There are number of applications which can be used to securely erase data from Windows PC. Tools are also available to partition and delete data from unbootable PCs. While one can always use third party tools to wipe off data from your PC before handling of to service or selling off, there is an official app to wipe data off from Microsoft Surface devices.
Surface Data Eraser by Microsoft
Microsoft surface Data eraser is a free tool created by Microsoft which helps users securely delete data without booting into windows operating system. The tool is useful when your surface is not booting and you still want to delete data off your PC. The Surface Data Eraser is compatible with surfaces running Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 7.
The tool is designed in such a way it allows you to boot from USB so users can erase data even when the surface is unbootable. The Surface Eraser bootable USB can be created on any Windows running PC.
The Microsoft Surface Data Eraser is compatible with following devise only.
- Surface Book
- Surface Pro 4
- Surface Pro 3
- Surface 3
- Surface 3 LTE
- Surface Pro 2
Prepare Surface Eraser bootable USB
Step 1: Visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=46703 to download the Surface Data installer. The download size is about 360MBs and after download run the setup file and follow on screen directions and installation. The page also lists other downloadable tools and after clicking the download button you can select tools you want to download.
Step 2: Connect a USB flash drive you want to use as bootable USB to delete data from Surface devices.
Step 3: Type and search from Microsoft Surface Data Eraser in the start menu and press enter to launch the tool.
Step 4: Click on the “build” button.
Note: If you’re using a USB 2.0 you might get the following message “We recommend that you use a USB 3.0 thumb drive with at least 4 GB of space”. Although the UBS 2.0 works without any issue so simply click the start button.
Step 5: The tool will automatically detect and show your device, select it and then click on the start button to preparing Surface Data Eraser bootable USB.
The progress bar will appear which will show you the how much the process has been completed. It will take about 2-5 minutes depending upon the PC. Once the bootable USB is ready you will get the “success” message.
Using Microsoft Surface Data Eraser
Step 1: Connect the bootable USB to the PC containing the Surface Data Eraser.
Step 2: now you need to prepare the surface device to boot from the USB. Following are the instructions:
- Turn off your surface.
- Press and hold volume up button.
- Press and release the power button.
- Release the volume up button.
Step 3: Boot from the bootable USB connected to it by turning on the Surface device.
Step 4: When you see the license screen, click accept and continue.
Step 5: Now you need to erase data by pressing the “S” key, now you will see the confirmation screen and confirm it by simply pressing the “Y” key.