If you are planning to sell an old computer or donate redundant computers to charities,
this post might be the one you are looking for, because it will show you how to safely and
permanently erase personal information on your computer so as to avoid privacy
How to Thoroughly Erase Personal Data Before Selling or Donating a Computer
Currently, both of the HDD and SSD are commonly seen storage devices for computers.
However, since SSD is much different from HDD, steps to erase private data are also
different. Therefore, we will introduce them separately.
How to Completely Remove Private Information on HDD
If your computer is configured with HDD rather than SSD, you’d like to download Partition Wizard from MiniTool Solutions to help you erase data, because both deleting and formatting feature in Windows can’t remove files thoroughly. MiniTool is a dedicated software development team. It provide users with complete software solutions in the data recovery, partition management, data backup&restore, and video maker/coverter industry. Today, their products have reached over 40 millions downloads world wide. And among of them were mentioning by PCWolrd, PCMag, Downloadcrew, Lifewire and etc.
Then, launch the MiniTool partition wizard to get the main window after successful
Here, all recognized disks and their partitions are shown. If you want to erase data saved in one partition, just select the partition and choose “Wipe Partition” feature. However, if you want to erase the whole hard disk, please select the disk and choose “Wipe Disk”. After that, 5 wiping methods are shown:
Please choose one of wiping methods and click “OK” to continue.
At last, click “Apply” button to conformed.
Tip: among these 5 wiping methods, time used to erase partition or disk increases from
the top to the bottom, but the effect is better and better.
Once the partition or disk saving private data is wiped successfully, you can sell or
donate your computer without worrying about privacy leakage. If you are still worried
about it, download a data recovery software to try recovering.
How to Permanently Erase Personal Information on SSD
If your computer is configured with SSD, please check whether TRIM feature is enabled.
With TRIM enabled, all files will be cleared from their original place once they are
deleted, which makes it impossible to recover deleted data. Therefore, if TRIM is enabled
before users delete files, they only need to delete their personal files and then empty
recycle bin, and there is no need to wipe partition or disk.
Please type fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify in CMD and press on Enter:
If you receive DisableDeleteNotify = 0, it shows TRIM has been enabled. However, if it is
DisableDeleteNotify = 1, you need to enable TRIM manually by typing the command:
fsutil behavior query | set DisableDeleteNotify = 0 and press on Enter.
Then, you can erase private or confidential data by deleting them and then emptying
recycle bin. However, if your computer does not support TRIM (very old computers), wipe
SSD like wiping HDD.
Now, since personal data have been erased, it’s time to sell or donate your computer. However, if you have other problems on selling or donating a computer, please refer to the post Prepare a PC or Laptop to Be Sold.