[Windows] Securely erase all data on hard drives, USB drives, or floppy disks with Active@ Killdisk

Do you want to delete things off your computer and external devices without any hope of it ever being recovered? Well now you can with Active@ Killdisk. This is a program that doesn’t just delete data off your hard disk; it destroys the data so that it can never be recovered. In short, it is the ultimate eraser.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

Active@ Killdisk is a program that is used to remove ALL of your data from a physical disk (internal or external). It can also be used to remove information off a USB device or floppy disk. (Do people still use those?!) The program does conform to the US Department of Defense’s cleaning and sanitizing standards so, once you delete something, that’s it; that information cannot be recovered (in most circumstances — maybe the NSA has some way to recover the data, who knows).

Take note Killdisk is not for securely erasing individual files — it is for securely erasing whole disks.

Pros

  • Uses ‘One Pass Zeros’ secure erasing method to ensure secure deletion of data
  • Can ‘Kill’ whole drives (erase all existing data and unallocated space) or’‘Wipe’ out all of the unused space on your drive (this function does not touch your existing data); ‘Wipe’ is used to make sure data you already deleted stays deleted while ‘Kill’ is to make sure everything is securely deleted
  • Has the ability to create bootable CD/DVD/USB for erasing/wiping drives without booting into Windows
  • Can erase or wipe multiple drives at a time

Cons

  • The free version only supports ‘One Pass Zeros’ method — you have to upgrade to the professional version to get 17 other erasing methods (including DoD 5220.22-M)
  • Free version supports only DOS-based bootable CD/DVD/USB — you need Pro for WinPE-based bootable CD/DVD/USB
  • Scan are a bit slower than expected

Discussion

Active@ KillDisk is one of those programs that the user has to be extremely careful with. If you are not, there is a good chance that you will delete everything on your computer with no hope of ever recovering it. This program is designed in a way that you can erase what’s on your hard drive and never get it back…ever.

The program is extremely strong. In fact, it conforms to the US Department of Defense’s cleaning and sanitizing standard. There are many reasons why you may want to use this program, but the best would be if you are selling your computer (or hard drives/media) or donating it. This program would allow you to erase everything on your computer (or hard drives/media), and you would not have to worry about it ever being recovered.

Now, I didn’t want to erase my hard drive (sorry guys, not even for the sake of the review), but I did get to test the program on one of my old USB drives. Needless to say, it removed everything from it. I tried using a recovery program to restore what was deleted, but had no success. It was as if nothing had ever been on that USB device.

Also, when scanning your hard drive, be prepared to wait a bit. The scan did take a bit longer than expected. However, it was faster than some other scans I have done before (like disk defragmenting).

Keep in mind that the link below is to the free version of this program. The biggest drawback to the free version is it only supports One Pass Zeroes erasing method. If you want more erasing methods, you will have to upgrade to the professional version of the program. Pro also you to perform data verification after erasing, send e-mail reports, and automatically shutdown PC after erasing has been completed.

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK

In short, if you are looking for a powerful program that will completely delete data from your computer, Active@ KillDisk is the program for you. Just be careful when using it. If you delete your hard disk and then go to recover it, you will have no success. This eraser is the real deal.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 7.0

Supported OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8

Download size: 19.7MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? No

Active@ KillDisk homepage

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10 comments

  1. Calgarian2012

    I simply use Hard Disk Scrubber for my daily usage. It doe’s everything Active@ Killdisk can do plus different erasure methods. For truly erasing drives that I am getting rid of Dban is the way to go.

  2. seley123456

    Hi,
    The program used in the above blog is really good to erase complete hard drive data. When the user wants to sell or dispose their computer then there comes a need of file shredder software to erase the data forever before handing it over to someone. You can also try File eraser tool to permanently wipe hard drive data from your computer. Below are the links of File eraser tool which you can go through.
    Page link: http://www.drivewipe.net/data.html
    Download link: http://www.drivewipe.net/download/drive-wipe.exe
    Thanks,

  3. Shawn

    In my complex I offer to recycle their gear as people in general are dumb and I hate it when I pick up a pc from the trash zone and the thing holds passwords and personal info…

    MY fetish is getting them to see what they left.. I’ve called a few people who left too much data and we’re thankful on the destruction of data.

  4. Rohit

    To delete individual or multiple files at a time I use TuneUp Shredder which comes with tune up utilities. It overwrites a file multiple times using specific data patterns before completely deleting it. To wipe out the whole hard disk i like to use DBAN or HDDerase.

  5. Godel

    From what I’ve heard HDDErase is a better option to the “wipe everything on disk” problems. It uses firmware routines built into all modern drives and even wipes bad sectors which programs like DBAN or Active@ KillDisk will miss.

    With modern hard disks one pass with zeros is probably enough. The bits are packed so tightly that there is no residual data to recover, even with fancy NSA, James Bond type schemes.

  6. Shawn

    @Tom

    Re-Use Dban and do a zero pass on it and wait for it to be done… that will resolve the issue.

    Hadf that happen once because I had stop doing it in the middle of the process… but after re-doing a zero pass the drive was working fine.

    Should that fail let me know the model of the HD I’m sure I can find you the right freeware to re-partition , re-format the drive.

  7. JonE

    I’ve been using CCleaner for a number of years, paired with CCEnhancer and with it’s Secure Deletion Options it does a pretty darn good job. And you can select individual files or folders you wish to have securely deleted (erased) or securely delete (erase) free space, on a particular drive. And I do believe that it will securely delete (erase) an entire drive if you so wish.

    But, for the things CCleaner won’t do, I have another piece of software that I’ve been using for nearly 12 years now named, “Evidence Eliminator”. And as a giant hush goes out across the audience I can hear them mumbling, “you use what???” I said, “Evidence Eliminator” (EE).

    I have no idea whether the accusations leveled against Robin Hood Software are true or untrue; what I do know is that “EE” is not Free, is quite expensive – some say overpriced and they may be right. I got it on sale nearly 12 years ago; it goes for somewhere around one hundred fifty U.S. Dollars today. I use it on an XP system and I don’t believe it will work on an Windows OS past XP.

    Past that what I do know is that EE just plain works and it is extremely fast, but like many software of it’s type it’s not for amateurs. What I mean is that it can ruin your day if you don’t know what you’re a doin. Early on I did accidentally wipe a drive with EE while experimenting and playing with the settings, but then there is nothing like practical experience.

    I will be getting a new computer sometime next year and that computer will have Windows 7 Pro and so I will need to find an alternative to EE then. Not getting rid of XP, but I’m thinking 7 will be my main OS. But if anyone knows of a reasonably priced forensic quality tool like EE that works with Windows 7 I’m open to suggestions.