Question Does windows 10 "Reset this Pc" actually make data unrecoverable?

spyguy

Commendable
Dec 3, 2017
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Theres an option to completely remove all your personal data and reinstall windows. Does this just take them out of the windows directory but leave them easily recoverable? Im looking to completely wipe a drive but DBAN only seems to want to wipe EVERY detectable drive. I want to keep a partition on the boot drive so this isn't the best option. I cant find an option to select the drive I want to wipe.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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No, that will not make the data totally unrecoverable.

What are you actually trying to do?
Obviously, with either DBAN or a subsequent OS install, you have all other drives disconnected.

So, what are you actually wanting to accomplish, and why?
 

ttower2020

Prominent
Nov 5, 2018
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To be honest, the only way to truly make every piece of data on a old drive un-recoverable and un-readable is to take the HDD apart, and break the disks, and just mess them up real bad.

However, this does not seem to be what you want to do, as you only want to remove the data from a certain partition of a drive you still want to use. Another, albeit impractical, option, would be to refill that entire partition, or really the whole drive, with large files that contain nothing important. This would write over any "good data" with the random files.

Basically, what I am getting at is that there is almost no way to make data unrecoverable from a drive you still want to use. An HDD will not, and cannot (I believe), delete data. Only remember what space on the drive has been deemed "unused" when you delete files that existed there. If it needs to write something new to the drive, it can then write over the old data with the new data. But there will still be data on the drive, even if that data is nothing important.

However, I assuming you just simply want the data that was there to not be findable by you accidentally, then yes, you can just use that option, or you can do what I like to do, and go to Disk Manager, where you can delete, and then re-create, the partition. This removes access to any data there by a user or program. It is still present on the drive, however, until it is written over.
 

onespeedbiker

Respectable
Apr 13, 2019
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It sounds like you want to wipe a partition, but not the whole disk. While not sanitizing a partition, you can use Windows 10 to delete a partition and then reformat it. While the partition is not irretrievable, it will take some effort to do so.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Theres an option to completely remove all your personal data and reinstall windows. Does this just take them out of the windows directory but leave them easily recoverable?
This form of reset basically installs win 10 and wipes everything that isn't part of windows on the C partition. Now if you make another partition or have another hdd in PC which has all your data on it, a reset will ignore it completely and windows won't know it is there until you take ownership of the files.

So it will possibly do what you want. I would back up any data on the C drive if you do have a partition on that drive with info in it as although I might see the bad luck cases here, I have seen enough failed resets to be wary. Sometimes full resets go to far and take windows off completely.

2 or more hard drives makes this easy though. I would clean install as its just as fast.
 

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