I have installed Windows 8 on my laptop and i want to completely "delete" my HDD. I want it to be blank just the way i bought it. Because i want to install Linux on a blank HDD. Could anybody help me ?


  • You don't need to purge your hard drive before you install Linux. Just install Linux on the same drive as your Windows through live cd, and the installer will automatically format the drive for you – Aserre Jun 3 '14 at 14:56
  • Yes, I know that but I want to make it blank as if I want to sell the laptop – Mitkobg Jun 3 '14 at 14:58
  • On Linux, try Gparted (you can use a live cd for that) – Aserre Jun 3 '14 at 15:02

You can make an Ubuntu Live CD and boot into it. Choose "Try Ubuntu without installing". Then, open Gparted Partition Editor and choose the hard drive you want to format. You can see the list of hard drives you have in the top right corner.

After choosing the hard drive, you will see a list of partitions you have on the Hard disk. Right click on every one and choose Delete. After you finish, all you have is Unallocated space.

Now you have a blank HDD on which you can install Ubuntu. Before actually "applying" these changes, let's go ahead and create our Ubuntu partitions. We need at least 2.

Right click the unallocated space and choose New. First, create a swap partition of type linux-swap that is at least the same size as your RAM. Again, create another partition but this time of type ext4 and the size you want. Set the mount point to /.

After you finish, click the green checkmark to Apply all Operations.

Finally, close Gparted and choose Install Ubuntu from the desktop. Enjoy Ubuntu :)

This post can also help.


You don't need to wipe your drive prior to installing Ubuntu, but if you would like to here's one way to do it.

This will remove all data from you drive

I suggest having no other drive attached to the computer except the on you wish to wipe.

  1. Boot the liveCD or liveUSB you would install Ubuntu with but select "Try Ubuntu" instead of installing.

  2. Open gparted and find the name of the device you want to wipe, it is probably /dev/sda but make sure you have the right one.

  3. Open the terminal and run the following command to wipe out your data. dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/<device> (this step is overkill for what your going for but I figured I would include it).

  4. Go back to gparted; Format the drive to ext4.

Now you have a clean drive to install Ubuntu on.

  • To blank the disk, you need to use /dev/zero instead of /dev/random. – Futal Nov 9 '17 at 10:20


1 - First, download UNetbootin on your PC from here. UNetbootin is a program to enable you to burn most Linux operating systems to a USB, CD/DVD, or hard disk.

2- Open it up, you should get something like this, but instead in the Drive section you should find the drive name of a USB device plugged in like F:\

3- Choose Ubuntu in the Select Distribution section, and Daily_Live in the Select Version section to choose the latest version of Ubuntu (14.04 at the time of writing this post)

4- Choose the USB drive or CD you wish to install Ubuntu from in the Drive section

5- Click OK, and wait until UNetbootin finishes working

6- When it finishes, reboot your system with the USB or CD in, when the bootloader shows up choose to boot from the USB or CD (using F2 or F12 to bring up boot options I think, it should be written in the left corner of the screen)

7- In the menu that shows up later choose Install Ubuntu

8- Follow the instructions of the installer, and if asked, choose to overwrite or replace the current operating system (Windows 8)

If anything's uncorrect, correct me, I'm only 12. Just trying to help


To securely wipe your hard drive, I recommend using Secure Erase

  • :-( That's for Windows, this is AskUbuntu. Even if the OP is still running Windows, you can't completely erase Windows' own installation while running it – Xen2050 Nov 28 '17 at 11:12

To securely wipe data on magnetic (including MO) or solid state media (e.g.: USB Keys, SSD), you can just use the simpler DBAN (Darik's boot and nuke). It's a bootable live disk that does a FIPS/DoD erase on your drive.

I would not recommend this for vmware/virtualbox drives. For vmware/vbox drives just use "shred -zvu " for *nix HOST systems, including BSD. Under windows HOSTs I believe the command is "sdelete -z" if you download the "SysInternalsSuite" (as of this writing SDelete v2.0).

Might be a little OT: using these commands on virtual machine clients may help when exporting (e.g.: OVA), or minimizing the physical footprint of the virtual disk.

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! I recommend to edit this answer to expand it with specific details about how to do this. (See also How do I write a good answer? for general advice about what sorts of answers are considered most valuable on Ask Ubuntu.) – David Foerster Nov 27 '17 at 13:22

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