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40 Free Data Destruction Software Programs


Completely free disk wipe and hard drive eraser software utilities

by Tim Fisher
Updated June 10, 2019
39

Data destruction software, sometimes called data sanitization software, disk wipe software, or
hard drive eraser software, is a software-based method of completely erasing the data from a
hard drive.

When you delete files and then empty the Recycle Bin, you don't actually erase the information,
you just delete the reference to it so that the operating system can't find it. All the data is still
there and, unless it's overwritten, can be easily recovered using file recovery software.

Data destruction software, however, truly does erase the data. Each data destruction program
utilizes one or more data sanitization methods that can permanently overwrite the information
on the drive.

If you need to remove all traces of a virus or you're planning on recycling or disposing of your
hard drive or computer, wiping your hard drive using data destruction software is the best way
to protect yourself.

Data destruction software is just one of several ways to completely erase a hard drive. Also, if a
complete hard drive wipe isn't what you're after, check out our free file shredder software list for
programs better suited for individual file destruction.

Below is a list of the best, completely free data destruction software programs available today:

01 of 40
DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke)

Our Review of DBAN

Darik's Boot And Nuke, usually referred to as DBAN, is the best free data destruction software
available.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, Gutmann, Random Data, Write
Zero

DBAN is freely available in a ready-to-go ISO format, so all you need to do is burn it to a CD or
flash drive and then boot from it. The DBAN program's menu interface is also very easy to use.

DBAN is an open source project and a great tool that should certainly be your first choice if
wanting to completely erase a hard drive. However, you should know that it does not support
SSDs.

Because DBAN works from outside of the operating system, it can work with any version of any
OS, like Windows, macOS, etc.

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40 Free Data Destruction Software Programs
Completely free disk wipe and hard drive eraser software utilities

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A burning disk drive that represents the destruction of the data stored on that disk.

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Windows Only
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by Tim Fisher
Updated June 10, 2019
39

Data destruction software, sometimes called data sanitization software, disk wipe software, or
hard drive eraser software, is a software-based method of completely erasing the data from a
hard drive.

When you delete files and then empty the Recycle Bin, you don't actually erase the information,
you just delete the reference to it so that the operating system can't find it. All the data is still
there and, unless it's overwritten, can be easily recovered using file recovery software.

Data destruction software, however, truly does erase the data. Each data destruction program
utilizes one or more data sanitization methods that can permanently overwrite the information
on the drive.

If you need to remove all traces of a virus or you're planning on recycling or disposing of your
hard drive or computer, wiping your hard drive using data destruction software is the best way
to protect yourself.

Data destruction software is just one of several ways to completely erase a hard drive. Also, if a
complete hard drive wipe isn't what you're after, check out our free file shredder software list for
programs better suited for individual file destruction.

Below is a list of the best, completely free data destruction software programs available today:

01 of 40
DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke)
Screenshot of DBAN, Darik's Boot and Nuke
Our Review of DBAN

Darik's Boot And Nuke, usually referred to as DBAN, is the best free data destruction software
available.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, Gutmann, Random Data, Write
Zero

DBAN is freely available in a ready-to-go ISO format, so all you need to do is burn it to a CD or
flash drive and then boot from it. The DBAN program's menu interface is also very easy to use.
DBAN is an open source project and a great tool that should certainly be your first choice if
wanting to completely erase a hard drive. However, you should know that it does not support
SSDs.

Because DBAN works from outside of the operating system, it can work with any version of any
OS, like Windows, macOS, etc.
Download DBAN
https://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/

02 of 40
CBL Data Shredder
Screenshot of CBL Data Shredder
CBL Data Shredder (Bootable Disc).
Our Review of CBL Data Shredder

CBL Data Shredder comes in two forms: you can either boot from it via a disc or USB stick (like
with DBAN) or use it from within Windows like a regular program.

To erase the hard drive that's running an operating system, you're required to boot to the
program, whereas deleting another internal or external drive can be done with the Windows
version.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, RMCP DSX, Schneier, VSITR

In addition to the above, you can create your own custom method to include 1s, 0s, random
data, or custom text with a custom number of passes.

The bootable version tells you how large each drive is but that's about the only identifiable
information given, whereas the Windows version makes it easier to know what drive you're
about to wipe clean.

