Summary: In this blog, we will discuss the best five tools that will help you permanently erase files and prevent data recovery from your Windows PC. You can review these tools based upon their features, ease-of-accessibility, data erasure results, etc., and choose the best one as per your needs.
- Best tools for permanent data erasure beyond the scope of recovery
- 1. BitRaser File Eraser
- 2. Hard Disk Scrubber
- 3. Eraser
- 4. Hard Wipe
- 5. Moo File Shredder
In today’s digitally empowered world, safeguarding one’s privacy and confidential data is of utmost importance, especially when the data protection laws are not stringent and filled with loopholes in most nations.
Therefore, it is important to encrypt your data or use password protection to avoid any type of data theft or misuse.
The use of antivirus & anti-malware tools is another way of ensuring data privacy. However, it is of important that you use a data erasure software to permanently erase sensitive files on your PC.
But, almost all of these devices (hard drives, SD cards, smartphones, laptops, etc.) are discarded, sold, or donated at the end of their life cycle without proper data sanitization.
Furthermore, deleted data can be easily recovered from any storage media, whether a USB thumb drive, HDD, SSD, SD card, etc., using data recovery software and services.
Therefore, you must permanently erase the files/folders to protect and safeguard your data against unwarranted data misuse.
Best tools for permanent data erasure beyond the scope of recovery
Data erasure software uses different standards for data erasure hosting various algorithms. These algorithms decide the effectiveness of the software.
Some of the popular algorithms used by the best data erasure software are the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD 5220-2 M), Gutmann, etc.
Although there are several tools available to choose from, most of them aren’t capable of complete data sanitization.
Therefore, to save you unnecessary efforts, we shortlisted the five best tools available to erase files and folders from your Windows PC beyond the scope of recovery.
1. BitRaser File Eraser
BitRaser File Eraser is one of the most powerful data erasure tools available online for Windows and Mac.
The tool comes from the house of Stellar – a globally trusted brand offering data recovery, data migration, and data erasure products and services.
Equipped with three secure data erasure algorithms, the tool thoroughly erases data on any Windows or Mac device.
It allows you to identify your sensitive data and erase it by overwriting random binary data multiple times.
Image Courtesy: stellarinfo.com
Moreover, the BitRaser File Eraser uses three international data erasure algorithms, including Zeroes (Single Pass), Pseudo Random (Single Pass), and U.S. Department of Defense DoD 5220-2 M (3 Passes), which ensures that the data is completely erased from the device.
This powerful data erasure tool is capable of the following.
- Erasure of system activity traces and installed application traces
- Complete erasure of internet activities and cookies ensuring 100% privacy against online threats
- Supports erasure of deleted data to secure the system and optimize storage space
- Option to create an erasure list facilitating multiple file erasure in a single step.
- Search files with file name or extension.
- Schedule automatic erasing of files at specified intervals.
- Option to add important files to Ignore list, thus safeguarding them against erasure process.
- Free version is not available
- Requires more time for recovery with a high-standard algorithm.
2. Hard Disk Scrubber
This is a free disk and file scrubbing tool from Summit Computer Networks Inc. designed to destroy sensitive data from a Windows PC.
The tool overwrites free space on Windows drives and deletes the file permanently beyond recovery.
Image Courtesy: summitcn.com
There are two major functionalities in Hard Disk Scrubber viz. Hard Disk Free Space Scrubbing option, and the File Scrubbing option.
The tool offers five scrub types that are a combination of six scrub patterns arranged into passes:
- Normal: Uses a Random pattern with a single pass
- Heavy: Uses Zeroes, Ones, and Random patterns with three passes
- Super: Uses 5 patterns with 5 passes
- Ultra: Uses DoD prescribed overwriting with verification
- Custom: User can define their own pattern with as many passes as required
- Does not wipe/erase folders and sub-directories
- Not safe as it can also wipe Windows system and program files
Eraser is a security tool for Windows that erases data from storage drives by shredding and overwriting it several times with selected patterns.
The tool helps maintain privacy and allows users to remove selected files instead of wiping the whole drive.
Image Courtesy: eraser.heidi
The tool also provides an option to schedule erasers of specific files on the system based on date and time.
The software uses the following algorithms to erase data from storage media:
- Write Zero
- Random Data
- DoD 5220.22-M
- HMG IS5
- GOST R 50739-95
- Doesn’t have a user-friendly interface
- Doesn’t verify destroyed data
4. Hard Wipe
Hard Wipe erases the entire hard drive or portable storage media and ensures that no one can recover sensitive information.
This tool also comes in a portable edition that runs from a USB drive and lets you wipe the entire disk without installation.
However, the portable version offers more functionality; thus, it requires a professional upgrade.
Image Courtesy: hardwipe.com
The interface is simple and easy to understand, and the tool can wipe:
- Physical devices
- Logical volumes
- Files and folders (including sub-folders)
- Windows Recycle Bins
- Free Drive Space
- Doesn’t verify if data is destroyed
- Portable version requires upgrade
- Not safe and secure to use as it can also erase system files
5. Moo File Shredder
Moo File Shredder is a free disk cleaning utility capable of erasing recoverable data from your hard disk.
The utility does not erase files currently on the drive but wipes the empty spaces – that may contain previously deleted data – on your system or external hard drive, thereby ensuring deleted data is gone beyond recovery.
It has a simple and basic user interface with many language options.
Image Courtesy: moo0.com
Moreover, it’s a very lightweight program that helps users wipe any sensitive data from the system.
The tool provides the following options to choose what data needs to be deleted from the system.
- Recycle Bin items
- Free space on disk
- Free space on MFT
- Cluster tips (the empty area at the end of every file)
- Filename traces
- No surety of data sanitization
- Can’t erase files and folders stored on the drive
- Data eraser is not verified
We have discussed the top 5 tools that can help delete files permanently from the system and safeguard sensitive & confidential data from unauthorized access.
Data erasure software use trusted algorithms programmed to securely overwrite your sensitive data and erase it beyond the scope of recovery.
These tools use different techniques and patterns toerase data from the system permanently. In this high-volume data flow era, alertness and awareness towards data security are of utmost priority.
It would help if you’re vigilant while disposing your data so that it does not fall into the wrong hands.
About The Author
Aruna Attri is a Senior Data Recovery Expert at Stellar®. She is a technology blogger and Windows expert. She has experience in Windows data recovery domain. She loves to troubleshoot Windows issue and write technical tips and tutorials.
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Lol, lists a program, then says the drawback is it can erase system files. And that it doesnt know if it even succeded in doing it’s purpose. “hey doctor, will this medicine help me with my sickness”, “Yes, it will, it’s among the best medicines there is, thing is though, it might kill you, and we dont know if it works. But its the best medicine. Drawback is, we dont know if it works.”
US DOD 3 wipe algorithm is best among all. For more confidential/sensitive files a user can go for even US dod 7 wipe (best for businesses).
Yes, totally agree with your thoughts US dod is considered one of the best-known algorithm to wipe sensitive files.
To erase the data off my laptop I used BitRaser for File. All I can say is that the software is highly user interactive and erases data within the stipulated time.
Thanks for using the tool Gerreth.(Video) How to COMPLETELY WIPE a Hard Drive and PREVENT DATA RECOVERY!