This post lists top 10 free hard drive data wipe software for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. If you want to completely erase all data on hard disk, SSD, external hard drive, USB, etc. on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP PC, so as to prevent private data from leaking, you can check the tutorial below.
Brief Introduction of Data Wiping and Deleting
Deleting all the data on your hard drive doesn’t mean the data is no longer existed. They are still located on the hard drive. It just deletes the reference of the data in the allocation table and you can’t find it.
By using some data recovery software, you can recover the deleted data and files. Even if you overwrite some new data to the hard drive, some data may still be able to be recovered if the new data doesn’t occupy the entire cluster space of the old data. Some data may be retrievable from slack space.
If you want to completely wipe hard drive and make the data gone forever and unrecoverable, you can use the hard drive wipe software to remove the data on hard disk permanently.
There are some circumstances you may seek for a piece of free hard drive wipe software. For instance, if you’d like to change a new computer and sell the old one, you may think of completely wiping the whole hard drive of the old computer in case your personal data are wrongly used by other people. Still, before you dispose your old external hard drives or USB flash drives, you may also recur to free hard drive eraser software to erase data on them.
This post lists top 10 hard drive data wiping software for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP to let you wipe PC hard disk drive, SSD, external hard drive, USB, etc. Therefore, you can keep your privacy safe.
Top 10 Hard Drive/Disk Data Wipe/Erase Software for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP
#1 MiniTool Partition Wizard
MiniTool Partition Wizard is an all-in-one disk partition manager. It combines many powerful functions into one tool, e.g. wipe disk/partition/volume, create/resize/extend/format drive partition, recover data/partition, clone disk, migrate OS to SSD/HD, convert disk, and more.
It allows you to manage your computer hard disk (basic or dynamic), SSD, external hard drive, USB flash drive, thumb drive, SD card, hardware RAID, etc. from every aspect.
You can utilize this free hard drive wipe software for Windows 10/8/7 to completely erase all data on PC hard drive, external hard drive, USB, etc. just in a few clicks. Check the 4 simple steps below.
How to completely wipe hard drive/disk data in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP PC
Firstly, download and install this 100% clean and free disk wipe software – MiniTool Partition Wizard – on Windows 10/8/7, etc.
Step 1. Launch the free disk wipe software
You can double click MiniTool Partition Wizard icon on computer screen to run this program. And this software will auto load all drives in your computer.
Step 2. Choose Wipe Disk option
Click the target disk which needs data wiping, and click Clean Disk – Wipe Disk from the left action panel. Or you can right-click the target disk and choose Wipe Disk.
Step 3. Select hard drive wiping method
In the popup window, this free hard drive wipe software offers 5 kinds of disk erasing methods. You can choose one based on your own need. The longer time it takes, the hard drive data will be cleaned more thoroughly.
Step 4. Start wiping all data from PC drive
You can now preview this disk, it becomes all unallocated now. At last, you should hit Apply button on the top-left of this program to carry out the pending operations.
This hard drive data eraser software will start to wipe all data from Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP hard drive now. And the wiped data cannot be recovered by any data recovery programs any more. Your private data is safe.
How to wipe external hard drive, USB drive permanently in Windows (10)
Step 1. Connect the external hard drive, USB flash drive or SD card to your Windows (10) computer. And launch MiniTool Partition Wizard.
If you don’t find the target external drive you want to erase data from, you can click General > Reload Disk to check again. (Related: External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Fixed)
Step 2. Select the connected external drive and click Wipe Disk option.
Then follow the same 3, 4 step above to completely erase external hard drives in Windows 10/8/7.
Key features of MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate:
- Wipe computer/external drive: Support advanced data wiping algorithms. You can use it to wipe whole disk, or wipe separate partitions. It supports all popular file systems.
- Data recovery: Recover selected data or files from local drive, externa hard drive, USB, SD card, lost partition, unallocated space, etc.
- Manage basic disk: Migrate OS to new HD or SSD, recover lost partition, delete all partitions, copy/clone disk drives, rebuild MBR, disk surface test, etc.
- Manage dynamic disk: Wipe/format/create/delete/resize/move/copy volume, change volume cluster size, letter, label, etc.
- Convert hard disk: Convert GPT disk to MBR disk, convert FAT to NTFS or in reverse, convert dynamic disk to basic disk, initialize to MBR/GPT disk, etc.
- Manage hard drive partition: Wipe/format/resize/extend/create/delete/merge/split/move partition, change drive letter, partition label, cluster size, serial number, type ID, etc.
- Bootable media builder: You can create bootable media with it and use the bootable version to wipe hard drive data without losing operating system. And fix computer unbootable issue.
- Space analyzer: Scan and analyze hard disk space and freely delete space-consuming files or folders.
- Disk benchmark: Test hard drive read and write speed and its performance.
Another popular free and open source hard drive data wipe software is DBAN. Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) is designed for completely wiping the entire drive permanently. You can choose different wiping ways to erase data from various kinds of drives in Window 10/8/7. It also supports several advanced algorithms like DoD 5220.22-M, random data.
However, you need to burn the ISO image of this software to a USB or DVD/CD with a DVD burning software, and then run it from external hard drive when restarting Windows.
#3 Disk Wipe
Disk Wipe is also a top data removal tool. Unlike MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate or DBAN which allows you to create a bootable CD/DVD, so that you can use them to wipe personal hard drive data without operating system.
Disk Wipe is a windows app, so you can only run this tool in the existing Windows operating system. You cannot use it to wipe hard drive which runs the current operating system. But you can use it to erase internal drive or SSD, external hard drives.
