How To Wipe A Windows 7 Computer

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Are you selling or giving away your computer? You may have deleted your personal data by deleting files and reinstalling Windows, but you’re not done yet. The last step you need to take before saying goodbye to your old friend is to clean up your hard drive.

How To Wipe A Windows 7 Computer

Most computers now come with solid state disk drives (SSDs), which are faster than their mechanical counterparts but can be difficult to erase. Simply deleting your files won’t do the trick as they can be recovered from the Recycle Bin. And even if you empty the bin, your deleted files can often be easily recovered.

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Regardless of which version of Windows you are running, you can reset the OS to its factory state using the internal reset feature. However, a reliable hard drive wiping tool is essential if you want the most powerful and secure way to erase a hard drive.

In Windows 10, open Settings > Update & security > Recovery, then click the Start button. When asked what you want to delete, select Remove all. Select the Restore Home option to restore Windows from your computer.

Click Change Settings and turn on the switch next to Wipe. Confirm, then click Next and finally click Reset to start the process.

After the drive is erased and Windows is reinstalled, you can enter the initial setup process. When finished, your PC restarts, placing you at the Windows Setup screen. If you plan to keep the computer, you can enter the setup process again. If you are thinking of getting rid of the PC, turn it off.

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If you have updated to Windows 11, the process is the same as it was in Windows 10, with a few changes. Open Settings > System > Recovery and click Reset PC.

When prompted, select Uninstall everything, such as Windows 10. Select Restore local to reinstall Windows from this device, as it will be faster than a cloud download. If that doesn’t work, choose Cloud Download.

From the Additional Settings window, click the Change settings link and enable the switch for Clear data, then click Confirm. Click Next to start the process, then click the Reset button.

Your computer enters a reset process in which the disk is erased and Windows is reinstalled. If you plan to keep the computer you can reset Windows, otherwise it is dangerous to turn it off now.

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Still on Windows 8.1? Go to Settings > Change PC settings > Update & recovery > Recovery. Click Start under the Uninstall and Reinstall Windows partition.

Click Next, then select Full Disk Cleanup to make sure everything is deleted. Click the Reset button and your drive is erased, your PC is reset, and Windows is reinstalled. After your PC restarts, you are placed on the Windows Setup screen where you can re-enter the setup process if you plan to keep the PC. . . If not, turn it off now.

Windows 7 users may not have the same reset tools as newer versions, but you can still restore your hard drive to factory settings under the right circumstances. To make things easier, you need either a recovery partition (opens in a new window) or a Windows 7 installation disc (opens in a new window).

Open Control Panel, select Recovery, and then click the Advanced Recovery Options link. Note that if your PC does not have a recovery partition, you may receive an error here, preventing you from continuing.

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You will then be presented with various options on how you want to restore Windows 7. After making your selection, select Quit when prompted to save your files, and then click Restart.

Windows then restarts. Depending on the option you selected, you can now reinstall and configure Windows 7, thus erasing the previous installation.

Cleaning the hard drive from the operating system is a quick and convenient way, but a third-party utility can provide additional security and protection.

For those cleaning mechanical hard drives, make sure you choose a utility that complies with DoD Regulation 5220.22-M. This means that the user will completely wipe the machine by rewriting your data three times with different characters.

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Disk Erase (opens in new window) is a free erasing tool that runs from a USB drive and erases your Windows boot. Simply download and run the DiskWipe.exe file on your PC or create a bootable environment on a flash drive and run Disk Wipe from there.

Its simple interface displays your drives and partitions. Select the one you want to erase and click Erase Disk. The program asks how you want to reformat the drive—NTFS, FAT, or FAT32. Then you select the type of experience and the number of passes. Options include Zero Pass One Pass, Random One Pass Random or US Department of Defense DoD. In general, the more passes you choose, the longer the process but the more secure the experience.

Active KillDisk Freeware (Opens in a new window) is a smaller version of 40 KillDisk Professional for Windows (Opens in a new window), but it’s still a very capable and effective tool. You can easily create a removable disc or set up an ISO file on a DVD or USB drive. Then use that media to boot your Windows PC, where you can wipe the first thing.

The program provides a graphical menu that shows the types of drives. Select the disk you want to erase and click the Erase Disk icon. KillDisk offers several deletion methods, including DoD, US Army, British Government, and NIST.

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AOMEI’s Free Partition Assistant (Opens in a new window) is a disk utility and management tool that allows you to easily clean up your hard drive. The program helps you create a portable version that you can burn from USB and bootable media to CD/DVD, copy to a USB stick or save as an ISO file.

From the main menu, select the drive or partition you want to erase and click the Erase Disk icon. The main drawback of the free version is that it limits you to only one way to delete, which is to fill the fields with zeros. To use the advanced method, you must upgrade to the $49.95 AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro product (opens in a new window).

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I have been writing tutorials, hacks and other articles on consumer technology since early 2016. After that, I wrote articles and tutorials for various websites and publications, including CNET, ZDNet, TechRepublic, Macworld, Popular Science, Time, Fortune, US News & World Report, and AARP magazine. I spent seven years writing breaking stories for CNET as one of its East Coast reporters. I’ve also written two books for Wiley & Sons – We use cookies to grow. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Cookie Settings

This article was written by staff writer Jack Lloyd. Jack Lloyd is a technology writer and editor. He has over two years of experience writing and editing technical content. He is an art lover and an English teacher.

Do you want to remove Windows 7 from your computer? We’ll show you how to replace Windows 7 with a different operating system, such as Ubuntu or Windows 8.1, and how you can remove Windows 7 from a PC with multiple operating systems installed.

This article was written by staff writer Jack Lloyd. Jack Lloyd is a technology writer and editor. He has over two years of experience writing and editing technical content. He is an art lover and an English teacher. This article was viewed 346,638 times.

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To remove Windows 7 from a computer that has only one operating system, you must install a new operating system via DVD or USB stick. If you have a computer running multiple operating systems at the same time, you can remove Windows 7 from the Boot tab in the System Configuration menu. We use cookies to improve. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Cookie Settings

This article was written by staff writer, Travis Boyles. Travis Boyles is a technology writer and editor. Travis has experience writing technology articles, providing software customer service, and graphic design. It specializes in Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux platforms. He studied graphic design at Pikes Peak Community College.

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