How to thoroughly erase a computer

Erasing a computer or erasing hard disks is essential sometime such as selling your used computer or safely throwing your old hard drives.

In Windows, it’s simple. Just Click the Windows Icon at the left-bottom corner and open “Settings” at the poped out menu. Then choose “Update & security” -> “Recovery” -> “Get started” -> “Remove everything” … Then just wait for several hours until you get a new Windows. This step wipe everything on disks that you see in “This PC”, and that said, it will not wipe out unallocated space or disk partitions not managed by Windows. Actually I’m not that convinced that Windows perform a “thoroghly erase” on the disks. To me it’s more like a “rm -rf”. So I would use linux shred to perform a thoroughly clean up on a disk and reinstall Windows from USB disk or CD if necessary.

For Linux, if you don’t want to keep the system, you can simply insert your USB drive that has bootable Linux ISO, then run:

If you want to keep the system and only erase your private data. It’s enough to just delete your home directory. But DON’T USE rm, it’s very simple to recover files deleted by rm command. Just use shred

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