Hard Drive Eraser: How to Completely Wipe a Hard Drive?

top 5 hard drive erasers for pc

Hard drives, without a doubt, have a special place in our lives when it comes to protecting our data. But it is necessary to clean the device before we sell it or give it to a friend. For this, you must have credible hard drive eraser software. This article presents the 5 best disk erasers to get the job done.

How Does a Hard Drive Eraser Work?

Hard drive eraser software comes with various data sanitization or data erasure techniques, including but not limited to Bruce Schneier’s, Peter Gutmann, and DoD 5220.22-M. These techniques replace the data on your disk with “0s” and “1s”. Doing this makes it almost impossible for anyone to recover your sensitive information from the wiped drive. Every technique uses a different pattern to erase your data from the disk.

The 5 Best Hard Drive Disk Erasers in Windows

Are you looking for top-grade disk erasers to wipe your hard drive in PC Windows? Don’t know how to choose a credible one? No worries. Below is a list of the top 5 hard drive eraser software. Let’s see how they work.

1. DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke)

It is one of the leading data-erasing tools with the ability to efficiently and permanently wipe your drive. Initially, it was an open-source tool, but the parent company changed this standard later. This software uses advanced data erasure algorithms, e.g., DoD 5220.22-M.

wipe the drive with dban dariks boot and nuke

Step-By-Step Guide

A 7-step, simple process is presented below.

Step 1. Create a backup of your data and download the DBAN program on your computer.

Make sure to download it from the DBAN’s official site.

Step 2. Now, burn the ISO file to a CD. For this, you will need an ISO burner.

A free ISO burner will do the job here.

Step 3. As soon as the burning process gets completed, don’t forget to remove the device you don’t want to restore data from.

It could be an external storage device.

Step 4. It is time to boot from the CD.

Now, insert the CD into your computer and restart the system. Doing this will show you a blue-colored screen. If not, again restart your system and press F11 or F12.

boot from cd using dban

Step 5. Now, start the DBAN in interactive mode, as shown below.
start the dban to wipe the drive

Step 6.Select the right drive to proceed.
select the right disk to format

Now, start the data erasure process.

start the data removal process

Step 7.Now, you will see a window on your screen, as shown below.
dban data removed

Offers autonomous data erasure on the different network connected systems

Ability to wipe the disks based on SCSI, ATA, and SATA interface

Supports multiple cleaning approaches, e.g., quick erase and Gutmann method


Difficult to use for non-technical individuals

The main interface is not appealing

No tech support available

2. Eraser

The reason why “Eraser” is a top choice for thousands of people is that it has the ability to completely wipe your sensitive data on Windows computers in a short time. Interestingly, it is free to use. The use of a wide range of data sanitization approaches enables this tool to do the job perfectly.

clean the hard drive permanently with the eraser

Step-By-Step Guide

It involves 4 simple steps to follow.

Step 1. Download and install Eraser on your computer or laptop.

Step 2. Launch the program. You will see an empty window under “Erase Schedule”.
start eraser to format the hard drive

Step 3. Choose the file.

Now, tap on the “Browse” button and choose the data you want to erase.

open folders to delete with the eraser

Step 4. Now, tap on the “OK” button, and the software will permanently delete your data.

Supports various data erasure techniques, including HMG IS5. Schneier, AFSSI-5220, and DoD5022

Operate as a standalone Windows application to remove your data from the drive

You can set a particular time for it to start automatic data removal


New users may find it difficult to use this tool

The installation process is a bit more complicated than other similar tools

3. CCleaner Drive Wiper

It is one of the most popular hard drive eraser software. You must be familiar with it. Not really? Well, CCleaner is an incredible program designed to clean space and erase your sensitive data from your system’s disk.

clean the hard drive with ccleaner

Step-By-Step Guide

It is only a 3-step process, as presented below.

Step 1. Download and install CCleaner. Double-tap the program to open it on your system.
open ccleaner to wipe the disk

Step 2. Tap on the cleaner mode and select the data you want to erase from the drive.

Step 3. Now, hit the “Run Cleaner” button.

Doing this will help you run CCleaner.

run ccleaner to format the drive

Following the above steps will clean up the space on your hard drive.


Free and simple to use

You can wipe 3rd party drives with this software

You can clean up the whole drive or just overwrite the free space

Offers support for advanced data erasure (up to 35 passes)


You cannot use it on the bootable drive

CCleaner data eraser tool does not have diverse functionalities

4. Super File Shredder

It allows you to put the whole drive into this tool and then select the data you want to wipe. It doesn’t matter if you have a solid-state drive or a traditional disk, Super File Shredder will do its job effectively.

free up space on the hard drive with super file shredder

Step-By-Step Guide

It is a super simple, 3-step process, as given below.

Step 1. Download and install Super File Shredder on your system.

Step 2. Open the program, and it will simply allow you to drag and drop the files you want to delete.

Moreover, you can also tap on the “Add” button to select the stuff you don’t need in the future.

delete drive data with super file shredder

Step 3. As soon as you choose the data to be erased, hit the “Start” button to shred it.