The Windows version of CBL Data Shredder works with Windows XP through Windows 10.
Download CBL Data Shredder
http://www.cbldatarecovery.com/data-shredder/

03 of 40
MHDD
Screenshot of MHDD
Our Review of MHDD

MHDD is another data destruction tool that utilizes Secure Erase to erase both mechanical and
solid state hard drives.

The thing I like best about MHDD is the variety of easy-to-use forms that it's downloadable in.
You can download an ISO file for disc or flash drive booting, a floppy image, the program itself
ready for your own boot disk, and more.

Data Sanitization Methods: Secure Erase

There is plenty of documentation, a FAQ, and even a forum for the MHDD data destruction
program, all accessible from their download page.

Like the bootable data destruction programs from above, MHDD can erase any hard drive so long
as you use a working operating system to burn the program to a disc/floppy/drive.
Download MHDD

MHDD only utilizes the Secure Erase method for data destruction if you use the FASTERASE
option available in the program.

https://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/

04 of 40
PCDiskEraser
Screenshot of PCDiskEraser - Data Destruction Software
Our Review of PCDiskEraser

PCDiskEraser is a free data destruction program that runs before the computer boots up, like
DBAN and the other programs from above.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M

Using PCDiskEraser is really easy because you simply select the disk that should be erased,
confirm the selection, and then PCDiskEraser immediately begins shredding the whole disk.
Download PCDiskEraser

I was unable to use my mouse in PCDiskEraser even though a cursor was available. I had to use
the tab and space keys to move around within the program, which wasn't a huge concern but did
make using it a little harder than it had to be.

www.pcdiskeraser.com/download/PCDiskEraser.iso

05 of 40
KillDisk
Screenshot of the KillDisk Boot Disk preparing to wipe a hard drive
Our Review of KillDisk

Active KillDisk is a freeware, scaled-down version of the KillDisk Pro data destruction tool.

Data Sanitization Methods: Write Zero

Like the above bootable data destruction software, you can download a simple ISO file for
burning to disc or USB drive. You can also install a regular application to run KillDisk from within
the OS.

KillDisk works with both regular hard drives and solid state drives.

Unfortunately, some of KillDisk's settings work only in the professional version.

KillDisk works in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. There's also a Linux and Mac version available.
Download KillDisk
http://killdisk.com/killdisk-freeware.htm

06 of 40
Format Command With Write Zero Option
Screenshot of Format Write Zero in Command Prompt From System Recovery Disc - Data
Destruction Software
Our Review of Format Write Zero in Command Prompt From System Recovery Disc.

Beginning in Windows Vista, the format command was granted the ability to write zeros during
the format, giving the command basic data destruction abilities.

Data Sanitization Methods: Write Zero

Since all Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista users already have the format
command at their disposal, this is a quick and effective data destruction method. Granted, you
won't be able to satisfy some stringent data sanitization standards, but if that's not a concern
then this option is perfect.

The format command included with Windows XP and prior operating systems does not support
this option. However, there is a way to use this method on a computer with Windows XP if you
have access to another computer with Windows 7, 8, or 10.
How to Use the Format Command to Write Zeros to a Hard Drive
The instructions I link to here explain how to use the format command either as a data
destruction tool from a bootable disc, enabling you to completely erase the primary drive, or as
a way to erase any other drive from Command Prompt from within Windows.

07 of 40
Macrorit Data Wiper
Screenshot of Macrorit Data Wiper v3.2.1 in Windows 8
Our Review of Macrorit Data Wiper

Macrorit Data Wiper is different than the above programs in that it doesn't run from a bootable
disc. Instead, it's a portable program that you must open from your computer like you would a
regular program.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, DoD 5220.28-STD, Random Data, Write Zero

The program has a very nice look to it and is super easy to use. Just select a hard drive (regular
or SSD) that should be erased and choose a wiping method. Click the large Wipe Now button,
type "WIPE" in the box to confirm you want to continue, and then click Start to begin the
process.

Windows is the only supported operating system, and because you have to run Macrorit Data
Wiper from the hard drive, you're unable to use it to wipe the primary drive.

