Do you want to remove Windows 10? Remove Windows 10 and install Ubuntu? or simply want to remove everything from the hard drive including the operating system and give away the hard drive? You’re in the right place
This page will guide through how to empty and clean a hard drive with Windows 10 installed. We’ll use different methods to empty the disk, methods are listed below:
Tip: The Go back to Windows 7 option is a temporary setting only available for a month after upgrading to Windows 10, after when we’ll have to seek another solution. This option is easy to find if you just upgraded Windows: press the Start button and click the Gear icon and click Update and Security and click the Recovery option and then click the Go back to Windows 7 option to remove Windows 10
We can’t remove Windows with Windows, neither in the Disk Management tool nor the diskpart command prompt tool, neither the delete operation nor the format command, but we can remove the system when it’s not running (actually, we can remove it even when it’s running, will talk about that later)
Windows 10 installation media is not only capable of installing the system, but also came with the format and delete operations, which are good enough to ensure data empty, but not clean, formatted / deleted drive still have residue for data recovery programs, but if all we want is to remove Windows and reinstall another operating system, it’s Fine.
In the screenshot above you can see there are many options available:
The Delete and Format options are grayed out right now, that’s because the disk is now unallocated space, which the status the disk should be after deleting, so if the disk is showing as “Disk 0” and both the format, delete options are active, you can use this method to remove previous installed Windows 10
Alternatively, you can use the diskpart command prompt method to remove C Drive, just press Shift+F10 to bring diskpart up and type
The delete method requires to shut down the computer and insert the installation media, is useful when the disk would be reinstalled to a new system. Sometimes there are situations that we’d like to replace the old hard drive with a new one, we’d like to upgrade the hard drive, then give away the old one after it’s clean.
Deleted drive can be recovered but wiped drive can’t be, although there’s nothing sensitive info in the system drive and people normally don’t store personal files on system partition, system drive will still have traces left, to prevent data leakage and ensure data safe, Wipe Windows 10, wipe the entire hard drive is essential.
Data Wiper is the program we’re about to use for this task, although we have alternative solutions to remove Windows clean, this is indeed the most convenient one - it can directly wipe system drive without any bootable media, you don’t have to reboot and change the BIOS settings either, here are the steps:
Data Wiper can also be used on dual boot system, say if you have Windows 7 and Windows 10 dual boot on different disks, download Data Wiper to the Windows 7 disk and run the program, we can simply remove the Windows 10 disk with the following steps:
wipeto wipe the Windows 10 disk
This time we applied the default Fill will zero method, you can switch it to others, but using one-pass overwriting is enough to make sure data clean if you don’t have data cleaning policy to follow
This method is also used you wipe another disk, the disk you plug out from the computer you’d like to donate or give away, normally Windows won’t allow us to remove itself if we don’t use a bootable CD/DVD, but we can plug out the hard drive and connect it to another computer, using its OS to wipe out another.
Windows 10 now, to be honest, has more features than Windows 7, if you’re a heavy office worker (developers, designers, etc), Windows 10 will speed up the work efficiency and productivity, with the following settings you can:
Read more Windows 10 tips here
BTW, Windows 10 1809 is now rolling out, you can either click the Check for updates button or use the official update assistant, which has more features and practical functions