Berlin developer O&O Software has launched O&O DiskErase 14.7.610, a brand new tool for securely wiping entire partitions and drives on Windows PCs.
The tool, spun off from the company’s SafeErase tool, focuses on providing users with a reliable, safe and simple way of erasing hard disks and even entire PCs before passing them on or disposing of them.
There are plenty of data-shredding tools on the market, but O&O DiskErase aims to stand apart with its simple user interface and ability to wipe an entire drive without having to fiddle around creating bootable media first.
You simply download the tool, choose which drives to wipe or – if you’re wiping an entire PC before passing it on or recycling it – flick the ‘Select all (TotalErase)’ switch and click Continue. Choose your level of security – from simple zeroes through various security levels from low to high – and make a note of the estimated time for the drive(s) to be wiped. The more secure the wipe, the slower the process.
Experts wishing to discover more information about what specific destruction techniques are used by each of the different security levels should consult page 26 of the online SafeErase manual.
Once you’ve picked your security level, click ‘Securely delete now’.
It goes without saying you’re going to lose everything on the selected drives or partitions, so make sure you have what you need before you begin – back up any data, deactivate any programs you’re transferring to another PC and avoid deleting any recovery partitions if the computer is going to a new home where they’re expecting a copy of Windows to be installed on it.
Given the destructive potential of the TotalErase option, it’s good that DiskErase requires a confirmation switch for external drives to be specifically toggled on (otherwise they’re left untouched). It also requires you to enter a security code before you can proceed to shred your hard drives.
Once done, let DiskErase reboot to finish the job. Worried about wear and tear on an SSD? Don’t: DiskErase includes SolidErase, a feature designed to minimise the drive’s wear while ensuring data has been scrubbed.
You can download a 30-day function-limited trial of O&O DiskErase 14.7.610 for PCs running Windows 8, 8.1 or 10. The full version costs $10/£8.25 for a single-computer license.