I tested Macrorit Data Wiper in Windows 10 and Windows 8, but it also works in Windows 7,
Vista, XP, and Server 2008 and 2003.
Download Macrorit Data Wiper
https://macrorit.com/data-wiper-download.html

08 of 40
Eraser
Screenshot of Eraser - Data Destruction Software
Our Review of Eraser

Eraser is pretty easy to use and serves as a well-designed data destruction program with some
unique features.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, AFSSI-5020, AR 380-19, RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, HMG
IS5, VSITR, GOST R 50739-95, Gutmann, Schneier, Random Data

As far as advanced options go, Eraser wins the data destruction competition hands down. With
Eraser, you can schedule data destruction with all the precision you'd expect with any scheduling
tool.

This program should work with both traditional drives and SSDs.

Because Eraser runs from within Windows, you can not use the program to erase the drive that
Windows runs on, usually C. Use a bootable data destruction software program from this list or
see How to Format C for other options.

Eraser works in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. Eraser also works on Windows Server 2008 R2,
2008, and 2003.
Download Eraser
https://sourceforge.net/projects/eraser/

09 of 40
Freeraser
Screenshot of Freeraser in Windows 10
Freeraser v1.0.0.23.
Our Review of Freeraser

Freeraser, very much unlike some of the other programs on this list, is a full-fledged Windows
application, complete with a setup wizard and Start Menu icons.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data

I like Freeraser so much because it's incredibly easy to use. It places a Recycle Bin-like icon on
your desktop, so you just need to drag all of a drive's files/folders into the bin for everything,
subfolders and all, to be forever erased from your computer.

Freeraser can only delete files from a whole hard drive if it's connected over USB. Internal hard
drives are not supported.

Freeraser can also be used as a portable program by choosing that option during setup.

Freeraser works with Windows 10 through Windows XP.


Download Freeraser
https://freeraser.en.uptodown.com/windows/download

10 of 40
Disk Wipe
Screenshot of Disk Wipe - Data Destruction Software
Our Review of Disk Wipe
Disk Wipe is a completely portable data destruction tool that you run from within Windows.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, GOST R 50739-95, Gutmann, HMG IS5, Random
Data, Write Zero

Disk Wipe is really easy to use because it walks you through a wizard to perform the data wipe.
Because it requires the OS to be running to work, it can't be used to erase the drive you have
Windows running on, but it should work just fine for other mechanical and solid state drives.

Disk Wipe is said to work only in Windows Vista and XP, but I tested it in Windows 10 and
Windows 8 without any issues.
Download Disk Wipe
http://www.diskwipe.org/download.php

11 of 40
Hardwipe
Screenshot of Hardwipe in Windows 7
Our Review of Hardwipe.

Hardwipe is another data destruction program that runs from inside Windows. You can clean
free space or even wipe an entire drive (SSD or traditional), so long as it's not your primary drive.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, GOST R 50739-95, Gutmann, Random Data,
Schneier, VSITR, Write Zero

Hardwipe is easy for anyone to use. Just load the drive that should be cleaned and choose a data
sanitization method that should be used.

Hardwipe works with all the most recent versions of Windows, from Windows XP to Windows
10.
Download Hardwipe
http://www.hardwipe.com/download.html

A small advertisement is always displayed in the program, but it’s not too intrusive.

12 of 40
Secure Eraser
Screenshot of Secure Eraser v5.000 in Windows 8
Our Review of Secure Eraser
Secure Eraser is a software suite that serves not only as a registry cleaner but also as a data
destruction tool.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data, VSITR

After selecting the drive or partition that should be wiped, just click Start deletion to choose one
of the above methods.

After Secure Eraser has done its job, you can set it to reboot the computer, exit, or shutdown the
computer.

Because Secure Eraser runs from within Windows, you can't use it to erase the hard drive that
it's installed to (like the C drive). However, it does work with both traditional HDDs and SSDs, as
well as USB-connected storage devices.

Secure Eraser can be installed on Windows 10 through Windows XP, as well as Windows Server
2012, 2008, and 2003.
Download Secure Eraser

Secure Eraser attempts to install another program during setup that you must deselect if you
don't want it.

https://www.ascomp.de/en/products/show/product/secureeraser/tab/description

13 of 40
PrivaZer
Screenshot of PrivaZer in Windows 8
Our Review of PrivaZer.

