Data is important to everyone.  The last thing you need is someone you don’t know getting hold of your information.  It is important then, to know how to erase your data from your computer. You may need to do this because your computer is being sold or given away to a friend or relative.

You may just want to erase the data and make a fresh install of another operating system or upgrade your existing operating system.  Either way, the result of these actions will be erasing all of your personal data and your files from the hard drive.

The first thing to do is to back up any information that you want to keep.  This can be anything from files and documents to pictures and music.  You can use an eternal hard drive, a CD/DVD or a USB flash drive or even a memory card.

How To Erase Data From A Hard Drive

If you use Microsoft Windows as your operating system of choice, then one of the easiest ways to erase hard drive data, is to go to My Computer, right click and select Manage. This will then open the computer management window.  Click on disk management.  Next you will see a list of discs depending on the number of partitions you have on your PC. Select the disc you want to erase.  You will then be taken to another window with one of the options to perform a Quick Format.  Also if you want to rename the disc, you can do this here.  Once you click OK, you will be given a warning, which informs you that formatting will erase everything on the hard drive.  Another way to erase all the data on a Hard Drive is by re-installing the Windows operating system and informing the PC to delete the current partition and install on a fresh one.

If you use a Mac operating system then you can erase your data by navigating to the Applications folder and then the Utilities folder.  Inside Utilities, will be a program called Disk Utility. If you open this, you will be given a list of drives that are currently mounted on the computer.  In the left side of the window you will see a list of drives, select the one you want to format and click Erase. This is also where you can give the drive a fresh name if you so wish.

It is important to remember, that when you erase data on a hard drive you WILL LOSE ALL YOUR DATA on that drive.  Please make a back up before you start.

[Image via nexcut]