Note: You can change the data erasure algorithm from the “Settings” menu, as shown below.

change super file shredder settings

Offers secure freeing up valuable space on your drive

You can manually add the files you want to erase

Drag and drop feature available

Uses an advanced approach, i.e., DoD 5220.22-M


Supports only a single data erasure approach

5. KillDisk

It is another leading hard drive eraser tool designed for Windows PCs. Both free and advanced versions of this tool are readily accessible. If you are using a free version of this program, you will only get access to one data erasure technique.

free up the space on the disk with killdisk

Step-By-Step Guide

Being a credible hard drive eraser, KillDisk wipes your drive in 5 steps only.

Step 1. Put a bootable KillDisk CD into your laptop or computer and load the contents.

Now, choose the “Active@ KillDisk [FREE]” option.

open killdisk with a bootable cd on pc

Step 2. Press the “Enter” button on your keyboard.

It will allow you to enter the free version of this program.

enter into killdisk free version to wipe the drive

Step 3. Choose the files or data you don’t need anymore and you want to get rid of it.

Step 4. Now, hit the “F10” button on your keyboard.
free up the space on the drive with killdisk

Step 5. It is time to type “erase-all-data”.

Once done, press the Enter button on your keyboard.

use killdisk to format the hard drive

Support SSDs

You can wipe multiple drives at the same time

Ability to erase the free space only without affecting other data

Adaptable for Mac, Windows, and Linux


Free version offers only a single data wiping technique, i.e., Write Zero

Some features are only accessible if you have its professional version

Best Way to Recover Data after Using Hard Drive Eraser Software

Have you recently used a disk eraser on a Windows computer? Mistakenly lost some important data you were supposed to present in front of your manager? Worried about whether or not you can recover it? The good news is that Wondershare Recoverit has an effective and efficient solution to your problem. The factors making this software stand out include:

  • Highest possible rate of data recovery
  • Millions of happy and satisfied users worldwide
  • Adaptability for a wide range of storage devices
  • Support for many file formats
  • You can recover every type of data, including photos, videos, files, folders, emails, audio, and much more

Step-By-Step Guide

The whole data recovery process consists of simple steps, as listed below. Let’s have a look at them.

Recover over 1000 types of data types, like photos, videos, emails, files, audios, etc.

Recover data from numerous scenarios. Be it due to files being overwritten, a system crash, accidental formatting or virus attack, Recoverit is able to make a total recovery.

Recover from any storage device, such as Hard Drive, Desktop, USB Drive, SSD, SD card, recycle bin, etc.

Ensure 100% data safe and easy operations.

Step 1. Start with downloading, installing, and launching Recoverit.

Step 2. Choose the specific drive or location you want to restore your data from.

Once done, click on the “Start” button to initiate the recovery process.

use recoverit to get your lost data back

Step 3. As soon as you press the Start button, a scanning process will get started; automatically, as shown below.
scan the drive to restore data

Step 4. Once your drive gets completely scanned, you will be able to preview the restored files.

You can stop the scanning process at any time as soon as you find the desired file, video, or photo.

preview the recovered file

Step 5. Now, you can save restored data on your system.

Remember not to save the recovered data in the same location where it was lost. Choose another place to ensure its safety.

Carefully follow the above guide to get your data back after using any hard drive eraser.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can I simply delete the data on my drive to permanently erase it?

A1: No, simple deletion will not result in the permanent removal of your sensitive information from the hard drive. It will only delete the pointers where data is stored. You can easily restore such stuff from different third-party data recovery tools.

Q2. How much time will it take to wipe the disk?

A2: Well, there is no fixed time for the data removal. It all depends on the amount of information you want to erase from the drive. For instance, if you have a 1 TB internal disk, it will take approximately two hours to free up the whole space.

Q3. What creates the difference between quick format and full format?

A3: A quick format takes less time to delete the data, but you can recover it with any recovery software. On the other hand, the full format consumes more time than the quick format. The good thing is that data recovery becomes next to impossible after you perform a full format on your drive.

Q4. Will Windows be removed if I remove the hard drive from my computer?

A4: Yes, Windows will no longer stay there. Basically, Windows operates your computer as an operating system, and it is installed on HDD or SSD. This is why Windows gets removed when you remove the drive from your PC or laptop.

Q5. Can I use my computer without a disk?

A5: Yes, you can. Though Windows is installed on the hard drive, you can use a variety of ways to use your computer without the disk. You need to have a DVD, CD, USB, or a network as an alternative to the hard drive.


Are you looking forward to erasing your drive in Windows? Don’t know how to perfectly clean up your storage device? Make sure you read the above discussion carefully, as it has presented the 5 best hard drive eraser tools. A couple of them allow you to format your drive for free. But premium features are available in the paid version only. In case you want to recover some sensitive information from the wiped disk, look no further than Wondershare Recoverit. This is a wonderful data recovery software that has been doing wonders for millions of users across the world. Give it a try and see miracles happen.

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