PrivaZer is a PC cleaner that can also securely delete all the files/folders from a hard drive. Right-
click context menu integration is permitted as well as some unique wiping methods you won't
find in many of the other programs listed here.

To use PrivaZer to wipe away a whole drive, choose Delete without a trace from the dropdown
menu, select Sensitive directories, click Ok, and then choose the hard drive. It works with
mechanical drives and SSDs.

Data Sanitization Methods: AFSSI-5020, AR 380-19, DoD 5220.22-M, IREC (IRIG) 106, NAVSO P-
5239-26, NISPOMSUP Chapter 8 Section 8-501, NSA Manual 130-2, Write Zero

These methods can be changed by clicking the See advanced options link on the Delete without
leaving a trace window before starting.

A portable version is also available from the download page.

Because PrivaZer can do many other privacy cleaning tasks like deleting old files and erasing
internet activity traces, it can be a confusing process to use just the data wipe feature.

PrivaZer works in 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Download PrivaZer
https://privazer.com/en/download.php#.XRd6lrixXIX

14 of 40
PC Shredder
Screenshot of PC Shredder 1.1 in Windows
Our Review of PC Shredder

PC Shredder is a small, portable data wipe tool that runs like any other software in Windows.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data

I like that PC Shredder is portable and has a simple interface. It doesn't seem apparent that you
can wipe an entire disk, but if you choose Add Folder, you can simply select a disk and it will
erase everything that’s on it.

PC Shredder is said to work in only Windows Vista and XP, but I didn't have any problems using it
with Windows 10.
Download PC Shredder
http://www.pcshredder.com/

15 of 40
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition
Screenshot of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition in Windows 7
Our Review of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition is a free disk partitioning tool for Windows that
includes a disk wipe feature for both traditional and solid state drives.

Data Sanitization Methods: Write Zero

To wipe an entire disk with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition, just select any disk from
the panel to the right and then click Wipe Partition from the Partition menu option.
This program is primarily used as a disk management program, so finding the data wipe feature
among all the other settings can be a little daunting. However, you must confirm every operation
you try to perform, so it’s hard to accidentally cause harm to any files.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition

On the final download page, be sure to choose the link that says "External mirror 1" and not a
trial or "full version" link.

https://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Hard-Disk-Utils/Partition-Assistant-Home-Edition.shtml

16 of 40
Remo Drive Wipe
Screenshot of Remo Drive Wipe - Data Destruction Software
Our Review of Remo Drive Wipe

Remo Drive Wipe is a nice looking data destruction program that runs inside Windows. You can
wipe an entire disk with one of three different sanitization methods.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Random Data, Write Zero

Remo Drive Wipe is a pretty simple program. It walks you through a type of wizard where you
select the drive to wipe and then choose a deletion method.

Remove Drive Wipe is said to work in Windows 10 down through Windows XP, as well as
Windows Server 2012/2008/2003. I tested it in Windows 8 without any issues.
Download Remo Drive Wipe
https://www.remosoftware.com/thank-you-for-downloading-dw

17 of 40
CCleaner
Screenshot of the data destruction software CCleaner
Our Review of CCleaner

While CCleaner is normally used as a system cleaner to remove temporary Windows files and
other internet or cache files, it also contains a tool that can wipe free disk space or completely
destroy all the data on a drive.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Schneier, Write Zero


CCleaner works from within the operating system, so it can't wipe the data off the same drive
that Windows is installed to. However, it can wipe the free space of that drive.

You can choose more than one drive at once for CCleaner to wipe them all consecutively. It
supports both SSDs and mechanical drives.

Once CCleaner is opened, go to the “Tools” section and then select “Drive Wiper” to access this
data wiping feature. Be sure to choose "Entire Drive" from the dropdown menu.

CCleaner can be installed to Windows 10 through Windows XP.


Download CCleaner
https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/builds

18 of 40
File Shredder
Screenshot of File Shredder
Our Review of File Shredder

File Shredder is a data destruction tool that can erase a disk full of files by simply adding the
drive's contents to the program. It recognizes both traditional and solid state drives.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data, Write Zero

File Shredder isn't as easy to use as some of these programs because you can't drag the drive
itself into the program. Instead, you have to drag and drop all the files and folders you want to
delete.

