[SOLVED] Selling my PC and would like to wipe all my data from my HDD and SSD

Sep 18, 2019
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Hey guys I'm probably going to be selling my PC in the next couple of days and I would like to wipe all the data from my HDD and SSD before I sell it. I'm running windows 10 with a digital license on my SSD.

I already have a USB with windows 10, my question is can I wipe the data from both the HDD and SSD and then re-install windows on the SSD by just rebooting and plugging the USB then deleting all partitions(I read this in another post) in one go? If not, what method can I use to do this, should I wipe the HDD with another software and then use the "Remove everything" option on Recovery to wipe the SSD? I'm really lost on what are the steps I should take...
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Do I need a special software to secure erase? Also if you could go into more detail or point me to a guide to the diskpart+clean part I'd be delighted! Thanks
Secure Erase:
There should be a function/application from the manufacturer for that.

Diskpart + clean:
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/85819-erase-disk-using-diskpart-clean-command-windows-10-a.html
 

Darkbreeze

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If you do a CLEAN install of Windows, no need to do other stuff first, and choose the "Custom" option during the install, delete ALL of the existing partitions on the drive you are installing Windows TO, then click on the UNPARTITIONED space, then click NEXT to begin the Windows installation, there will be nothing left on that drive when it is done except a clean copy of Windows 10.

For the other non-OS drive, you can simply format any partitions on it by right clicking the drive letter in Windows file explorer and selecting Format, and choose "Full format" rather than "Quick", or you can go into drive management, delete all the partitions on that drive, then create a new partition and format it.

Please forgive the lack of images and borked up formatting of text. I'm working on fixing it after a forum reset borked it all up. Either of these will give you all you need to do a clean install.



https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1950-clean-install-windows-10-a.html
 
I'm probably going to be selling my PC in the next couple of days and I would like to wipe all the data from my HDD and SSD before I sell it. I'm running windows 10 with a digital license on my SSD.
Your windows 10 license is going away with the hardware. You are aware of that. Right?
If you wish to keep your license, you have to move it to a different pc first.

Reinstalling windows doesn't remove license from pc.
 

Darkbreeze

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Exactly right. And your best bet would be to attach it to a Microsoft account, now, if it isn't already, and then simply wipe the drives you are selling if you are selling the drives with the rest of the hardware and then LEAVE them that way. Let the buyer worry about installing their own copy of Windows unless you intend to include the Windows license with the machine and purchase a new license for yourself.
 
Sep 18, 2019
11
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10
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If you do a CLEAN install of Windows, no need to do other stuff first, and choose the "Custom" option during the install, delete ALL of the existing partitions on the drive you are installing Windows TO, then click on the UNPARTITIONED space, then click NEXT to begin the Windows installation, there will be nothing left on that drive when it is done except a clean copy of Windows 10.

For the other non-OS drive, you can simply format any partitions on it by right clicking the drive letter in Windows file explorer and selecting Format, and choose "Full format" rather than "Quick", or you can go into drive management, delete all the partitions on that drive, then create a new partition and format it.

Please forgive the lack of images and borked up formatting of text. I'm working on fixing it after a forum reset borked it all up. Either of these will give you all you need to do a clean install.



https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1950-clean-install-windows-10-a.html
Hey can I format the HDD before clean installing windows on the SSD or does it have to be the other way around?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Hey can I format the HDD before clean installing windows on the SSD or does it have to be the other way around?
What happens with the HDD is irrespective of what you do with the SSD and OS.
You can wipe it before or after.

Transfer your OS license to some other system first.
Then, clean install on the SSD.
Later, connect and fully wipe the HDD. I recommend the commandline diskpart and the clean function.
 
If your SSD has a Secure Erase function, I'd use it, then reinstall. (Assuming you are selling your rig with it's Windows license)

If no Secure Erase is performed, any data that was not overwritten in the WIndows installation can still be recovered with recovery utilities such as Recuva, testdisk, etc) (Yes, deleting the partition will stop Aunt Sally from seeing what used to be there, but, I'd take an additional step or two!)

After the fresh reinstall, I'd zero-write the remaining empty space of your OS drive; free Ccleaner's tools has a 'tools' section, with a 'drive wiper' option, which will allows the option of writing over all free space. (The default 'single pass' overwrite is more than sufficient.)

I deleted a partition intentionally, quick formatted it, and still recovered millions of older files from prior to the deletion/quick format.
 
Sep 18, 2019
11
0
10
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What happens with the HDD is irrespective of what you do with the SSD and OS.
You can wipe it before or after.

Transfer your OS license to some other system first.
Then, clean install on the SSD.
Later, connect and fully wipe the HDD. I recommend the commandline diskpart and the clean function.
This is how my disk management windows looks View: https://imgur.com/V3OAanw
, Disk 1 is the HDD so I should just right click on the one that says Healthy (Primary partition) and Delete volume, then I dont see an option to create a new partition like Darkbreeze suggested.
Also Im selling the pc with the os license
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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, Disk 1 is the HDD so I should just right click on the one that says Healthy (Primary partition) and Delete volume, then I dont see an option to create a new partition like Darkbreeze suggested.
Also Im selling the pc with the os license
Handle the drives individually.

Personally, I'd Secure Erase the SSD, then do the OS install.
Later, reconnect the HDD and diskpart+clean.

As for the OS license, you'll need to disassociate that from your MS account. This does NOT invalidate the license, just removes it from you.
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-win_licensing/how-to-unlink-my-windows-license-from-my-microsoft/8a33c3f5-6842-4ba3-a5ac-1306f2232914
 
Sep 18, 2019
11
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10
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Handle the drives individually.

Personally, I'd Secure Erase the SSD, then do the OS install.
Later, reconnect the HDD and diskpart+clean.

As for the OS license, you'll need to disassociate that from your MS account. This does NOT invalidate the license, just removes it from you.
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-win_licensing/how-to-unlink-my-windows-license-from-my-microsoft/8a33c3f5-6842-4ba3-a5ac-1306f2232914
Do I need a special software to secure erase? Also if you could go into more detail or point me to a guide to the diskpart+clean part I'd be delighted! Thanks
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Do I need a special software to secure erase? Also if you could go into more detail or point me to a guide to the diskpart+clean part I'd be delighted! Thanks
Secure Erase:
There should be a function/application from the manufacturer for that.

Diskpart + clean:
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/85819-erase-disk-using-diskpart-clean-command-windows-10-a.html
 
Sep 18, 2019
11
0
10
0
Sep 18, 2019
11
0
10
0
Secure Erase:
There should be a function/application from the manufacturer for that.

Diskpart + clean:
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/85819-erase-disk-using-diskpart-clean-command-windows-10-a.html
One last thing, I got the WD SSD software to perform the secure erase and it's telling me I need to use a boot usb drive since my os is installed on it, also it doesn't have the secure erase option just the sanitize one. I only have 1 usb so my steps should be: Create the bootable usb to perform sanitize -> sanitize -> (can I still log back in to download the windows usb installer, or do I definitely need 2 usbs?) -> install windows.

Also what's the reason why you'd wipe the SSD before doing the HDD? My thought process was "Wipe the HDD first then the SSD and the OS so the buyer logs in to the windows setup process and can be confident I didn't install anything fishy"
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Create you Win 10 USB installer first.
Then do the 'WD sanitize'.

Yes, this requires 2x USB sticks.
If you sanitize the SSD, there is no more Windows to boot into. That is an absolutely bare drive.

Why the SSD vs HDD first?
Doesn't really make a difference.
Just do each individually.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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And just be sure you have only the SSD connected when you do the OS install.
Reconnect the HDD later.

 

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