How to: erase a computer hard drive
THERE comes a time when a user needs to completely wipe the hard drive on their computer.
It may be because the computer is being sold or handed off to a friend or family member.
Another reason may be because the user simply wants to make a fresh start or install the latest operating system.
Either way the result of these actions will be erasing all of your personal information and files from the hard drive.
The first step is to back up any information, files and documents you want to keep either into an external hard drive, on disks or a USB flash drive.
Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure the computer’s installation disks are handy if the original operating system needs to be installed again.
If you’re a Windows user, one of the easiest ways is to go to My Computer and right click and select Manage. This will open the computer management window.
Click on Disk Management and you’ll find a list of Disks depending on the number of partitions you have set up. Select the main disk — usually Drive C — and right click on it.
Users will be presented with another window with one of the options listed as Perform a Quick Format. The same window will give you a chance to rename the drive.
Click OK and you’ll see a warning telling you that formatting will erase everything on the hard drive. This is actually what we want so go ahead and hit OK.
Another way to erase a drive is by reinstalling the Windows operating system and telling it to delete the current partition and install a new one.
Mac users who need to erase their hard drive can go to their Applications folder and find the Utilities folder.
Inside Utilities will be a program called Disk Utility. Double click on this and you will be presented with a list of drives currently mounted on the computer.
On the left side of the window select that you want to format and click Erase.
Give the drive a name and click Erase. A short time later you’ll have freshly formatted and erased hard drive.