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Windows 7: Which Utility to "Erase" or Wipe external HD

24 Sep 2018   #11
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I've read that with SSDs you want to use Parted magic. I was in a discussion about this in another topic, but I kept getting hit with constant 'why?' questions and I was like just take it for what it's worth and believe what I have read to probably be true. Then promptly unwatched the thread. I don't play the constant tit for tat game on forums. Been there done that and I've learned I'm not going to change anyone's mind. I've found many people clinch onto their beliefs as if its set in stone and the one and only universal truth.

About Ccleaner, I have ran it to wipe free space and once it was done I ran Recuva and it found all kinds of files and folders that were once deleted looooong ago. This was my personal experience and YMMV of course. If you are someone that wants to delete free space, then you might as well just whole disk encrypt the computer. This is what I do so I don't have to worry about wiping free space at all. Anything that gets deleted was already encrypted to begin with.

I guess it might sound a little paranoid on my part, but if the software is there free to use, why not use it? Especially given the fact I'm a computer nerd and I'd rather like to not have my data stolen should my laptop or desktop get stolen. Especially the laptop that's portable.

Like I mentioned in my first post. Just run H2testw which will fill the HDD with data and then encrypt it all then format. Data is more than likely unrecoverable. Well, to SOHO would be "hackers" that might be interested if there was data on the drive. Or take it up a notch and run Bleachbit.

You can't run normal wipe methods on a SSD however. You could, but the NAND will suffer greatly. And Ccleaner has now been coded where it won't allow you to run their wipe method if it detects you're using a SSD. Older versions may allow it and you can find those older versions at or

With SSDs, and if you're paranoid about your data, I would install the OS and then straight away encrypt it. Now add your data to it and do what ever. It says right there in black in white in the Truecrypt manual about this. This would also apply to using any other form of flash media like USB drives or SD cards.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2018   #12

W7 HP 64 bit

I tend to use Parted Magic - write zeros to disk using dd. Probably just the same as the others - writing zeros to the drive. One pass is supposed to be ok. Have also found that recuva can sometimes retrieve things but when I checked they are illegible usually. Just took 2 and a half hours to wipe a 280gb drive with one pass You might need to do 3 passes to be sure nothing can be retrieved and then check with recuva again. Parted Magic might give you the option to do more than one pass anyway.

There is also an "external erase" secure erase setting for ssd's - I've never managed to get it to work! It always comes up saying "password frozen". I believe there's a fix for this - pressing the sleep button to unfreeze it. That didn't work for me though last time.

You just go the parted magic website and burn it to a usb stick - a small one (mine's on a 2gb stick) - it's not free but only about $3. Has some useful tools on and you can check your disk health on it as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Oct 2018   #13

W7 HP 64 bit

Just been using Parted Magic. The options for "external" erase (ie for standard hard drives) include - filling the disk with zeros (which I tend to use to clean a disk if going to reinstalling - does seem to speed things up and it's like a new drive afterwards) and nwipe - which is apparently the same as dban and is a fork of the software - does the same thing. For that one you just follow the basic instructions at the bottom of the page that's loaded (ie select the drive, select the Dod short (3 passes) and select the key to start it. It takes a long time - maybe 5 hours - depending on the size of the drive.

I use the nwipe when I've bought a used laptop and am wiping the drive to sell it on (to protect the previous owner and the new owner). If I sell my own laptops though I'm belt and braces and remove the drive!

Error above - it's "internal" erase for ssd's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Which Utility to "Erase" or Wipe external HD

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