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How to Wipe all Partitions and Data from a Hard Disk using Windows

This tutorial will show you how to completely erase all partitions from a hard disk or USB Flash drive on Windows 10.

Introduction

Sometimes formatting a disk is not enough to destroy all data on a hard disk because it may contain hidden partitions. In this tutorial we will use the diskpart tool build into Windows 10 to completely wipe a hard disk or USB Flash Drive.

Open DiskPart

You may be asked if you want to allow the app to make changes to your device by user access control. Click Yes to confirm.

Find the Disk to Wipe

You should now be presented with a command prompt. Type the following to list what disks are connected to your device.

list disk

Select the Disk to Wipe

In the output of the image above you can see the size of Disk 1 is 14 GB and this is the device that I want to wipe. Select the device by running the following command.

select disk 1

The output from the command should say “Disk 1 is now the selected disk.”. You can confirm this by running the list disk command again and checking for an asterisk next to the disk.

Wipe the Disk

We can now wipe all partitions from the selected disk by running the following command.

clean

The output from the clean command should say “DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.” and the disk volume should disappear from Windows explorer.Advertisements

Initialize the Disk with Windows Disk Management+

Close the DiskPart utility and then open Disk Management by right clicking on the Windows icon in the taskbar.

Sometimes you may need to initialize the disk before creating a new volume. This can be done by right clicking on the disk and clicking initialize.

Create a New Simple Volume with Windows Disk Management

Right click on the Unallocated volume of the disk we just cleaned (Disk 1) and then click New Simple Volume.

Follow the steps of the New Simple Volume Wizard setting your requirements.

Click Finish to format the new volume.

Conclusion

You should now be able to see the volume in Windows explorer and copy files to it. The DiskPart utility is a really useful tool for wiping USB Flash drives or hard disks that contain hidden partitions or volumes Windows can not see.