How to: erase a com­puter hard drive

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

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.


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