FREE Software to “Hard Wipe” and Permanently Erase Data on Hard Drives and Portable Media

The day will come when you will replace your tech toys; and, when I say tech toys I am talking about your desktop computer, notebook, smartphone, flash drive, tablet, etc…  When that time comes it will become necessary to erase the data (personal files, pictures, music, etc…) from those toys. Failure to “permanently” erase the data or sanitize the media source, in these devices, can easily result in your privacy being compromised.  Simply deleting files, by normal means, will not cut it.

You are probably thinking I suffer from paranoia, and that it is next to impossible to retrieve files from media after the files have been deleted.  I can tell you from experience, by using recovery software that it is easily obtainable on the internet, I have retrieved deleted files from hard drives (even dead hard drives) and have been especially successful in retrieving files from the non-moving type of drives and media such as flash drives, camera cards, SSD drives and even smartphones. Yes, even smartphones…  If it can be connected to a PC and shows up as drive, the data can be recovered even after you have deleted it.

There are numerous popular software options available that you can use to sanitize a drive; however, I found a new kid on the block called Hardwipe that I am currently keeping an eye on.  As a matter of fact Hardwipe is in active development, but has already become a worthy contender in my book.

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Hardwipe can be used as  standalone application from the Windows Start Menu or you can use it from within Windows Explorer by right-clicking on file system items and selecting the appropriate Hardwipe menu command. The developers of Hardwipe aspire to become a  leading data sanitization software solution. See their White Paper on Data Sanitization, Recovery & Security

Hardwipe lets you do the following:

  • Easily wipe entire drives and portable devices.
  • Wipe individual files or clean empty drive space of remanent data.
  • Right-click within Windows Explorer for Hardwipe commands.

Features also include:

  • Efficient — Hardwipe is fast in comparison other data wiping software.
  • Intelligent use of disk cache allows your computer to remain responsive during lengthy disk operations.
  • Automatic computer shutdown when wiping is complete.
  • Supports all major data wiping schemes, including: GOST R 50739-95, DOD 5220.22-M, Schneier & Gutmann.

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