and click "OK".

Wiping Drive Methods

Step 3. Click "Apply" ->"Proceed" to execute the operation.

Proceed

This method could also apply to wipe a USB drive, pen drive, SD card, memory card and more.

Part 2. Use “SSD Secure Erase Wizard” to erase SSD

SSD’s reading and writing methods differ from traditional hard drives, so we need a different way to wipe data from SSD safely. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional develops dedicated features for SSD erase, with which you can clear all data on SSD without damaging its lifespan and performance.

Note: this feature only works on Windows 7 by far, so please first connect your chosen SSD to a computer running Windows 7 and make sure it is successfully detected.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant and click SSD Secure Erase Wizard in the left side. And click "Next".

SSD Secure Erase

Step 2. Choose the SSD you want to erase from the given disk list and click "Next".

Choose SSD Drive

Step 3. At SSD identification information page, you may find the SSD is in a frozen state which is set to prevent someone else from modifying your drive settings. Perform a hot swap to release this restriction according to the tutorials. Then Click "Next" to start wipe all data on SSD drive completely

Froze State

Step 4. In most situations, it will be done in a short time.

Start Erasing SSD

How to wipe hard drive without loading OS?

If your Windows fails to boot for some reason and you need to wipe the system hard drive for OS reinstallation, you can first create a bootable USB drive via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, then boot PC from it and perform hard drive erasing under WinPE environment.

Step 1. Connect an empty USB (over 8GB) to a working computer, and run AOMEI software on that PC. Then click “Make Bootable Media” and “Next”.

Make Bootable Media

Step 2. Choose a USB drive and click “Proceed”.

Choose Usb Drive

Step 3. When it is done, click “Finish” to close this window.

Finish

Note: the bootable USB contains the pre-installed AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step 4. Unplug the USB and insert it into the computer which cannot start up. Enter BIOS setup and make the bootable USB the first boot device.

Step 5. Once login, you will be in the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, and then you can take the above steps to wipe hard drive or erase SSD.

What we learned

Whether you want to wipe an HDD or SSD, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can be a powerful hard drive eraser. Moreover, it can also work as a nice SSD optimization tool to fix the SSD slowing down issue.

Last but not least, when you finish wiping the disk, it will show as unallocated space. If you want to use it again, you can try its “Quick Partition” function to create multiple partitions in one click.