Clean Computer Disk

You could give away your identity on a single computer disk.

Note: This article features MediaWiper, which has been replaced by WipeDrive.

Technology has allowed identity theft to become America's fastest growing crime. In order to protect yourself, you will need a product like MediaWiper to easily clean a computer disk.

MediaWiper is the perfect solution to clean computer disks, zip disks, secondary hard disks, memory cards, and USB Drives. Clean computer disks with technology approved by the Department of Defense.

Opening MediaWiper will bring up the Main Menu where you can choose to Wipe, Verify, or View the data on the disk.

The Wipe Media option allows you to completely clean a computer disk.

The Verify Media option scans for any remaining data to ensure you have a clean computer disk.

The View Media Sectors option to inspect individual sectors and confirm you have a clean computer disk.

Choose the Wipe Media option to clean a computer disk with MediaWiper. You must then select the disk drive to wipe from a drop down list.

Important: When you clean a computer disk, all the information on it is gone forever! Make sure you have backed up your important files before cleaning the computer disk.

After cleaning a computer disk, MediaWiper will reformat your disk for reuse. You can choose between two drive formats:

FAT file system:
Always select FAT to reformat and clean computer disks, memory cards, and USB drives. FAT is compatible with all versions of Windows.

NTFS file system:
Disks formatted with NTFS can only be accessed using Windows NT, 2000, or XP. Choose this option only if you are formatting a Windows NT, 2000, or XP hard drive.

In addition to choosing a file system, you may also choose a name for your disk. This will be the drive label displayed by Windows after you clean the computer disk.

Naming a drive is optional and must be less than 12 characters. The default drive label given by MediaWiper is "CLEANED".

The final step before cleaning your computer disk is choosing a security level. Disk data can be overwritten any number of times, however one overwrite is sufficient for most users.

1 Overwrite:
This option is recommended for most users and will clean a computer disk so that your data cannot be retrieved with recovery software.

3 Overwrites:
This option will clean a computer disk in accordance with US Department of Defense standards. If you think someone would go to extreme measures to recover your data, you should clean your computer disk with this option.

7 Overwrites:
This option will clean a computer disk with seven overwrites according to VSITR standards.

12 Overwrites:
This option will clean a computer disk with twelve overwrites. Please note, this option will take considerably longer to clean a computer disk.

Before the wipe begins you will be asked to confirm twice that you wish to clean all disk data. The process of cleaning a disk involves two steps:

  1. Wiping the disk
  2. Reformatting the drive

Once MediaWiper is done cleaning the computer disk, click on Finish to return to the main menu window.

After wiping clean a computer disk, you may choose to verify that all data has been erased. From the main menu select Verify Media. Click the down arrow of the drive selection list to choose the drive that you just cleaned. You may then choose to do either a Verify or a Quick Verify:

Verify:
This option will check each sector to make sure you have a clean computer disk. This may take a long time depending on the size of the drive.

Quick Verify:
This option will spot check each sector to make sure you have a clean computer disk. This option is much quicker because it checks random sectors from the beginning to the end of the disk.

Viewing the sectors of a drive is a feature for advanced users. Three columns display what sector is being viewed, the characters that sector contains, and the text equivalent of those characters.

Note: When looking at the individual clusters of a clean computer disk, you will notice that the sector view will display quite a bit of data in various sectors. This data is not user data, it is the contents of the drive format and must be in place in order to save files to the disk. MediaWiper can understand this data and test it to make sure that no user data exists in it.