Hard Drive File Eraser

I want to ensure complete destruction of data from my hard drive, which option suits best, degaussing or a drive wiping software.

The option which suits best to ensure complete destruction of data from your hard drive is to use a drive wiping software as degaussing may make the media inoperable. In the process of degaussing the storage media is subjected to an influential magnetic field to eliminate the data on the media. Therefore, this is suitable if the media is not required for reuse. Whereas in case of drive wiping utility, it follows certain patterns or standards to effectively remove magnetic remnants from the hard drive ensuring permanent removal of data from your hard drive.

One such utility is Data Sanitizer, an advanced disk erasing tool (for Windows), which allows you to completely remove sensitive files from your hard drive or logical drives or from other data storage devices by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns and various international disk sanitization standards. Wipe My Drive eliminates data file(s) in different directories with a stroke of a key shredding sensitive data beyond recovery level. With this application, you can also wipe flash drive data in couple of seconds.

Because of its intuitive design and a simple user interface which helps amateur users to perform drive wiping operation in a hassle free way, Data Sanitizer helps you to safely and easily erase private files from a complete hard disk and even a logical drive.It's also possible to wipe hard drive booting Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Wipe My Drive also facilitates you to erase USB drive data completely, if you want to know detailed information about this, visit the link: http://www.wipemydrive.net/usb-drive.html

The utility provides nine sanitizing methods and they are classified into different levels for erasing the data which are based on the security levels.

Below mentioned sanitizing methods offer "Low" security levels:

  • Fast Zero Overwrite
  • Random Overwrite
  • US Department of Defense (DoD 5220.22-M)

Below mentioned sanitizing methods offer "Medium" security levels:

  • US Navy, NAVSO P-5239-26-RLL
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO standard
  • German: VSITR

Below mentioned sanitizing methods offers "High" security levels:

  • DOD Standard 5220.28 STD
  • Peter Gutmann Secure Deletion
  • US Department of Defense (DoD 5220.22-M) + Gutmann method

Follow the steps below to use Drive Wipe to erase the data permanently from your hard drive:

Step 1: Launch the program Drive Wipe either by double clicking the application icon on the desktop or from Programs list in Start menu. Application main window is as shown in Figure a.

How to Ensure Complete Destruction of Data from Hard Drive? - Wipe Data Main Screen

Figure a: Application Main Window

Step 2: Select the physical disk to erase complete hard disk or logical drive that has sensitive data to be erased and click Next button. As soon as you click Next button, a Window to select sanitizing methods is displayed as shown in Figure b.

How to Ensure Complete Destruction of Data from Hard Drive? - Wiping Options Screen

Figure b: Wiping Methods

Step 3: Select the appropriate sanitizing method and press Next button to erase the selected drive. As you click Next button, a Window asking for confirmation before start of the erasing process would be displayed. Click OK to continue the process. The utility would erase the selected drive and would display the message intimating the same.

FYI:
Once the data is completely erased using Drive Wipe, try to run Undelete software to confirm that your data has been completely destroyed beyond recovery.