How to Completely Erase Old Hard Drive on PC or Mac?

donemax editorChristina updated on March 1, 2023 to Data Erasure Solution


Erasing an old hard drive means you will permanently erase all data from the hard drive, beyond the scope of data recovery. Download a reliable data erasure program - Data Eraser from Donemax and then securely erase the hard drive to make data recover be impossible so that you can sell or donate your old hard drive without worries.


Erasing a hard drive does not mean deleting all files on the hard drive or formatting the hard drive. Actually, when you delete the files or format the hard drive, the files stored on the hard drive is not “REALLY” gone. These operations just reassign the disk space of the “lost files” so new files can be added later on.

Whether you delete all files + empty the recycle bin or reformat the hard drive using Windows format feature/Mac disk utility erase feature, the data on the hard drive is not gone forever. With data recovery software, the deleted or formatted data can be easily recovered. Check the solutions below:

Now you know that completely erasing a hard drive is not as easy as deleting everything on a hard drive. You may wonder if there is any way to erase a hard drive and make the data be unrecoverable. The answer is YES. Follow the guide below to wipe an old hard drive.

The tool for erasing hard drive - Data Erasure Software

By far, the easiest way to completely erase a hard drive is to use a data erasure program. Data erasure program is not a disk formatter. It utilizes special data erasure algorithms to ensure erasing a file or a hard drive completely so that the data is gone forever and can not be recovered by any method.

Note: Erasure methods can permanently wipe data from the hard drive. So, before starting erasure, you’d better make a backup of your hard drive in case that you would need the data in the future.

Before selling, trading in or throwing out an old hard drive, you can download a data erasure program to help you wipe all data off. Donemax Data Eraser is one of the best data erasure programs which offers government & military data erasure level methods to securely and completely wipe data from any computers or storage devices.

Donemax Data Eraser

  • Format and wipe a hard drive on Windows or Mac.
  • Permanently erase files and deleted files.
  • 100% safe to HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, etc.

Wiping an old hard drive also can help in resetting the hard drive to its factory settings. It means you’ll get a brand new device after erasure. Donemax Data Eraser can help you erase a hard drive on both Windows and macOS. It not only can erase internal hard drives but it also supports to erase external hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, digital camera or other storage devices.

The erasure progress can wipe data from the target hard drive, and it even can help you fix minor errors on the hard drive so that you can use it as a good drive again. It is a 100% safe data erasure program to SSD. It will not shorten the service life of the SSD.

Steps to wipe a hard drive on Windows or Mac

Always back up your data before starting erasing the hard drive since data erasure will permanently erase the hard drive data, an inreversible process. You can just copy the data to another hard drive or use clone backup, cloud backup to back up your data to other location.

When the backup gets done, follow the steps to erase a hard drive on Windows or macOS computer.

Step 1. Download and install Donemax Data Eraser on your computer, then open it. Make sure the hard drive which will be erased is connected to your computer and can be recognized by Donemax Data Eraser.

Step 2. Choose data erasure mode - Erase Hard Drive. This mode will erase all data including existing data and deleted/lost data on the hard drive. Then select the target hard drive.

erase old hard drive

Step 3. Click on Erase Now button to securely and permanently erase all data from the selected hard drive.

erase old hard drive

If you only want to erase certain files or folders from the hard drive, you can choose the Erase Files mode to select and erase the target files/folders. The Erase Free Space mode is designed for only erasing deleted/lost data on the hard drive.

Erasing a hard drive FAQs:

No, the data is still there even you have reformatted the hard drive. The formatted data can be recovered by data recovery software or manual data recovery methods.
Just download Donemax Data Eraser and choose “Erase Hard Drive” mode to securely permanently wipe your hard drive.
Yes, Donemax Data Eraser can help you wipe and fix inaccessible hard drive. Choose “Erase Hard Drive” mode to wipe and fix the damaged hard drive.
Before you sell, donate or give your old hard drive to other people, you’d better permanently destroy all sensitive data in the hard drive to avoid any security issue.
We tested about 27 free & paid data erasure programs and pick up the top 5 for you:
#1 Donemax Data Eraser
#2 DoYourData Super Eraser
#4 Ontrack Data Eraser
#5 CBL Data Eraser

Final Words:

Deleting files can not remove data from your hard drive permanently. With the solution above, you can erase a hard drive easily and make sure the data stored on the hard drive is gone forever, can’t be recovered by any method. Donemax Data Eraser offers secure data erasure standards including HMG Infosec Standard 5, Peter Gutmann's algorithm, U.S. Army AR380-19, DoD 5220.22-M ECE. It is the perfect tool for wiping a hard drive on Windows or Mac OS.

donemax editor


Contributing Writer

Christina is the senior editor of Donemax software who has worked in the company for 4+ years. She mainly writes the guides and solutions about data erasure, data transferring, data recovery and disk cloning to help users get the most out of their Windows and Mac. She likes to travel, enjoy country music and play games in her spare time.