How to Clean Your Hard Drive

Free PC Matic Scan Depending on the type of person you are, you may want to “clean” your hard disk drive. Cleaning a hard disk drive can simply mean removing unnecessary data, or formatting the disk completely, making it a fresh device for re-installation or storage. We will first explore the deleting and removal of unnecessary data and harmful files.

Required tools and Materials

  • CD/DVD Burner
  • Disc Burning Software
  • USB Thumb/Jump Drive
  • Operating System Install Disc
  • Operating System CD/Product Key

Step One:

Identify all files you would like to keep and burn them to a disc or copy them to a thumb drive or an external hard disk drive.

Step Two:

Place your Operating System disc in your disc drive and restart the computer.

Step Three:

Upon restarting the computer, a message should appear instructing you to “Press any key to boot from CD”. Follow the instruction and press any key on the keyboard. This will initiate the Operating System’s setup sequence.

Step Four:

At this point, the setup sequence should display instructions to help you along with your requests. Some Operating Systems ask if you want to do a recovery on the disk drive or install the Operating System. Choose the latter.

Step Five:

After selecting you wish to install the Operating System, you will be asked if you wish to format the hard disk drive, usually indicated by the drive letter “C:”. Delete the “C:” partition.

Step Six:

After deleting the partition, you will have to recreate it. This process is easy, and will usually be automatic.

Step Seven:

After recreating the partition “C:” in the Operating System setup, select the “C:” partition to install the Operating System. You will be asked whether you want to perform a Quick Format or a Format. A quick format allows for a much faster formatting procedure which does not get rid of all the data in a permanent manner. Selecting “Format” will yield a much more thorough hard disk cleaning procedure which will erase all traces of data.

Step Eight:

Follow through with the instructions on the screen as per your Operating System.

Tips, warnings and recommendations:

  • Always be sure to backup your files to one reliable medium or several other external storage media to prevent any loss of data after cleaning the hard disk drive.
  • Never unplug or turn off the computer while formatting the drive, as a power outage may render the hard disk drive useless due to corruption.
  • Be sure to follow the on-screen instructions carefully to select the correct procedure for Operating System installation.
  • Never attempt to:
    – open the disc drive during Operating System installation,
    – unplug or disconnect power to the computer during Operating System installation
  • All Operating Systems come with a CD or Product Key which will verify that the Operating System is a genuine copy. Have this information nearby for entering it and store them in a safe place after use.
  • Data can still be recovered after using a “Quick Format” procedure using sophisticated hard disk drive data recovery software. It is much more difficult to recover data after a full hard disk drive format.