Windows Tip: How To Completely Wipe Out A Disk with DiskPart

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Before you toss your computer to the wasteland, you need to completely destroy the disk that stores your personal information and data, either physically drill a hole to it or completely and use a tool like DBAN or [email protected] KillDisk to completely and securely wipe out data stored on the disk. If you were to choose the latter approach, do you know Windows has a less known feature in a built-in command line that can securely wipe out the entire disk?

DiskPart is a text-mode command interpreter that has been around since Windows XP, letting you manage disks, partitions, or volumes by using scripts or directly executing at a command prompt. DiskPart has a command called Clean that removes all existing partitions or volumes on a selected disk and revert this disk to the initial state to get a fresh start.

Do you know that the Clean command has a switch called ALL that instructs the command to write zero on each and every bytesector on the selected disk, which completely wipes out all data contained on the disk?

Here is how you can do it.

Open an elevated command prompt window and launch DiskPart. You will see DISKPART> after, indicating that you are now in the DiskPart interactive mode.

First, run the following command to display all installed disks on your computer.

DISKPART> list disk

Make a note of the disk number of the target disk listed in the Disk ### column. And use the following command to select the disk that you want to wipe out.

DISKPART> select disk n

Then, fire up the following command to start wiping out the entire disk.

DISKPART> clean all

Depending on the size of your disk, it’s going to take a very long time fo wipe out an entire disk. But once it’s done, the disk will just be as clean as a brand new one you just bought from the store.