How To Wipe My Computer

Dear Computer Lady,

Can you tell me how can I wipe out everything out of my computer?
I would like to recycle it and give it to a children’s center.

Thanks, Socorro

Dear Socorro,

There are only a couple of ways to securely wipe everything out of your computer. One way is to take the hard drive out and destroy it. It is considered destroyed when the platters inside the drive are bent, or full of holes.

The other way is to use software like dban at
Do do need to be careful using software like dban though, it will totally erase everything on the hard drive.

If you want to donate a working computer, you will need to either put in a new hard drive (if you use the physical destruction method above) and install an operating system on the computer. Even if you use software like Dban, you will need to install an operating system. If the computer has been truly erased, it will not even have windows on it.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • oldfart
    • January 16, 2017

    A person could uninstall all programs that have been added to the system over the years and then use program that would wipe the drive except for the operating system. CCleaner does a good job and it’s free

    1. CCleaner can do a good job as you describe, but it could still be possible to recover files from the drive.

    • oldfart
    • January 17, 2017

    ☺ Ccleaner will do 1, 7 or 35 wipes, I suspect 35 would take a very long time

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