Looking to sell your old computer and clean up your hard drive before selling it? Whatever your reason, there are many programs that can help you not only erase data on your hard drive but also erase it in such a way that it can no longer be recovered. If you have a lot of sensitive information, it is highly recommended that you perform a Safe Hard Disk Erase.(5 Free Programs to Completely Wipe a Hard Drive)
Safe Erase basically does low-level formatting so that the entire disk is overwritten with zeros. Other software will write unnecessary data to disk multiple times, so there is no trace of what it used to be. In any case, no one will be able to get the original data from the hard drive, because it will completely disappear.
In this post, I will mention five fairly popular programs that you can use to properly erase your hard drive. There are so many good free software out there that you don’t have to spend money on activities such as cleaning up your hard drive. With free software, you will get pretty much the same results.
DBan (Darik’s Boots and Nuclear Bomb)
DBan (Darik’s Boot and Nuke)
This is probably the most popular program and is essentially a standalone boot disk. Create a bootable CD using CDBurnerXP or any other burning program you like and boot from the CD when prompted after restarting your computer.
You can choose from a variety of cleaning methods, including the US Department of Defense’s Gutmann Wipe, Short and Medium, among others. I have used this program several times and found that it does an excellent job of erasing data on a wide variety of hard drives. If for some reason DBan doesn’t work for you, you can try other programs listed below.
Disick was killed
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KillDisk comes in two flavors: free and professional. The pro version is definitely better than the DBan in terms of options, but not worth spending $ 40 or $ 50. In the free version, there is only one way to erase data on the hard drive (erase with zeroing in one pass), but it’s still good enough for a decent hard drive wipe. Definitely DBan is better as you can use DoD 5220.22-M protocol.
If you do buy the program, you will have an excellent set of 17 data deletion options:
You can use the program from Windows directly, through DOS, or use a bootable media so that you can erase any disk, be it Windows, Linux, OS X, etc. If you need to erase a large number of disks, it can be costly. Otherwise, the free version is fine.
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Another good free app is Disk Wipe. The only drawback is that this is a Windows application, so you have to run it from an existing operating system, whereas the other two mentioned above can be loaded using a CD or floppy disk. And since it is a Windows application, it can really only erase Windows formatted hard drives (NTFS, FAT32, FAT, etc.).
However, if this is not a problem for you, then the program is great! It’s portable and doesn’t require installation, so you can carry it around with you on a USB stick or just email yourself. It can erase hard drives, memory cards, SD cards, etc.
It also supports advanced algorithms such as DoD 5220-22.M, US Army and Peter Guttman.
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Another program similar to Disk Wipe is Eraser. Open source software and updated regularly. The latest version supports Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. The downside is again that it only supports the Windows operating system and can only erase data on drives that support Windows.
Eraser does not support as many complex algorithms as the other programs mentioned above and therefore is not the best option if you really need to safely erase data from your hard drive. This is a free option and it gets the job done, but there is a greater risk when using this program.
Hard Drive Low Level Format Tool
HDD low level format tool
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This program is free, but has a speed limit of about 180 GB per hour. If you spend a whopping $ 3, you can get the program with no speed limit. It supports SATA, IDE, SCSI, SAS, USB and Firewire drives, which is nice.
Again, like the last two mentioned, it only supports the Windows operating system, so if you have a hard drive from a different operating system, you will have to connect it to the Windows PC you are using.
Overall, your best options are DBan and KillDisk for truly cleaning any hard drive with the highest level of security. If this doesn’t work for you or is too expensive, you can try any of the other three programs mentioned.
Is there a program that you use to securely delete data? If so, leave a comment here and let us know. Enjoy!
5 Free Programs to Completely Wipe a Hard Drive