However, you can grab the contents from the root of the drive and drop them into File Shredder.

File Shredder works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Windows Server 2008.
Download File Shredder
http://fileshredder.org/

19 of 40
Hard Drive Eraser
Screenshot of Hard Drive Eraser
Our Review of Hard Drive Eraser

Hard Drive Eraser is a portable program that can wipe all the data off of a secondary hard drive.
Data Sanitization Methods: AR 380-19, DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Write Zero

The program is very easy to use. Just choose the drive, select one of the methods from above,
and choose the file system that the drive should end up being.

This data wiping program works with both SSDs and mechanical HDDs.

Hard Drive Eraser is said to work with Windows Vista and XP only, but I could also use it just fine
in both Windows 10 and Windows 8.
Download Hard Drive Eraser
http://www.harddriveeraser.org/download.php

20 of 40
Super File Shredder
Screenshot of Super File Shredder
Our Review of Super File Shredder

Super File Shredder is easy to use data destruction program that supports drag and drop to
quickly delete entire hard drives, both SSDs and traditional hard drives.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data, Write Zero

Just start by choosing a sanitization method from the settings, and then add the entire hard drive
to the queue or drag and drop it from Windows Explorer. Like many of these data destruction
programs later in this list, Super File Shredder can only wipe drives other than the one you're
using.

Super File Shredder works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Download Super File Shredder
http://www.kakasoft.com/file-shredder/
http://www.kakasoft.com/products.html

21 of 40
TweakNow SecureDelete
Screenshot of TweakNow SecureDelete - Data Destruction Software
Our Review of TweakNow SecureDelete

TweakNow SecureDelete has a nice, clean interface with simple buttons. It’s really easy to wipe
clean entire hard drives with this program.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data


Like many similar programs from this list, TweakNow SecureDelete lets you drag and drop files
and folders directly into the program to remove them. If you're erasing an entire hard drive, drag
everything over, subfolders and all.

TweakNow SecureDelete is said to work only with Windows 7, Vista, and XP. However, I tested it
in Windows 10 and Windows 8 without any issues.
Download TweakNow SecureDelete
http://www.tweaknow.com/SecureDelete.php

22 of 40
MiniTool Drive Wipe
Screenshot of MiniTool Drive Wipe
Our Review of MiniTool Drive Wipe

MiniTool Drive Wipe is a small, simple program that runs from inside Windows like a regular
program.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, DoD 5220.28-STD, Write Zero

MiniTool Drive Wipe is easy to use. Just select whether you want to wipe a partition or whole
disk and then choose a sanitization method. There aren't any unnecessary tools or settings that
can be confusing.

You can use this program on both traditional and solid state drives.

MiniTool Drive Wipe can run on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Windows 2000 is also supported.
Download MiniTool Drive Wipe
https://www.partitionwizard.com/comparison.html
https://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html

23 of 40
XT File Shredder Lizard
XT File Shredder Lizard - Data Destruction Software
Our Review of XT File Shredder Lizard

XT File Shredder Lizard is another data destruction program that works in all the newer versions
of Windows, like Windows 7 and Windows 10, and probably older ones, too.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Random Data, Write Zero


To wipe a whole hard drive of its data, simply choose to add a folder and then select the root of
the drive you wish to securely erase. If that doesn't work, add all the root folders, but just not
the actual drive letter.

You can erase files on both SSDs and traditional hard drives.

The program is a bit outdated, and therefore is a little different to move around in.
Download XT File Shredder Lizard
http://www.lizard-labs.com/xt_file_shredder_lizard.aspx

24 of 40
Free File Shredder
Screenshot of Free File Shredder
Our Review of Free File Shredder

Free File Shredder is a data wiping program that has a few unique options and walks you through
a wizard to securely delete files on a hard drive.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data

This program is very easy to use. Start by choosing Folder and then selecting the root of the drive
you wish to delete. Then choose one of the sanitization methods and how many times you want
the method to be repeated before stopping.

Because Free File Shredder works from inside the Windows operating system, you can't use it to
remove files you're currently using. This means you can't use it to erase the primary drive that
has Windows installed.

