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Completely clear my HDD and SSD before Windows reinstall?

I backed up everything I need, now I want to completely clear everything off of my SSD and HDD, so I can install Windows.

So, how does one do this?

Here's a pic of my disk management:

Disk 0 is an mSATA mini SSD, which I wanted to use to speed up my HDD, but later realized this only works if Windows is installed on that HDD.
Disk 1 is the HDD
Disk 2 is the SSD



Simply deleting the volumes won't work, because stuff still stays on there but Windows doesn't see it anymore, right?
Also, notice how the system reserved 100MB is on the HDD while Windows is on the SSD. (gave guys in shop to assemble the PC). - So I can't just unplug the HDD, or delete everything on it now because windows will be unusable and I won't have access to the SSD. (Am I complicating too much?)

Bonus question: Should I maybe even install windows on the mini SSD of 55GB? That's enough space. I would just keep that one inside during the installation, then connect the others. What do you think?
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about completely clear hdd ssd windows reinstall
  1. If you want to clean out everything, boot from your installer disk, don't do an install but instead go to the command prompt. There you can use diskpart to clean the drives -- and everything on the cleaned drives will be gone (or at least appear gone and be difficult to find, and there are ways to modify this to truly destroy all data but it takes more time and is unnecessary for a reinstall). In the command prompt window from the installer type:

    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk n (choose the drive to delete from the list disk command)
    clean

    then go through it again for the other drive

    list disk
    select disk m (the other drive)
    clean
    exit.

    Then you will be ready to do your re-install with clean drives, but disconnect the HDD during the re-install so the SRP doesn't end up on there as it occasionally can.

    I would install the OS to the SSD and use the mSATA drive for other fast storage.
  2. The ideal setup is to install the OS and applications on the 250GB SSD (currently Disk 2)
    The System Reserved lives on the HDD, because it was connected when they installed the OS. Windows does that, unfortunately.

    The 55GB drive is just on wrong side of 'not enough' for the boot drive. Yes, it will work for a while. But you will feel squeezed very quickly.
  3. Thanks

    Got two more questions:
    #1 - If the data is not completely destroyed, does it still take up disk space?

    #2 - If I clean the disks with cmd, will this also erase windows? if it erases windows, how do I keep deleting the other disk? (maybe this is a silly question)
  4. Or maybe, after cleaning the disks, do I have to separately 'uninstall' Windows?
  5. Best answer
    If you want to completely start over, DBAN or similar can wipe everything.

    Connect only the 256GB SSD, install the OS, Windows updates, and applications.
    Once everything is verified working, connect the other drives and move on.
  6. USAFRet said:
    If you want to completely start over, DBAN or similar can wipe everything.

    Connect only the 256GB SSD, install the OS, Windows updates, and applications.
    Once everything is verified working, connect the other drives and move on.


    Thank you very much!
  7. I Am User said:
    USAFRet said:
    If you want to completely start over, DBAN or similar can wipe everything.

    Connect only the 256GB SSD, install the OS, Windows updates, and applications.
    Once everything is verified working, connect the other drives and move on.


    Thank you very much!


    No prob. Good luck!
  8. For completely erasing the SSD, Secure Erase, using Parted Magic - http://partedmagic.com/doku.php
    Burn it to a CD/DVD and erase.
  9. USAFRet said:
    For completely erasing the SSD, Secure Erase, using Parted Magic - http://partedmagic.com/doku.php
    Burn it to a CD/DVD and erase.


    I can't find any trial or anything. is there one?

    Also, if I use such software, will it also erase Windows?

    I found Blacco: http://www.blancco.com/campaign/dban/?utm_source=dban&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=guarentee
    which is supposed to clean every single bit, but its for businesses or what? Can I use it at home?
  10. I Am User said:
    USAFRet said:
    For completely erasing the SSD, Secure Erase, using Parted Magic - http://partedmagic.com/doku.php
    Burn it to a CD/DVD and erase.


    I can't find any trial or anything. is there one?

    Also, if I use such software, will it also erase Windows?

    I found Blacco: http://www.blancco.com/campaign/dban/?utm_source=dban&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=guarentee
    which is supposed to clean every single bit, but its for businesses or what? Can I use it at home?


    hmmm....that used to have a free version.
    I'll have to look around.
  11. Is blancco ok?
  12. I Am User said:
    Is blancco ok?


    Never used it, but it doesn't say anything specific about secure erase the SSD.

    That's not really critical to do that though, if you're going to just install Windows on it again.
  13. So DBAN will be ok?
    I just found out that a clean install of windows replaces the current ones.
    Do I also have to burn DBAN to a DVD?
  14. I Am User said:
    So DBAN will be ok?
    I just found out that a clean install of windows replaces the current ones.
    Do I also have to burn DBAN to a DVD?


    Yes. Burn it to a DVD, erase the HDD
    During the Windows install on the SSD, you'll be given the opportunity to blow away whatever partitions are on it and install fresh.
  15. Alright.
    Thank you very much again!
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