- You or your organization could be at risk of losing data to others
- Your organization has to follow certain legal obligations
- Removal of data simply by data deletion or formatting of the digital storage devices is unsafe as others could recover and use the data for their personal or organizational profit or harm you or organizations’ repute.
Therefore, it is imperative to use a reliable and effective data erasure software that can help you remove data completely from storage devices before disposing of them off to a third-party or individual.
A Few Windows Data Erasure Software
There exists several data erasure software that can totally remove data from data storage devices such as hard drives, SSDs, SD cards, pen drives, other USBs, etc. The following are the notable ones:
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1. Darik’s Boot and Nuke – Popularly known as DBAN, Darik’s Boot and Nuke by Geep (now bought by Blancco) is a free data erasure software devised for use by individuals. It is suitable for home use for anyone wanting to erase a hard drive as an open source project. It is a self-contained boot disk that completely wipes the hard disk of PCs and laptops in a safe and secure manner making it a perfect software for bulk or emergency data erasure. Moreover, you do not have to do anything as it automatically deletes the data of any hard drive that it can detect. Hence, by using it, you can prevent identity theft before recycling a computer.
This software can also remove malicious codes such as viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, and Trojan attack from systems running on Windows OS. It works by writing an ISO to a CD or USB and then it is used to boot into the software. It supports sanitation standards such as Gutmann, DoD 5220.2M, and NIST 800-88, etc. which offer a log for data erasure.
- Sanitizes ATA, SATA, and SCSI hard drives
- Does not support SSDs
- No updates or support provided
2. Disk Wipe – Known for permanent partition data destruction, systems such Disk Wipe is a 1.05 MB sized freeware software under EULA license. It is a portable Windows-based software that can remove all partitions of your hard drive forever without any scope for recovery. It can also sanitize other storage devices such as external hard drives, USB sticks, memory cards, SD Cards, Flash drives, and other portable storage devices be it at home or office. It supports popular Win systems such as NTFS, FAT, and FAT32.
Further, as it includes a number of advanced erasure algorithms such as DoD 5220-22.M, U.S Army, and Peter Guttman, etc. It can wipe data safely and securely by filling the space in partitions with random binary (zeroes 0’s and ones 1’s) data several times. Moreover, it does not try to connect to the remote server and does not send any information over the Internet, thus providing more safety and security.
- Small in size and light-weight
- Does not contain adware or malware
- Freeware for both personal and commercial use
- Uses quick format before wiping for faster performance
- Maintains the privacy of your data
- Does not work with primary hard drives
3. BitRaser –A certified data erasure by Stellar Data Recovery, BitRaser completely wipes data from hard drives, supports several drive types such as SATA, SSD, SAS, SCSI, IDE, USB, and PATA. Plus, it can erase multiple drives simultaneously, supports 24 international erasure standards including DoD 3 passes/7 Passes & NIST, and offers a broad range of audit trails, reporting, and certification. Further, it facilitates adding up to 5 customized erasure algorithms. All these features make BitRaser a high-end utility that can be used to permanently erase data from storage devices beyond the possibility of recovery.
- Fast and efficient
- Offers low operational cost
- Exceedingly safe and secure
- Mitigate risks involved with breach of confidential data
- May require support
4. Secure Erase– Secure Erase by Parted Magic is a data erasure utility that can erase data from both hard disk drives (HDDs) and Solid State Drives (SSDs). It is a free, powerful, easy-to-use, and effective utility that requires DOS boot media to run and erase data from the storage devices; however, the downside is that its production was closed in 2008, thus, posing compatibility challenges.
- Works well with SSDs
- Not new and thus has compatibility issues with new releases
5. [email protected] Disk – Hard Drive Eraser – The hard drive eraser is a free-of-cost utility by [email protected] Disk for completely erasing hard disk drives. More importantly, as it adheres to United States Department of Defense standards (DoD 5220.22M) for the removal of hard drive data, it is completely safe and secure. Also, once the process is completed, it generates a certificate of completion.
- Works with SSDs as well
- Highly secured
- Complete solution
Now that you are aware of the features as well as Pros and Cons of the notable 5 data erasure for Windows in 2021, you can choose any that meets your requirements to wipe of data from your storage device. For instance, when you wish to donate your IT asset, return your leased IT asset, or simply wish to dispose of as it has become old. This software approach is better than other data erasing techniques like physical destruction, degaussing, shredding and thus makes it truly an Eco-friendly and sustainable way of data deletion.