How to Permanently Erase Formatted Data in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista?

Written byChristinaUpdated on Jun 12, 2023
Gerhard Chou
Approved byGerhard Chou

Table of Contents

Before we start:

Does formatting totally erase the data on a Hard Drive? No! The formatted data still can be recovered. So we've created a professional data eraser software - Donemax Data Eraser to solve this issue in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista.


Why should I permanently erase formatted data?

"Hi, I am planning to sell my old WD portable hard drive. However, after I formatted it, the data still could be recovered by data recovery software. I don't want to other people have the chance to recover my personal data, is there any way to permanently erase all the formatted data?" - Jessica

Do you know that the formatted data can be easily recovered by data recovery software? After you format a hard drive, the formatted files are still on the formatted hard drive. Before the disk space of the formatted hard drive is completely overwritten by new files, the formatted files can be easily recovered by data recovery software.

When disposing of old hard drives or computer, it is important to ensure that no personal or company data remains on it for others to explore and find. However when a user is going to sell or donate a hard drive or old PC, he or she may format the device to make sure the private data is gone forever. As you know, formatting a hard disk or usb external hard drive can not permanently wipe the data on the hard drive and the formatted data has a great possibility to be recovered by a data recovery software. Fortunately, there are many data erase programs can help you securely and permanently erase data from the formatted hard drive to make format recovery be impossible.

Five certified data erasure standards to erase formatted data

The easiest way to completely erase formatted data is to use a data erase software. In this article, we have tested and highly recommend you try Donemax Data Eraser to erase the entire formatted disk or erase free space to permanetly erase formatted data. It offers five certified data erasure standards as following:

  1. HMG Infosec Standard 5 (1 pass)
  2. Peter Gutmann's algorithm 2 (2 passes)
  3. U.S. Army AR380-19 (3 passes)
  4. DoD 5220.22-M ECE (7 passes)
  5. Peter Gutmann's algorithm 35 (35 passes)

It offers securely erasing files with the five options for the number of passes: 1, 2, 3, 7, and 35. You can choose any one of them to erase formatted data according to your need. The formatted data will be lost forever, and can not be recovered by any data recovery method.

Before you sell or donate your hard drive, you'd better permanently erase all your private data with Donemax Data Eraser rather than just format the disk.

How to permanently erase formatted data in 3 Steps?

Donemax Data Eraser is a powerful data erasure software and it is pretty simple to use to wipe hard drive. It is able to help you securely and permanently erase formatted data from any type of hard drive or external storage device beyond the scope of data recovery.

Now follow the steps below to permanently erase formatted data.

Step 1. Run Donemax Data Eraser on your computer, and make sure the formatted hard drive or device is connected to your computer. The disk will be listed automatically.

Step 2. Choose Erase Free Space. It will erase the disk space of the formatted hard drive to permanently erase all the deleted or formatted data.

permanently erase formatted data

Step 3. click Erase Now. Once the process gets finished, the deleted/formatted data on the hard drive will be gone forever.

permanently erase formatted data

FAQs on permanently erasing formatted data

Follow the steps to permanently erasing formatted files in Windows:
  1. Download and install Donemax Data Eraser on your Windows PC
  2. Launch the software and select Erase Free Space or Erase Hard Drive
  3. Select the formatted drive to be permanently erased
  4. Click "Erase Now" to apply deleting
  5. All the formatted or deleted files on selected drive will be destroyed.
Absolutely the answer is NO. Formatting a device does't totally destroy the data. The formatted files are still on the hard drive before the disk space of the formatted hard drive is completely overwritten by new files. So you'd better totally erase the data with Donemax Data Eraser.
Here is a list of the top 3 data eraser software for Windows recommended to erase fromatted data:
  1. Donemax Data Eraser for Windows
  2. AweEraser
  3. Stellar File Eraser

Final Thought

As you've seen, Donemax Data Eraser is able to easily wipe formatted hard drive to put an end to the possibility of data recovery. It supports to wipe formatted data from any type of HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, memory card, digital camera, etc. For Mac users, if they formatted a hard drive with Disk Utility, the data on the formatted hard drive is also can be recovered by Mac data recovery software. With Donemax Data Eraser for Mac, you also can quickly wipe all the formatted data permanently.

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.

Gerhard Chou
Editor in chief

Gerhard Chou

In order to effectively solve the problems for our customers, every article and troubleshooting solution published on our website has been strictly tested and practiced. Our editors love researching and using computers and testing software, and are willing to help computer users with their problems