10-11-2016 02:43 PM
My question is hopefully simple. I recently reinstalled Windows 7 on my HP Pavilion 6000 series desktop using the HP Recovery Manager app built-in to the computer. The restore went well, without any hitches. What I need to know is whether the process wiped the hard drive clean. That is, is the data I created, e.g., Excel, Word files, etc., still there even though the file names, etc. have been deleted? Is the computer hard drive wiped such that I could donate the computer and not worry about someone using some data recover utility to find and recreat the data that was on my C:\ partition?
10-11-2016 05:20 PM
Allow me to welcome you to the HP forums!
There are several different options in the HP Recovery Manager, and they range from a simple reset to a full factory restore. The first leaves most of the files intact; the second erases the entire hard drive, reformatting it.
However ... what it does NOT do is WIPE the drive -- as this removes all trace of files and folders by writing zeroes, or ones, or both, to the entire drive.
That means, with your current drive, anyone with a decent datat recovery app can recover practially the entire contents of the drive.
If you want the drive "cleaned", I recommend the use of a third-party tool known as Minitool Partition Wizard. This is a free partitioning tool and you should download their Boot CD ISO file to a local drive.
You can obtain it from here: http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html
Once you have this, you have a choice of media to create:
1) If you can boot from CD, download and install ImgBurn and use the Write Image to Disk option to create a bootable CD.
2) If you can boot from USB, download and install RUFUS and use the option to create a bootable USB stick from the ISO file.
Boot your PC with the media you created.
Select the drive and remove all the partitions. Click the CheckMark (Apply) to perform the operation.
Select the drive again, this time select the Wipe option. It will present several alternatives -- select write zeroes to the drive. This can take several HOURS to complete.
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