Up next in Data Management & Storage (23 videos)
Organize your online information with the data management and storage tips in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- A computer with internet access
- A drive-erasing tool
- A blank CD or USB drive
- An external hard drive (optional)
Back up everything
Before you erase your hard drive, back up everything you want to save on CDs or an external hard drive.
Download a drive-erasing tool
For a PC, download a dedicated drive-erasing tool for free online.
Create a boot disk
Create a boot disk using a CD or USB drive by following the instructions from the drive-erasing tool.
Read and follow the instructions for the drive-erase tool to erase the hard drive by overwriting the data.
Erase a Mac hard drive
Erase the hard drive on a Mac by going to Applications, Utilities, and opening the Disk Utility. Select the drive in Disk Utility, click the Erase tab, then Erase Free Space.
Using Disk Utility
In the popup menu, choose Zero Out Deleted Files, 7-Pass Erase, or 35-Pass Erase. 7-pass takes seven times longer than the zero out option, and 35-Pass takes 35 times as long, since they write over the disk seven and 35 times, respectively, ensuring you have thoroughly cleaned the drive.