About zero filling hard drive
Zero filling hard drive is a process of writing zeros to hard disk. It is a method of wiping a hard drive or other storage devices by overwriting existing data with zeros. Each bit in the hard drive would be replaced by a zero value. And zero filling is much more secure than just deleting or formatting hard drive. Once your hard drive is zero filled, it is very difficult to recover data on the drive. Hence, it is a good way to protect private files and data from be stolen.
Due to various reasons, like preventing private data leakage after selling to other people, eliminating stubborn virus, you may want to wipe your hard drive completely by filling hard drive with zeros. But how to zero out hard drive in Windows? Actually, you can use the Windows built-in tool-Command Prompt, which is the command line interpreter to help system administrators to excute tons of disk partitions management tasks in most Windows systems.
Next, we will demonstrate the steps to zero fill hard drive via Command Prompt.
How to zero fill hard drive via Command Prompt？
As is well-known, simply deleting and formatting hard drive can’t wipe out data from it completely, but you can zero out hard drive in Windows to make the data much more difficult to be recovered from most data recovery tools. Now follow the next steps to write zeros to hard drive via CMD for wiping it permanently in Windows.
Step 1. Type “CMD” in the search box, and click “Command Prompt” to open command line window.
Step 2. Type “format X: /fs:NTFS /p:1”(X is the drive letter of your hard drive, NTFS is the file system, p:1 means writing zeros to every sector once) and press Enter.
1. You can type “p:2” to write zeros to each sector for twice.
2. To check the file system of your hard drive, open computer> right-click your hard drive > select Properties.
Step 3. Type “y” and press Enter. It may need a long time.
Step 4. Type a name for the hard drive as volume label, or don’t and press Enter.
Step 5. And “Creating file system structures” will be showed on the window.
Step 6. When the prompt returns, you can repeat the above steps for other partitions on the drive.
Step 7. Type “exit” and press Enter to exit Command Prompt.
Easier way to write zeros to fill hard drive (GUI tool)
As you see, zero filling hard drive via Command Prompt is a little bit complicated. When you need to zero fill an entire hard drive, you have to repeat the same command on each partition on the disk. That may cost more time. Besides, if you type a wrong drive letter, you will write zero to a wrong partition, which may cause data loss. So, Command Prompt is very inconvenient and error-prone.
Luckily, there is an alternative to Command Prompt to zero fill hard drive- AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It comes with lots of outstanding features that make zero filling easier:
Intuitive interface: Either computer experts or newbies can easily choose the right partition or hard disk to wipe out.
Support zero fill a partition only: It can not only help write zeros to an entire hard drive within three steps, but also can wipe a specific partition.
Four wiping methods: Besides zero filling, it also provides more secure wiping methods: fill sectors with random data, DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann.
Next, you can do as below to write zeros to hard drive.
Step 1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant. And right-click the hard drive you are going to wipe, then select “Wipe Hard Drive”.
Step 2. In this window, choose “Fill sectors with Zero” as wiping methods. Also, you can select other methods to wipe your hard drive.
Step 3. Confirm the operation, click “Proceed” and “Apply” to start the process.
If you have a SSD that needs to be wiped, you may also want to zero fill it via Command Prompt. Actually, you can’t do it, because writing zeros would affect SSD’s performance and shorten its lifespan.
But with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you can securely erase SSD without hurting its performance and lifespan since it provides a special function-SSD secure erase, which can completely clean a SSD with a computer that runs Windows 7 and make the SSD at its ideal performance.
This article gives the steps to zero fill hard drive via Command Prompt. When the process is finished, your hard drive will be wiped completely. If you want more secure ways to wipe hard drive, the other 3 wiping methods provided by AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional are great options for you. Moreover, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can provide other functions like converting disk between MBR and GPT, migrating OS, to meet different demands of users.