Free File Shredder is said to run on Windows 8, 7, and XP, but I was able to use it as advertised
on Windows 10 as well.
Download Free File Shredder
http://www.file-shredder.net/

25 of 40
WipeDisk
Screenshot of WipeDisk
Our Review of WipeDisk

WipeDisk is a portable hard drive wiper that's pretty easy to use and supports several data wipe
methods. It works by selecting a drive and then choosing a wipe method.
Data Sanitization Methods: Bit Toggle, DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, MS Cipher, Random Data,
Write Zero

You can log activities to a file, optionally wipe just the free space, and choose custom text to use
for overwriting data.

After clicking Wipe, you must read and confirm a four character code to ensure you really want
to use WipeDisk to erase all the files, which is a handy obstacle used to avoid accidentally
erasing a whole hard drive.

I tested WipeDisk on Windows 10 and Windows 8, but it should also run on previous versions of
Windows too.
Download WipeDisk

WipeDisk defaults to German when it's first opened, but it can be easily changed from the Extras
menu. Also, the download is a RAR file, which means you need an unzip utility like 7-Zip to
extract out the program.

https://download.cnet.com/WipeDisk/3000-2094_4-75449927.html

26 of 40
Free EASIS Data Eraser
Screenshot of Free EASIS Data Eraser
Our Review of Free EASIS Data Eraser

Free EASIS Data Eraser is another data destruction program that's super simple to use.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data, Schneier, VSITR, Write
Zero

When you first open the program, select any hard drive from the top list and then choose the
partitions you wish to wipe data from.

Unfortunately, I've found that clicking the Abort button to stop a wipe results in strange
behavior. The program shuts down but then appears to still be in progress when it's reopened. It
seems you must restart the computer to return Free EASIS Data Eraser to its regular state.
Fortunately, though, the data is still destroyed effectively.

Free EASIS Data Eraser officially supports Windows 7 through Windows 2000, but I was also able
to get it to run without issues on Windows 10 and Windows 8.
Download Free EASIS Data Eraser

27 of 40
Puran Wipe Disk
Screenshot of Puran Wipe Disk
Our Review of Puran Wipe Disk. © Puran Software

Puran Wipe Disk is a super simple program that can wipe all the files and folders on a drive.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Schneier, Write Zero

Both internal and external drives are compatible and you have the option to wipe just the free
space or the entire disk.

Like other non-bootable, installable programs in this list, you won't be able to use this program
to wipe your C drive.

Puran Wipe Disk works in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Windows Server 2008 and
2003.
Download Puran Wipe Disk

28 of 40
BitKiller
Screenshot of BitKiller in Windows 8
Our Review of BitKiller

As one of the more simpler data destruction programs, BitKiller lets you add an entire hard drive
to the list of files to destroy without any extra options or buttons to make things confusing. Plus,
it's completely portable.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data, Write Zero

Because there isn't a "hard drive" section to BitKiller, you need to choose Add Folder and then
select the hard drive you want to erase.

Something I don't like about BitKiller is that you can't cancel the file shredding once it has
started. There is a cancel button but it's not clickable once you've began deleting a hard drive.

I tested BitKiller in Windows 10 and Windows 8, so it should also work in older Windows
versions.
Download BitKiller
BitKiller runs from inside the OS, which means you can't use it to erase the hard drive that you're
using to run Windows. To erase the C drive, you'll need to choose one of the programs from the
beginning of this list that boots from a disc.

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Simple File Shredder
Screenshot of Simple File Shredder 3.2
Our Review of Simple File Shredder

It's easy to erase a whole hard drive with Simple File Shredder because it's as straightforward as
browsing for the drive and clicking Shred Now.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data

If you choose the Random Data wipe method, you can choose how many times (1-3) you want
the data overwritten.

Drag and drop and Windows context menu integration is supported, as well as password
protection for the whole program.

Simple File Shredder performs just as the name suggests - it's very easy to use and isn't as
complicated as some of the others on this list.

I was able to get Simple File Shredder to work only in Windows XP.
Download Simple File Shredder

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Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free
Screenshot of Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free File Wiper in Windows 10
Our Review of Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free File Wiper

Several diagnostic, cleaning, and optimization tools are included in Ashampoo WinOptimizer
Free, and one of them is made specifically for erasing data from a hard drive.

