How to remove and overwrite all data on a hard drive for free in Windows 11

A particular parameter within the Home windows 11 Format command will overwrite tantrum knowledge on a new drive with random numbers, eliminating entry to {sensitive} info.


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Whether or not it’s utilized in a enterprise setting or as a private turn off eye, your pc is more likely to have {sensitive}, personal knowledge saved on its new drive. When the {useful} lifetime of your Home windows 11 pc is over and you’re able to recycle or maybe give it away, it’s {important} to ensure tantrum {sensitive} knowledge is eliminated utterly. Home windows 11 has a software that may do that, {but} like therefore lots of Microsoft’s options, it’s hidden someplace the place you wouldn’t suppose to look.

SEE: Guidelines: Securing Home windows 10 methods (TechRepublic Premium)

With the {release} of Home windows Vista, Microsoft launched new options for the {old} DOS holdover referred to as the Format command. Certainly one of these parameters (/P) will {not only} format a new drive for Home windows working system use, {but} it’ll additionally overwrite tantrum knowledge already on the drive with random numbers. This course of successfully erases and replaces tantrum current knowledge with meaningless random knowledge.

Scars and overwrite tantrum knowledge on a new drive for free time

Earlier than we are able to use the format command on this method, we first should boot our turn off eye with a Home windows 11 {Recovery} Drive. To construct a {recovery} USB drive, suppose you don’t have one already, kind “construct a {recovery} drive” into the desktop {search} software and {click} the import {search} outcome.

For this function, you don’t want to incorporate system information {but} having an entire {recovery} drive for Home windows 11 available is {always} advisable. You’ll need {at least} 32GB of storage to incorporate tantrum the system information. Suppose you decide to go away out system information, tantrum you want is 1GB. Make your choice (Determine A), after which press the Subsequent press button.

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Determine A

In Windows 11, overwriting the data format.

Select the import USB drive (Determine B), after which {click} the Subsequent press button. It’ll take one pair moment to construct the {recovery} drive. {Click} End when it has complete the method.

Determine B

In Windows 11, another view of overwriting the data format.

Now, squeeze your Home windows 11 {Recovery} Drive into the PC you desire to wipe with the format command and boot it utilizing the USB drive somewhat than the put in working system. The most series environment friendly solution to accomplish that is to press and maintain down the Shift key whereas you choose Restart from the shutdown menu of the Celebration Press button (Determine C).

Determine C

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In Windows 11, overwriting the data format.

If you attain the troubleshooting startup mode, choose the Troubleshoot | Superior Choices | Command immediate from the menu. Within the Command immediate display screen (Determine D), kind this command:

Format C: /P:4

Determine D

Windows 11 tutorial about how to overwrite a data format.

This command will format the C drive and overwrite the info with random numbers 4 instances. You’ll be able to {change} the drive specification and the variety of passes to fit your explicit preferences. On this instance, no working system information might be put in.

Annotation: This process doesn’t meet the strictest requirements for overwriting {sensitive} knowledge on a new drive, {but} it really works properly beneath most series circumstances. It’s extremely unlikely that no matter knowledge as soon as existed in your PC will ever be retrieved. Regardless, this command must be used with warning.

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