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One of the most daunting and unnerving things that you sometimes need to do to your desktop or laptop is to wipe its storage drives. This is because it involves some steps and procedures that will have quite serious repercussions when done incorrectly. Having said that, you can still safely complete this task if you know the correct approach.
In this article, we are going to talk all about the factors that you have to consider when attempting to do a complete wipe of your storage drives. By the end of this text, you should hopefully be a little bit more knowledgeable about how to wipe a PC.
Have a good reason
There are plenty of reasons why you might want or even need to wipe your computer’s storage drives. First, it might be running slow. Files rack up in your storage drives as you use your computer. There might come a time when these files reach a point where your computer is unable to efficiently process all the data in the drive. In such a case, wiping your drives could restore the speed of your entire computer system.
Second, you may have encountered issues with corrupted or infected files. Things like malware can rapidly spread within your computer’s system, and it can lead to further issues when left untreated. One effective way of getting rid of these malicious programs is to do a complete wipe of your system. Finally, it could be that you just want a fresh start. You may have just gotten a second-hand device, and you want to make it feel like your own. Wiping your drives is a good way to improve the overall user experience.
Before you even attempt wiping your drives, be sure that you have accomplished these things. One, be certain about your decision. Wiping your drives is an irreversible step. Once it’s done, it’s done. And you can’t do anything about it. Two, have backups just in case. If you’re working with sensitive data, be sure to have copies or duplicates of such before proceeding with the wipe. You never know when you might need these files in the future.
Third, save all your login credentials. You may have selected the automatic login feature in some apps or websites during your regular use. After the wipe, you effectively get rid of all these saved passwords and login credentials. Even if you’re quite confident that you can remember the details, it would still be a good idea to save them on a separate device or on a physical note.
How to do the wipe safely
It is fairly easy to wipe a Windows drive. In Windows 10, you navigate to Settings, choose System, click Update & security, and then choose Recovery. Click “Reset” when you locate the “Reset this PC” tab. From here, you can choose to either keep your data or delete everything. The best course of action is to remove everything if you want to start fresh. The user would then be given the option to install Windows locally or via cloud download at the following screen. The cloud download option is preferable if you intend to sell your computer along with the disk because it is a more recent operating system that leaves no trace at all of your local files. To begin the wiping procedure, click reset.
Things to do during the wipe
The wiping procedure will typically last around 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your drive. During this time, it is important that you do not interfere, in any way, with the wiping procedure. Do not force your computer to shut down because you may permanently damage or lose files if you do so. Also, make sure that your device is powered on during the entire process. You could lose progress on the wipe if the device is shut down.