Can Windows delete it's own partition?


CalypsoArt

Active member
Local time
7:27 PM
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47
OS
Windows 11
I bought a new laptop which after some difficulties I'm returning. I questioned the tech support about wiping the drive to remove my personal info. He responded that "the the best way to remove you data is to delete the partition."I just installed my software on the new machine and began working. I assume windows and the data are on the same partition?

I've created/removed partitions in the past but I seem to remember using and program running on a USB drive. I've also done it more recently from within windows, but that was using Windows to partition a second installed drive. Can Windows remove it's own partition?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Ryzen 5600X
    Motherboard
    ROG STRIX B550-I
    Memory
    16GB 3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTX 1060 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell U3014
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1600
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO m.2 500GB x2
Can Windows remove it's own partition?


No.

BUT.... you can create Windows 11 install media on a USB stick, and use that to delete the Windows partition.


 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22631.3737 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4702)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® (not in use)
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?
And usually Disk Management can't delete some of the smaller partitions.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
Can Windows remove it's own partition?
Not exactly. They were probably referencing the reset option found under Settings > system > recovery > reset this pc, and choose to remove everything.

This will remove your data and reinstall windows. It has an option to prompt if your selling this pc or recycling it, which you can choose which will do more passes to ensure your data is not recoverable.

See this tutorial for more information:

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell G15 5525
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 6800H
    Memory
    32 GB DDR5 4800mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 3050 4GB Vram
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2TB Solidigm™ P41 Plus nvme
    Internet Speed
    800mbps down, 20 up
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ideapad flex 14API 2 in 1
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 3500u
    Motherboard
    LENOVO LNVNB161216 (FP5)
    Memory
    12GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
    Hard Drives
    256 GB Samsung ssd nvme
Not exactly. They were probably referencing the reset option found under Settings > system > recovery > reset this pc, and choose to remove everything.

This will remove your data and reinstall windows. It has an option to prompt if your selling this pc or recycling it, which you can choose which will do more passes to ensure your data is not recoverable.

See this tutorial for more information:


Definitely the easier option. For the super paranoid there is also the use USB boot to completely wipe the partition, ones or zeroes. A bit much I guess unless you're working for the CIA. :cool:
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 (22631.3593) Feature Pack 1000.22700.1003.0
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI
    CPU
    i7-10750H
    Motherboard
    MSI MS-17F5
    Memory
    16GB Samsung DDR4 3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel + Nvidia RTX3060 Laptop
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 24" Curved (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Sabrent Rocket Gen3 1Tb Smasung EVO 870 1TB
    Antivirus
    Avast
He responded that "the the best way to remove you data is to delete the partition."
To be honest, that sounds like a trap. What’s to stop them from getting it back and blaming you for damage as a result of wiping the drive. Is there not a factory reset partition?
What’s the laptop make/model?

The tutorial Andrew posted will do it. Don’t delete anything.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3593
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22631.3737 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4702)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® (not in use)
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 (22631.3593) Feature Pack 1000.22700.1003.0
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI
    CPU
    i7-10750H
    Motherboard
    MSI MS-17F5
    Memory
    16GB Samsung DDR4 3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel + Nvidia RTX3060 Laptop
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 24" Curved (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Sabrent Rocket Gen3 1Tb Smasung EVO 870 1TB
    Antivirus
    Avast
Got this answer from the laptop manufacturer tech-support in response to my question.

"Yes. When the partitions are deleted in a drive, all the files including the OS are wiped.
It is fine to return this computer with no OS installed."

What is the easiest way to do this?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Ryzen 5600X
    Motherboard
    ROG STRIX B550-I
    Memory
    16GB 3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTX 1060 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell U3014
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1600
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO m.2 500GB x2
Got this answer from the laptop manufacturer tech-support in response to my question.

"Yes. When the partitions are deleted in a drive, all the files including the OS are wiped.
It is fine to return this computer with no OS installed."

What is the easiest way to do this?

You can also just use DBAN... this is probably the easiest way.
Depending on drive size... it could take a while.
So start it when you're about to go to sleep.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22631.3737 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4702)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® (not in use)
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?
Got this answer from the laptop manufacturer tech-support in response to my question.

"Yes. When the partitions are deleted in a drive, all the files including the OS are wiped.
It is fine to return this computer with no OS installed."

What is the easiest way to do this?
Just do what I suggested in post 4

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell G15 5525
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 6800H
    Memory
    32 GB DDR5 4800mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 3050 4GB Vram
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2TB Solidigm™ P41 Plus nvme
    Internet Speed
    800mbps down, 20 up
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ideapad flex 14API 2 in 1
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 3500u
    Motherboard
    LENOVO LNVNB161216 (FP5)
    Memory
    12GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
    Hard Drives
    256 GB Samsung ssd nvme
Just do what I suggested in post 4


True, the USB options are more for extreme secret agent cases. :-)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 (22631.3593) Feature Pack 1000.22700.1003.0
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI
    CPU
    i7-10750H
    Motherboard
    MSI MS-17F5
    Memory
    16GB Samsung DDR4 3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel + Nvidia RTX3060 Laptop
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 24" Curved (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Sabrent Rocket Gen3 1Tb Smasung EVO 870 1TB
    Antivirus
    Avast
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