Recovery Guides: step-by-step DiskPatch operations:
Disk- or Partition Wipe.

A list of terms used in this page and their explanation can be found here.

This guide describes a DiskPatch function in condensed form: if you need additional information, read the corresponding part of the manual.

Situation "I need to make sure the disk is empty", disk read errors, "bad sectors"
Symptoms N/A
Solution low-level format/wipe the partition or disk
Why do we need to do this?

There are a number of useful applications for the wipe feature:
  • security: if the contents of a partition need to be destroyed, you can use the wipe feature to make sure the data is not retrievable. You may want to do this when you sell your disk, or if you decide to throw the disk away and wish to make sure that no-one can get their hands on your accounting data.
  • cloning: when you need to clone a disk, it is usually wise to make sure that the target disk (the disk that will receive the clone) is completely empty. That way any left-over data can not contaminate the repair session, if you would (for instance) need to rebuild partition tables on the cloned disk. Use the wipe feature to clear the target disk before cloning, if needed.
  • repair: if a disk has a few bad sectors you can attempt to repair them by performing a wipe (with modern disks a wipe has the same effect as a low-level format had in the old days). Writing to damaged sectors triggers the disk's internal repair functions (modern disks have a pool of spare sectors that can be swapped with damaged sectors, effectively 'repairing' the bad sector) so a wipe can very well 'fix' the disk's bad spots.
    Note: a surface scan basically does the same thing but without destroying all your data. However, a surface scan can take significantly longer than a wipe because it will attempt to read all (bad) sectors first. It's up to you to choose the procedure that works best for you.
Things you need to know before we start:
  • In the world of disks and data recovery we start counting disks at 0 (zero). So the first disk is 'disk 0', the second disk is 'disk 1', etc.
  • Use the cursor keys to navigate the menus, use the <Enter> key to select an option, use the <Escape> key to abort or leave a menu.

Here we go:

Start DiskPatch and select the disk.

example: your screen will differ. Find more information on how to select a disk here.

After selecting the disk, the menu will expand, showing actions that can be performed for the selected disk.
The selected disk will be marked in high intensity blue in the disk list (disk 2 in our example).

Now select 'Disk related tasks', then 'Wipe'. You can now select the type of wipe you wish to perform. For details on the different types, read the corresponding part of the manual.
For our example we'll select the 'Standard DiskPatch wipe'.
Note: if you are wiping a disk before using it as a target disk for cloning, select the 'Standard DiskPatch wipe': the disk just needs to be empty and the standard wipe will simply clear the disk.

A list of partitions will be displayed, if any are on the disk. If no partitions are found, only 'Select region manually' will be available.
For our example we'll select the first partition on the disk.

Press <Enter> to select the partition, a confirmation screen will be displayed:

Select 'Yes' to continue. During the wipe a map display of the disk is shown. The grayed out area represents the area that will be wiped, the blocks represent the area that has been wiped so far. Errors (if encountered) will be displayed on the map to give you a general idea of where they are on the disk.

You can press <escape> during the wipe process to display the settings screen:

You can change wipe specific settings (if desired) and then press <Escape> to exit the settings screen and continue, or select 'abort' to abort the wipe.

Once the wipe has completed the following screen is displayed:

The screen will show the results of the wipe. Press any key to return to the menu.