Secure Computing Magazine: Wipe Hard Drive

by Jennifer Farwell
Smart Computing Magazine

If you are selling a computer, or if you have experienced severe problems that reformatting a hard drive doesn't resolve, you may need to wipe your hard drive. Deleting files from your hard drive doesn't erase them and neither does formatting the hard drive itself.

These actions only erase the data that tracks where file bits are stored.

WipeDrive completely eradicates all traces of files, writing over them with the digital equivalent of "white noise." According to company representatives, it's one of only five such programs approved by the U.S. Department of Defense.

We found WipeDrive easy to use. It runs from a CD and lets you decide which drive to overwrite (if you have more than one), how many times to wipe it (the more times, the lower the odds of data recovery), and whether to confirm the data is gone.

It also guides you through reinstallation of Windows after you wipe a drive. (To avoid the hassle of reinstalling Windows, you can upgrade to WipeDrive 5.0 with System Saver, which keeps the operating system intact.)

WipeDrive wipes only entire physical hard drives, but it comes bundled with MediaWiper, which can wipe drive partitions and removable drives. If you download the product, you'll need to create the Install CD (the company's Web site tells you how). If you PC is inoperable, you may also need a system boot diskette to get going.


data erasure, hard drives, computer disposal

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