Securely erase entire hard drive with HDShredder free edition

HDShredder is a data wiping utility available in five versions, the free HDShredder version is adequate for home users discarding a computer or wanting to reinstall the operating system making sure that no traces of past activities are left behind.

After downloading the .iso HDShredder needs to be burned to a CD, making it bootable, the software is independent of the operating system, partition layout and file system being used,  it can be employed as an alternative to DBAN with a more user friendly interface, but unlike DBAN, data wiping patterns do not use an international deletion standard, only the HDShredder Standard paid for version does.

HDShredder Free Edition deletion pattern

HDShredder Free Edition deletion pattern

How secure is a single pass data wiping?

Well known computer scientist Peter Guttman presented a paper in 2001 suggesting that an adversary with a electronic microscope (normally only available to highly funded experts with state resources), could find a way to recover previously overwritten data, this lead to subsequent criticism and is open to debate as the paper lacked real examples of substantial previously wiped data having been recovered, but what should be sure is that your next door neighbour using a free undelete utility will be thwarted by HDShredder free edition, if you want to stop a Government from recovering your wiped data then use DBAN or HDShredder Standard Edition.

HDShredder covers entire drive deletion, external or internal hard disk, including the operating system inner workings like registry and temporary folders, Internet history and downloads, typical data mines for computer forensics investigators and identity thieves alike. The software can be used to securely erase more than use disk at once, using the multishred feature, before wiping you will be able to see basic details, like hard disk serial number, brand and controller, time left to securely overwrite the hard disk will be shown in a green progress bar.

The free edition does not support media bigger than 2TB, but it is highly unusual to find a computer with a HDD bigger than 2TB as drives that size are not supported by 32bit operating systems, and 3TB hard disks have only recently been released.

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Note: This program can not be used to erase single partitions, single files or single folders, it only performs full hard drive sanitation.