How to Securely Clean a Hard Drive or SSD


With more and more of our data being stored digitally, it is crucial to understand how to securely clean a hard drive or SSD. When disposing of an old computer, it’s important to make sure that all of the data on the hard drive or SSD is completely erased so that no one can access your personal information. This article will provide you with the steps and tools needed to securely clean out your hard drive or SSD, so you can rest assured that all of your sensitive data is gone for good.

What You’ll Need

-A hard drive or SSD
-A Phillips head screwdriver
-An anti-static wrist strap (optional)
-A can of compressed air (optional)

If you’re looking to securely clean a hard drive or SSD, there are a few things you’ll need. First, you’ll need the hard drive or SSD itself. You’ll also need a Phillips head screwdriver, as well as an anti-static wrist strap (optional). Finally, you’ll need a can of compressed air (optional).

How to Clean a Hard Drive or SSD

When it comes to cleaning a hard drive or SSD, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure that you have a backup of all your data. This is important because if something goes wrong during the cleaning process, you don’t want to lose everything.

Once you have a backup, the next step is to format the drive. This will erase all the data on the drive, so make sure you really don’t need anything on there before doing this. Once the drive is formatted, you can use a program like CCleaner to clean up any leftover junk files.

Finally, once the drive is clean and empty, you can encrypt it. This will help protect your data if the drive is ever lost or stolen.

How to Securely Erase a Hard Drive or SSD

If you’re planning to sell, have your computer repaired, or recycle your hard drive or SSD, you’ll want to make sure that all of your personal data is securely erased first. There are a few different ways to do this, but we recommend using a free data destruction program like DBAN.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed DBAN, simply boot into it and follow the prompts. You’ll be asked to select which drive you want to erase, and then you can choose from a variety of wiping methods. We recommend the Gutmann method, which will completely obliterate all data on the drive.

Once DBAN is finished, your hard drive or SSD will be completely wiped clean and safe for disposal.

How to Wipe Free Space on a Hard Drive or SSD

When you delete a file, it isn’t truly gone until you empty the recycle bin or otherwise bypass it. Until then, the file is still on your hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD), just taking up space. That means that if someone were to access your hard drive, they could potentially retrieve those deleted files.

If you want to make sure that your deleted files are really gone, you can wipe free space. Wiping free space overwrites existing data with ones and zeroes, effectively destroying any existing data. Once free space has been wiped, any data that was previously there is unrecoverable.

To wipe free space on a hard drive or SSD:

1. Download a data destruction program like DBAN (Derik’s Boot and Nuke.)
2. Create a bootable CD or USB drive with the DBAN program.
3. Boot from the DBAN CD or USB drive.
4a. If you want to wipe the entire hard drive: When prompted, select “Autonuke” from the list of options to wipe all partitions and data on the hard drive.
4b. If you only want to wipe free space: When prompted, choose “Interactive Mode” and then select which partitions you want to blank.
5. When prompted, choose how many times you want each sector to be overwritten (1-3 times is usually sufficient.)


Cleaning your hard drive or SSD securely is an important step in maintaining the security of your data. By following these steps, you can be sure that any data stored on the drives you are cleaning will remain secure and safe from potentially malicious actors. We have also provided some key tips for ensuring that all of your data remains inaccessible even to those who may try to gain access to it. With these steps, you can ensure that your sensitive information is kept safe and secure no matter what situation arises.