With gnome-disk-utility alias palimpsest there is an option to format entire disk with partitioning scheme "none" or something similar.

How do I do that in gparted?

(? is it the "loop" option ?)

Or does it not have that feature?


6 Answers 6


The first two answers do not actually wipe the disk.

Formatting or re-writing the partition table, as suggested in the first 2 answers, does NOT delete the data and the data can be recovered in about 20 minutes.

This is because deleting and recreating partition table does not delete data at all. You can recover data even after quick format of partition. It is not a rocket science - even simplest file recovery utilities will recover this data.

Although gparted can re-format the drive, gparted will not wipe the data.

In order to wipe the data you need to write data to the disk. This can be done with a variety of tools from dd to dban to a number of command line tools.

See Securely erase hard drive using the Disk Utility for details.


How to remove all partitions using GParted

Warning: This will not remove the data from the disk. After doing this, data will still be recoverable. But it does remove the partition information so the entire disk is available for new partitions

If you want to delete the system partition (with / on) you'll need to start GParted from a live cd ("try ubuntu" mode)

  1. Install GParted with sudo apt-get install gparted and start it
  2. Select the correct device (physical hard drive) in the right upper corner (make sure to wipe the hard drive, and not your USB stick)
    GParted device selection

  3. Click(in the top menu) on Device > Create Partition Table

  4. Select MSDos or GPT and click apply (you might get a warning about not being able to inform the kernel)

GParted Warning

  1. Reboot
  • 6
    This does NOT delete the data and is very bad advice.
    – Panther
    Aug 30, 2015 at 13:54
  • 3
    Bodhi.zazen OP did not mention removing data. If OP wants to remove the data, then this is not the way to do it. Edited answer to reflect that. Aug 30, 2015 at 18:36
  • wipe generally means remove the data.
    – Panther
    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:55
  • 1
    This is where our understanding of this question differs from yours. If you look at the disks utility he is talking about, the default behavior of that option is to not overwrite the data. From my experience, when people want to overwrite the data, they say so explicitly. However as long as OP does not respond, there is no way of knowing what he wants. He explicitly states that he knows how to do it in "Disks" though, so your answer isn't more useful than any other here. Aug 31, 2015 at 7:29
  • 2
    I did not post an answer. I downvoted yours with a comment as to why. If you wish you may ask to OP for clarification, but you made an assumption of the meaning of the work "wipe" and if your assumption is wrong the consequence is that potentially sensitive data can be recovered. It is for this reason I down voted your answer as, IMO, you should ask for clarification before you assume and when your assumptions are potentially harmful I will down vote.
    – Panther
    Aug 31, 2015 at 15:07

First part of the answer: gparted can be used to remove the partitions of a drive so it may be reused.

Second part of the answer: No, gparted does not actually wipe the partitions in a secure way so the data is non-recoverable.

It is a trivial process to use gparted to select the partitions and tell gparted to delete them.

If you want to actually wipe the disk in such a way that the data is unrecoverable, follow the instructions found at the accepted answer here:

How can I securely erase a hard drive?


sudo shred -v /dev/sdX

shred will overwrite the data areas with random information so the original files and directories are not recoverable.

It does take some time to complete this command, so be patient.


gparted as a live CD, includes the tool nwipe, which you can use to securely wipe a disk.

Once booted into gparted fire up the Terminal, and start nwipe for example:

nwipe /dev/sda 

where sda is the device node ID of the disk you want to wipe.

The default destruction method is "3 pass" (or "dodshort") but other ways are available with --method switch:

dod522022m / dod       - 7 pass DOD 5220.22-M method
dodshort / dod3pass    - 3 pass DOD method
gutmann                - Peter Gutmann's Algorithm
ops2                   - RCMP TSSIT OPS-II
random / prng / stream - PRNG Stream
zero / quick           - Overwrite with zeros
one                    - Overwrite with ones (0xFF)

Yes it is very easy to do so in Gparted. Actually I found Gparted as the most user friendly tool to create/delete/format partitions.

Warning: This will not remove the data from the disk. After doing this, data will still be recoverable. But it does remove the partition information so the entire disk is available for new partitions

Follow these steps to prepare your entire disk.

  • Install gparted if not already installed.

    sudo apt-get install gparted
  • Open gparted from Dash (you need to give your password)

  • On the top-right it will list Your HDD/Removal Disk which you want to format. Select from there.

  • It will then show all the partition on the selected HDD/Removal Disk.

  • Click on each partition and press Del or right click and select Delete option. (Be sure that disk/partition is not mounted, if mounted then right click on partition and then select unmount option)

  • Repeat above step for all partitions listed there.

  • Once all deleted it will show a partition with unallocated.

  • Then right click and chose New option then setup the ditails. Then click Add

  • Finally Click Tick sign on the top to format it.

  • Thats all..

I suggest you to format in Fat32 instead of Fat16 for USB drive. You an also use NTFS format.

Get a complete tutorial from here

Reply if something goes wrong and further assistance..

  • 4
    This does NOT delete the data and is very bad advice.
    – Panther
    Aug 30, 2015 at 13:54

(it's a bit late for the OP, but as I became interested in the same question it probably will be good to have an answer here)

From the gparted manual:

To use a disk without a partition table, choose loop to create a virtual partition that spans the disk. Then format to the desired file system.

So yes, it's the "loop" option. This way you obtain what is sometimes called a "superfloppy".

That said, beware of troubles this partitioning scheme (or rather lack of it) may cause: link 1, link 2.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.