Ashampoo WinOptimizer's mini program, called File Wiper, lets you erase the contents of a hard
drive by choosing to load a folder, and it can also erase the contents of the Recycle Bin using any
of the sanitization methods from below.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Write Zero


In the options menu, you can optionally choose to keep empty folders after wiping a hard drive
and/or to rename files/folders before wiping them, which can provide greater privacy.

File Wiper is located in Modules > Privacy & security.

Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free officially works with just Windows 7, Vista, and XP. However, I
used it in Windows 10 without any problems, so it should also work in other versions of
Windows.
Download Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free

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AbsoluteShield File Shredder
Screenshot of AbsoluteShield File Shredder
Our Review of AbsoluteShield File Shredder

AbsoluteShield File Shredder is another data destruction program that's much like the others in
this list. To remove all the data on a hard drive, just go to the File menu, choose Add Folder, and
then select the root of the hard drive.

Data Sanitization Methods: Schneier, Write Zero

Instead of deleting a hard drive's files by opening the program first, you can do so from the right-
click context menu in Windows Explorer by right-clicking any hard drive and choose
AbsoluteShield File Shredder from the menu.

I tested AbsoluteShield File Shredder in Windows 10 and Windows XP, so it should also work
with Windows 8, 7, and Vista.
Download AbsoluteShield File Shredder

The shredding method can be changed from the Action menu.

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DP Secure WIPER (DPWipe)
Screenshot of DPWipe in Windows XP
Our Review of DPWipe

DP Secure WIPER (DPWipe) is a small portable tool that works by dragging and dropping a disk
drive onto the program and clicking Start wiping to completely erase all the files.

You can also enter the path of the drive into the text area.
Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Write Zero

In addition to the above, you can also set DPWipe to clean a hard drive using no special method,
which results in a simple, non-secure normal delete.

DPWipe doesn't delete folders when wiping a drive. All the files inside the folders are removed
just fine, but the folders themselves will remain.

I was able to get DPWipe to work in Windows 10 and Windows XP, which means it will likely
work in Windows 8, 7, and Vista as well.
Download DP Secure WIPER

To install DP Secure WIPER to a portable location, be sure to change the default install directory
during setup. Alternatively, you can use 7-Zip to extract the setup files to a portable location.

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DeleteOnClick
Screenshot of DeleteOnClick in Windows 7
Our Review of DeleteOnClick

DeleteOnClick is simple to use because it has no buttons, menus, or settings. Use the program by
right-clicking a hard drive and choosing Securely Delete.

You'll be prompted to confirm the removal of all the files.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M

DeleteOnClick only supports one data wipe method, so it's not nearly as advanced as most of
these other programs.

Because DeleteOnClick runs from inside Windows, it can't be used to erase the primary drive
that Windows is installed on.

DeleteOnClick can be installed on Windows 10 through Windows 2000.


Download DeleteOnClick

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CopyWipe
Screenshot of CopyWipe for DOS 1.14, a data destruction tool
Our Review of CopyWipe for DOS
CopyWipe is a data destruction tool that can run from a disc using CopyWipe for DOS or from
inside Windows with CopyWipe for Windows, though both methods are text-only, non-GUI
versions.

Data Sanitization Methods: Gutmann, Random Data, Secure Erase, Write Zero

CopyWipe for DOS has an Entropy Source option you can define before erasing a drive, which
lets you choose how random data should be created. For example, you can enter random keys
on the keyboard to generate entropy for the operation or choose to use the current time and
speed of the computer.

There are hardly any options with CopyWipe, and although the interface is in text form and not
too user-friendly, it's actually pretty simple to use and makes you confirm that you want to wipe
a drive before starting.

CopyWipe for Windows is entirely portable, which means it doesn't need to be installed before
you can use it. It runs on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Download CopyWipe

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SDelete
Screenshot of SDelete in Command Prompt in Windows 7
Our Review of SDelete in Command Prompt (Windows 7)

SDelete, short for Secure Delete, is a command-line based data destruction tool and can be run
from the Command Prompt in Windows.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M

SDelete is part of the Sysinternals Suite of free system utilities available from Microsoft. SDelete
does not utilize Secure Erase even though its name might lead you to think otherwise.

