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Windows 7: Securely wiped my C drive by accident

10 Sep 2014   #1

windows 7
Securely wiped my C drive by accident

I used a program called disk wipe to delete my sd card but it ended up selecting my main drive instead. I had selected the sd card drive but it said cannot format fat32 and kicked me back to the drive selection window and automatically selected my C drive. I thought the sd card drive was still selected but apparently not. I highly do not recommend this program.

Now the disk wipe program says wipe complete. I can still use my computer and it looks like nothing from the C drive was wiped. If I reboot the laptop, will the data get wiped? I am afraid of turning it off or putting it to sleep.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2014   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP

If I reboot the laptop, will the data get wiped? I am afraid of turning it off or putting it to sleep.
Usually the final step of such programs takes place after the program is closed and the computer restarted or after clicking a button Apply as in the case of partitioning programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2014   #3
Microsoft MVP


Which level of wipe did you choose?

How do you know the hard drive containing the OS was chosen. You would have to deliberately choose it - so did you?

Did it tell you that it would apply this after a reboot?

To be sure I would boot into System Recovery Options to System Restore to well before this date.

Also watch at reboot for any prompt that you have x time to press a key before the actions are applied. This may or may not appear if you SysRestore, but most wipe or partitioning programs offer this last resort to back out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Sep 2014   #4

windows 7

It was a 2 pass wipe, took almost 5 hours to complete, I just started the wipe and went to sleep. Found out the wrong drive was selected when I woke up to check on the progress.

I didn't deliberately choose the C drive. I only had the C drive and the SD card drive, which is D drive. I first selected the SD card drive, it said drive is too big to format for FAT32 and returned to the drive selection screen. When it returned to the drive selection screen, the C drive was automatically selected since the drives are listed in order alphabetically. I didn't realize this and thought the SD card drive was still selected.

Didn't give any message other than saying wipe completed and the elapsed time. I am trying to copy as much data off it as possible now. Hopefully I can get this done before there's any power outage forcing the laptop to shut off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2014   #5
Microsoft MVP


You can save a WIn7 backup image of all drives that will include the OS and all data and then just reapply the image to the drive if it completes the wipe before you can abort it or System Restore doesn't work. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

To reapply the image stored on another HD or external to a wiped HD, follow System Image Recovery using System Recovery Options from the booted Win7 disk provided in reinstall tutorial below.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2014   #6

W7, W8.1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by minixbox View Post
I am trying to copy as much data off it as possible now
You're doing the right thing. Then follow the advice about making a complete image. With some work (and a little luck :O) all will be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2014   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Normally one cannot wipe Windows with a program running in Windows.

Diskwipe also says that:

"I can't wipe the C partition, why?
You cannot wipe a C partition because it is a partition where Windows operating system is installed on. So, you can not wipe a partition which you currently use to to log in into Windows and run Disk Wipe from. You should access this partition from an operating system which is installed on another partition, disk drive or computer."

Diskwipe only works on partitions - not whole drives.

It is also stated so here :

"However, because Disk Wipe runs from inside the operating system, as opposed to from a disc (like with DBAN and ErAce), it can't be used to erase the drive that Windows is installed to."

It is quite possible you might have only wiped some other partition on your system drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2014   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Diskwipe has wiped one or more partitions. The process is irreversable. The Win7 OS partition is still intact, because it was locked by win7, so can't be wiped. Check if all partitions hav still data on them. So you can determine what did happen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2014   #9
Microsoft MVP


This could be why Diskwipe prompted it needed to reboot to complete, as OP has indicated, if he was running the Windows version and not the disk. It sounds like he'd applied Wipe in the Windows version.

Again, in such cases there is normally an abort key to press when it reboots. If not System Restore could increase the chances it would forget the whole thing. And as a last resort, he could boot into WIn7 disk or REpair CD to recover with a fresh image he'd just made.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2014   #10

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit

I agree with greg here. If it came down to it in the end you might be able to reverse some of the damage if any is/was done by booting off the windows disc if you have one and trying to do a repair; which usually can a lot of times solve issues; but then again not always because if the disk wipe program has already started its wipe process; then dare i say it you could be screwed unfortunately unless you do have a backup image like greg mentioned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Securely wiped my C drive by accident

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