How do I permanently delete files from my external Hard drive

Summary: This blog sheds light on the importance of permanently erasing data in your external hard drive and introduces you to BitRaser File Eraser- a failsafe, permanent and secure file erasure tool, designed to destroy the contents of your external hard drive and maintain your data privacy.


An external hard drive harbors our documents, pictures, videos, music and other personal files. They are essential storage places for many of our personal, professional and sensitive information. In fact, many people use external hard drive as a backup storage device for their PC. Nevertheless, sometimes the data in the external hard drive needs to be permanently erased. Let us see why.

Key Reasons to wipe your hard drive clean

1. Data Privacy issues: When you decide to discard, sell or exchange your storage media, you need to first permanently erase its contents. This is true for both actively used hard drives and drives which have reached the end of their life terms. Erasing the contents of your user hard drive prevents its unauthorized usage.

2.Virus corruption: Sometimes, the data in your hard drive might become corrupted due to a virus or malware attack. To get rid of the virus, it is important to wipe the drive clean.

Methods to Erase files from external hard drive

In the passage below, we will discuss the different software methods to delete the files from an external hard drive

Deleting files from an external hard drive permanently

1. Delete external hard drive files using your PC settings

You can attach your external hard drive to a PC and then delete the files in your hard drives one by one. The File Explorer feature of your PC allows you to delete the files in your External hard drive. All you need to do is to right click on selected file and click delete button.  

Deletion using File Explorer settings
Image 1: Deletion using File Explorer settings

Alternatively, you can also decide to format all the files in your external hard drive (should you choose to). All you need to do is to select the external hard drive, right click on hard drive from your PC’s interface and click on Format (see Image 2)

Formatting an External hard disk
Image 2: Formatting an External hard disk

2. Delete external hard drive files using CMD

You can also delete your external hard drive files using your PC’s command prompt. Follow the steps below

  1. Press Windows+R button to open the Run command
  2. Enter CMD in the Run window and press Enter
  3. In the CMD window, type diskpart and press Enter
  4. Next, type list disk
  5. Then select disk #(make the selection of external hard drive)
  6. Type clean all to remove all files from the selected disk
Using diskpart to delete external hard drive files in CMD command
Image 3: Using diskpart to delete external hard drive files in CMD command

3. Permanently erase external hard drive with File Erasure


Deleting using your files using your PC or Mac’s system settings doesn’t wipe the files from your computer. Any data recovery software can easily trace and recover the files.

A file erasure software is the prescribed method to permanently delete files from your hard drive. A file erasure software functions by overwriting on top of the files you wish to delete. This overwriting can be done once or multiple times. As a result of the erasure, the files become unreadable and beyond the capacity of a data recovery software.  This is known as erasure beyond recovery and only an efficient file erasure software could accomplish that.

BitRaser File Eraser to permanently erase your external hard drive files

BitRaser File Eraser is a recommended file erasure software that can easily and efficiently erase all contents of your external hard drive. This way, you can securely destroy your data and make it inaccessible to anyone. It is available for Mac systems as well.

Following are the key features of the BitRaser Software

1) Erase all types of files and formats, including app traces, Internet histories, deleted data.

2) Easy to use a DIY tool

3) Compliant with 3 International data erasure standards

4) Single click interface

How to use BitRaser File Eraser to erase external hard drive files

  1. Install BitRaser File Eraser for Windows.       
  2. Install and launch the software
BitRaser File Eraser interface
Image 4: BitRaser File Eraser interface

3. Click on Erase File & Folder, the third option on the left pane.

4. Click on “Add Items” button and a dialog box will open. Expand the selection under “This PC” and scroll down to access the hard drives. You will also see the external hard drive in the list

Selecting files and folders for erasure
Image 5: Selecting files and folders for erasure

5. Next, select the files and folders you want to erase from the drive. You can click on the arrow to expand the external hard drive volume. After you have made the selection, click on Erase Now button.

Erase Now button to erase the selected file or folder
Image 6: Erase Now button to erase the selected file or folder

6. Next, a dialog box will appear, confirming the Erasure process. Please confirm to proceed.

7. The tool will erase the specified file and you will get an Erasure complete window.

Conclusion

Our external hard drives are our key information assets. They contain many of our private and sensitive information and for many users, they act as the source of their PC backup. In this blog, we discussed the importance of permanently erasing hard drive data and explored the BitRaser File Eraser– a recommended data erasure software, designed to securely and permanently wipe the contents of your external hard drive.

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