It is also a top free hard drive wipe tool for Window 10/8/7. It has free version and advanced version. Its free version only has one type of hard drive erasing solution, namely, erase hard drive with one pass zeros. If you want to try other ways to wipe hard drive, you need to pay for the professional version.
This cool Windows (10) PC wipe tool also allows you to wipe computer or external drives. You can use it to wipe data from free space on hard drive or wipe the entire drive. Advanced version also needs to pay.
This free disk wiping software enables you to permanently erase all data in the hard drive. It also uses some professional data erasing standards like U.S. Department of Defense 5220.22. The downside of this tool is that it is also downloaded as an ISO file, and you need to burn it to a disk or USB before you can use it.
#7 CBL Data Shredder
You can either use this hard drive wipe freeware in Windows 10/8/7 to wipe external hard drive clean, or boot from it via USB or CD/DVD to erase computer hard drive with OS.
Aside from the provided data sanitization methods, you are also allowed to create custom erasure method.
This free hard drive data destruction software provides 10 popular data erasure solutions for your choice.
This handy tool also only runs within Windows, so you can’t use it to wipe computer hard drive which runs the OS. It is compatible with Windows XP-10.
#9 Super File Shredder
This free disk wipe software enables you to drag and drop the hard drive into the program, and then choose one data wiping way to completely destruct the data. This file shredding tool supports traditional hard drives, solid state drives, and can work on Windows 10/8/7.
This hard drive erasure software offers you several data wipe solutions: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data, Write Zero, etc. You can freely choose to wipe data from free space or all files in the hard drive with this top file eraser. Windows 10 is supported.
Other Free Ways to Wipe Windows 10/8/7 PC Hard Drive
Some of you may think of using Windows own free disk manager Diskpart Utility, Disk Manager to try to erase the entire hard drive.
You can open Windows Disk Manager by pressing Windows and R keys on the keyboard at the same time, and then input diskmgmt.msc. In the Disk Manager window, right-click the disk you’d like to wipe clean and click Format. You can also use Windows Diskpart tool to clean all data on selected hard drive.
However, formatting or cleaning up disk doesn’t mean wiping data for good. You can check below the differences between formatting and wiping a hard drive.
What’s the Difference between Formatting and Wiping a Hard Drive?
The first and most importance difference of formatting and wiping a hard drive is: the data in the formatted hard drive can be recovered with some file recovery software, while data in the erased hard drive can’t be restored.
Formatting a hard drive is the process of initializing the hard drive, SSD, USB drive. The formatting process often include: low-level formatting (basic medium preparation), partitioning (make the storage device visible to OS), and high-level formatting (generate a new file system). Formatting a drive generally leaves all data on the disk, and you can use some data recovery tools to get the data back if the drive is not overwritten. If you want to avoid the recovery of your private sensitive data, you can use one of top 10 free hard drive data wipe software to permanently erase the data.
Also known as data erasure or data sanitization technique. It is the real permanent data removal process and it’s impossible to retrieve data from a wiped disk. Data wiping aims to completely destroy all data from the hard drive or other storage devices. It uses zeros and ones to overwrite data to fill into all hard disk sectors. Through this overwriting, the old data on the hard drive is unrecoverable any more. Most of the hard drive wiping software listed above allows you to select a specific wiping standard based on your own needs, and lets you remove all data from the device.
How to Destroy a Hard Drive
If you think the completely hard drive data wiping is not enough, and you still worry about your privacy, then you may turn to the last draw: destroy the old hard drive permanently with professional hard drive destruction tools before disposing it.
You may try these hard drive destroy solutions: destroy the magnetic platter inside, use screwdriver to remove and destroy most parts of the hard disk, or use a hammer to totally destroy the hard drive.
How to Clean Hard Drive with Best Free Hard Drive Cleaner
If your hard drive is running out of space, and you only want to free up some space, then wiping the hard drive is not your choice.
A professional hard drive space analyzer and cleaner would help. MiniTool Partition Wizard new function – Space Analyzer – helps you easily scan the disk or specific partition to figure out which files occupy most space and allows you to directly delete unneeded large files. You can also use it to easily extend the C drive.
Check the related guides:
- Hard Drive Is Full without Reason in Windows 10/8/7? Get Solutions!
- 9 Ways to Clean up Disk Space in Windows 10
How to Recover Data from Hard Disk, External Hard Drive, USB, etc.
Once you wipe the hard drive with professional hard drive data eraser, the hard drive will leave no traces of the old data.
However, if you mistakenly delete some files and empty the Recycle Bin or format the drive, you can easily recover the deleted or lost data with MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate.
This program equips two hard drive data recovery functions: data recovery, partition recovery. Here we’ll introduce how to recover deleted or lost data from computer hard drive, SSD, external hard drive, USB stick, etc.
Get MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate below and install it on your Windows 10/8/7 computer. If you’d like to recover files from external drives, you need to connect it with your computer first.
Step 1. Launch this best data recovery software, and click Data Recovery function in the toolbar.
Step 2. Choose which device you’d like to recover files from. And click Scan. Optionally you can click Settings to choose to scan specific types of files.
Step 3. This software will begin scanning the chosen hard drive or partition, and display the recovered files in the plate.
Step 4. Find the files you need and click Save icon to store them to a new drive.
By browsing the top 10 free hard drive data wipe software, hope you find your desired way to completely erase the entire Windows (10) computer hard drive, SSD, external hard drive, USB/thumb drive, SD card, etc.
Need to mention that the all-in-one disk wipe software for Windows 10/8/7 – MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate – is also an easy-to-use data recovery program. You can also use it recover deleted/lost data or partitions with ease.
If you still have questions about how to completely destroy data in hard drive for protecting privacy, or have other suggestions about MiniTool software, please visit Help or FAQ page or contact [email protected].