How to erase your hard drive?


Quick Answer

Erase your hard drive by performing a clean installation of Windows and formatting all partitions. Set your optical drive as the primary boot device in BIOS, and initiate the setup process by restarting your computer. Select your hard drive from the list when prompted, and select the Delete option.

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Full Answer

  1. Start BIOS

    Restart your computer, and keep pressing the Delete or F2 key while Windows is booting up. If that doesn’t work, press the key displayed at the bottom of the screen once you restart the computer.

  2. Modify the boot priority list

    Once BIOS starts, use your keyboard to navigate to the Boot section, and select your main optical drive. Keep pressing the Plus key until the optical drive is at the top of the list. Press F10 to save the changes, and select Yes when prompted. Windows should automatically boot up at this point.

  3. Erase the hard drive by formatting it

    Insert your Windows installation disc, and restart your computer. To initiate the setup process, press any key when the message appears on the screen. Follow the instructions until you reach a screen offering different types of installations. Select the Custom (Advanced) option, and click Next. When the list of partitions appears, click on the Drive Options (Advanced) link. Select each partition, and click on Delete. Finally, select the unallocated space, and proceed with the setup. The installation process should automatically select the appropriate file system; if it doesn’t, select the NTFS option. Once the setup is complete, all of the content on your hard drive should be erased.

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