Erasing a Hard Drive

Last Updated: 22 October 2019 at 10:05

Before a clerk’s computer is disposed of, the technology specialist must erase all data from its hard drive. Multiple applications exist for performing this function. The following are step-by-step instructions for completely erasing a hard drive.

For additional support, contact the Global Service Center.

Erasing Data on a Windows Device

To erase all data on a Windows device, perform the following steps. 

Note: This process can take several minutes or hours to complete depending on several factors including the size of the drive.

Step 1. Download and install BleachBit software

  1. Download BleachBit to your desktop:
  2. Double-click the BleachBit-Portable.exe icon.

  3. Accept the User Access Control prompt by clicking Yes.


Step 2. Use BleachBit to Wipe Free Space

  1. Double-click the new BleachBit icon on the desktop to start the application.

  2. Select File > Wipe Free Space.

  3. Select the C: drive, then click OK.

  4. A progress bar will show and time estimate to completion.

  5. Status bar will show “Done”, when process is completed.


Step 3. Use BleachBit to Shred Folders

  1. In the BleachBit application, select File > Shred Folders.

  2. Select the C: drive, then click OK.

  3. Confirm deletion by clicking the Delete button.

  4. Files will start deleting and show the progress of size in the bottom left corner.

  5. When completed, the status log will show the amount of disk space recovered and number of files deleted. (Errors shown in the status log can be ignored.)


Step 4. Reboot then power off the computer

  1. On system reboot, depending on the Windows version, the system will either:
    • Display a blue screen with white writing and be in a reboot loop.
    • Display screens that say, “Diagnosing your PC”, “Preparing Automatic Repair”, and then “Automatic repair couldn’t repair your PC” with the option to click Shut Down or Advanced options.
  2. For any of these options, manually power off the computer and then contact the Facilities Manager (FM) for proper system disposal.


For additional support, contact the Global Service Center.