When you are erasing your private data by reinstalling or reset Windows, your personal files and information are still there and before you hand over your computer to anyone make sure the data is deleted properly.
One last thing that you need to when removing everything from your computer is wiping your hard drive clean. Because the data you deleted is not deleted permanently so your files can be restored from the Recycle Bin. Even if you empty the Bin, the deleted files can still be recovered using a proper undelete utility.
How to Wipe Your Hard Drive
So, there are a lot of ways to wipe hard drive data and the basic one is using the Reset features in Windows 8.1 or 10 to return your PC to factory conditions will wipe the drive like it’s reinstalled on the OS. However, those having older versions of Windows need some appropriate method of wiping hard drive instead of Reset feature. Therefore, a good hard drive eraser utility is required.
On a side note, today most of the desktops and laptops are operating solid-state drives (SSDs) rather than mechanical drives. Though SSDs are faster compared to HDDs with mechanical parts they are difficult to wipe out and not all hard drive erasers support them.
In case of mechanical drive, you need DoD 5220.22-M a drive eraser utility that offers a data destruction method. It’s most commonly used by US Department of Defense, by default this method overwrites your data three times with different characteristics to completely wipe your hard drive.
That said, PartedMagic under $12 is an all in one with offering file recovery, disk partitioning, disk cloning and drive wiping (supports SSD). After you download the software follow the instructions to use “Secure Erase” feature. Make sure you have a bootable CD/DVD or USB drive and then just follow the Instructions by Secure Edge to learn how to wipe your drive.
Blancco Drive Eraser is another great utility that provides real value for the money. It supports SSDs as well as DoD 5222.2M method for erasure.
Except for the personal use, it is good at handling disk wipes of businesses and organizations. When you have downloaded the Drive Eraser, you will be directed to create a bootable USB drive to load the software. Then, place the drive in computer beside the hard drive you are looking to erase. Boot up the USB drive and follow the steps to wipe your drive.