Like some of these other programs, SDelete runs from within Windows, so you can not use the
program to erase the C drive. Use another data destruction software program that you can boot
to or see How to Format C for some other ideas.

SDelete works with all Windows operating systems newer than Windows XP, as well as Windows
Server 2003 and higher.
Download SDelete

There are several drawbacks to using SDelete and the information on their download page has a
fair discussion of those issues. If you need a full-drive data destruction program then SDelete
isn't a good choice, but it could be very useful in specific situations.

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Wise Care 365
Screenshot of Wise Care 365
Our Review of Wise Care 365

Wise Care 365 is a system optimizer program that includes several tools, one of which is for data
destruction.

Just load a hard drive using the Add Folders button and click Shred to immediately start the
process. You can also shred files from Windows Explorer by right-clicking and choosing Shred
file/folder.

Data Sanitization Methods: Random Data

Wise Care 365 can also completely remove deleted files by overwriting them with more secure
sanitization methods than the data destruction tool. This tool is called Disk Eraser, located in the
Privacy Protector section of Wise Care 365.

Wise Care 365 works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. There's also a portable version
available from within the installable version.
Download Wise Care 365

There isn't a confirmation prompt after clicking the Shred button, so ensure you're ready to
remove the files before clicking to do so.

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ProtectStar Data Shredder
Screenshot of ProtectStar Data Shredder
Our Review of ProtectStar Data Shredder

ProtectStar Data Shredder is a free data destruction program that can erase a whole hard drive
at once, and even works from the right-click context menu in Windows Explorer.

Just choose Erase files and folders from the main screen and then click Add Folders to browse for
the hard drive to wipe.

Data Sanitization Methods: Random Data


ProtectStar Data Shredder sometimes prompts to buy the professional version but you can easily
click USE FREEWARE to bypass them.

I was able to run ProtectStar Data Shredder in Windows 10, 7, and XP, but I'm sure it also works
in Windows 8 and Vista.
Download ProtectStar Data Shredder

ProtectStar Data Shredder is no longer being updated by its developers, but this download link
still contains the program.

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Baidu Antivirus
Screenshot of Baidu Antivirus' file shredder
Our Review of Baidu Antivirus

Baidu Antivirus is a free antivirus program that includes a tool for completely wiping all the data
off of a hard drive.

The option to enable this is in Settings > Advanced Settings > Add "File Shredder" to Right-Click
Menu.

Just right-click any hard drive and click File Shredder to wipe all the data.

Data Sanitization Methods: Write Zero

You can choose to run the above wipe method a few times over to help prevent file recovery.

Both Baidu Antivirus and Baidu PC Faster can run in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Download Baidu Antivirus

Another program from Baidu called PC Faster can also shred hard drives by using the exact same
file shredder program as Baidu Antivirus.

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hdparm
Screenshot of hdparm
Our Review of hdparm

hdparm is a command line based tool that can be used, among other things, to issue a Secure
Erase firmware command to a hard drive.
Data Sanitization Methods: Secure Erase

Using hdparm as a data destruction software program is risky and, in my opinion, unnecessary
with a great Secure Erase based data destruction tool like MHDD, listed above. The only reason
I've included the hdparm method of issuing a Secure Erase command is because I want to have a
comprehensive list of options available.

I don't recommend that you use hdparm unless you're very familiar with command line tools.
Misuse of this tool could cause your hard drive to become unusable.

hdparm works with Windows 10 through Windows XP.


Download hdparm

This hdparm version runs from within Windows, so you can't use it to erase the drive Windows is
installed on. If that's what you want to do, you'll have to use a bootable data destruction
software program instead.

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HDShredder Free Edition
Screenshot of HDShredder v5 in Windows 8
Our Review of HDShredder

HDShredder is a data destruction program that's available in two forms, both of which work with
one data wipe method.

Data Sanitization Methods: Write Zero

You can use HDShredder from a disc or flash drive and boot from it for erasing the drive that has
Windows installed on it, like the C drive. Alternatively, you can install HDShredder to Windows
like a regular program and use it for securely erasing data from a different drive like a flash drive
or a different hard drive.

The Windows version can be installed on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Windows
Server 2003-2012.
Download HDShredder

Several additional features appear to work in this free edition until you try to use them, after
which you'll be told you need to upgrade to a paid version to use it.
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