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How do I delete files permanently from my hard drive

When pressing the ‘Delete’ button is not enough

Your personal computer holds the key to your private life. Whether it is credit card numbers, bank account details, passwords, medical details, social media accounts or even your favorite websites, it knows everything. Then what do you do, when you want to discard your PC and reach for a new one? Yes, the big question; ‘how do I delete files permanently from my hard drive?’

Whether you want a bigger hard drive or a completely new computer, you need to make sure your data does not get into the wrong hands. This can be done with a bit of damage control on your part. Wipe your hard drive clean with these smart tips for erasing hard drive that can be done just by anyone.

Cleaning your computer

If you think that clearing history, deleting files and cookies and clearing the recycle bin is enough, then you are wrong. What we actually do is, simply remove a particular file from the disk’s index. The file continues to exist on your hard disk. The previous versions or even temporary versions may be saved under different names.

To erase files permanently from hard drive, you need to overwrite your data. Before you start doing this activity, take a back up. Now run a hard drive wiping software that will overwrite all your information with random ones and zeros. It is also a good idea to overwrite your data on the hard drive more than once. The more data is overwritten, the harder it is to recover it.

Best software for hard drive wipe

Many hard drive disk-erasing tools are available online and give you the security you need to make sure that your data doesn’t get into wrong hands. Here is some of the best software for hard drive wipe.

Active@ KillDisk: This is a free hard drive eraser and it overwrites data using zeros. You also have the option of upgrading to professional version that adheres to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) standards.

Softpedia/DP Wiper: This is a freeware program from Softpedia that overwrites it from 1 to 35 passes and is DOD complaint.

WipeDrive: This hard disk erase tool overwrites data, as many times as you like and even runs a verification test. You can also use WipeDrive to perform regular hard disk cleaning activities. Here are some of the things you can do with WipeDrive.

  • Clear ‘My Documents’ folder
  • Clear temporary internet files
  • Delete all cookies
  • Clearing files that are related to your personal and financial matters and are stored in folders other than ‘My Documents.’
  • If you are using Outlook Express, then you need to delete .dbx files. If you are using Windows Mail, then search and delete .eml files and all Microsoft Office Outlook users need to delete .pst files. When you do this, the files will go to the recycle bin for a secure deletion. You also need to remove all email account settings and passwords.

Still struggling with the question how do I delete files permanently from my hard drive? Here are few more hard drive erase tips.

Reinstall your operating system to overwrite hard drive files

The operating system’s installation CD that you have should permit you to simultaneously reinstall and even clear the hard drive. This at least prevents an average person from getting access to your personal information from your hard drive.

Taking these few important steps, you can ensure that your important data doesn’t get into wrong hands and cause identity theft or other security concerns for you.

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