Completely Wipe a USB Key Drive

I have only done this in windows 7, but assumes it works in vista also.

Please proceed with caution,if you select the wrong disk you will blow away the data on that disk.

Fire up a command window and type diskpart

The command prompt will change to DISKPART>

now type list disk your disk drives will be listed

If you wish to select the disk identified as disk 1, then type select disk 1

If you run list disk again, this time your selected disk will be flagged with a *

Type clean And you disk will be wiped clean,

then type exit to exit the utility, and you disk will be empty ready to partition and format

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3 Responses to “Completely Wipe a USB Key Drive”

  1. Aaron Says:

    The DISKPART command works in XP, but it does not list the USB drives attached to the system.

  2. monkey Says:

    hi, thanks for this, worked a treat , and did it in 2 seconds.

    many thanks

  3. Richardo Mauntebaum Says:

    Actually, this will only wipe the partition table of the USB key. Your data will be inaccessible, but it will certainly not wipe the data itself and could be easily recovered. If you are wanting to zero all sectors (and make the data less likely to be recovered you can use CLEAN ALL instead of just CLEAN. If you are really paranoid and want the data truely gone, you need to use a data wiping utility, a good free open-source one would be DBAN (google for it).

    Per Microsoft
    clean [all]

    Use the clean command to remove partition or volume formatting from the current in-focus disk by zeroing sectors. By default, only the MBR or GPT partitioning information and any hidden sector information on MBR disks is overwritten. If you specify the all parameter, each and every sector can be zeroed, and all data that is contained on the drive can be deleted.

    (Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415)

    Just want to ensure that people know that doing this as posted above ‘works’ but does not ‘completely wire a USB key drive’ as advertised, you need another word (clean all) to do that. 🙂

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