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Hardwipe Portable 5.1.4

Ensure that the data you delete from your hard drive stays deleted

by Bob Thornton

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (64 bit)
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 21 March 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1896
Developer: Big Angry Dog Ltd
RSS News Feed: http://www.bigangrydog.com/news.html
Back up your data with Acronis True Image 2016 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $29.99, saving 40%, from store.downloadcrew.com
Hardwire Portable
Securely delete the contents of your hard drive with Hardwipe

The fact that it is possible to recover files that have been deleted, or even recover files from a hard drive that has been formatted is unlikely to be news to a lot of computer users. Data recovery tools are now easier to use than ever and while these can be useful when you need to restore files that you have accidentally deleted, the same tools could also be used against you to recover private files from a hard drive you thought had been wiped.

Hardwipe is a free tool that can be used to ensure that the files you delete remain deleted, by first deleting and then overwriting files with random data. Depending on the sensitivity of your data, or the amount of time you have available, you can choose to overwrite your files with random data up to 35 times - this is the industry-standard Gutmann method. The technique can be used to mot only wipe all kinds of hard drive, but also memory cards and USB drives.

This is very useful for any selling a computer or passing on a hard drive, but the program also proves useful for anyone who shares a computer with others and wants to ensure that deleted data does not fall into the wrong hands. This option presents itself in two ways – the ability to wipe individual files and folders in much the same way as wiping an entire drive, and wiping free space to remove traces of other files that have been used.

The main program interface makes the wiping process incredibly simple, but there is also Explorer integration that means it is possible to securely delete files from the context menu. The program also gives you the option of wiping the contents of Windows’ swap file which can reveal a great deal of information about what you have been using your computer for. As some of the wiping operations can be quite lengthy, the ability to automatically shut down your computer on completion is very welcome.

Note that this is the portable version of Hardwipe.

Version 5.1.4 brings these changes:

- The portable edition is now available in both 64 and 32 variants.
- Additionally, command line only downloads are available. These can be found on the Portable Edition page.
- Added command line option to input license key via the command line. Previously, this could only be done using the GUI.

Verdict:

A valuable security tool which should put your mind at rest when it comes to deleting files.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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