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Free Secure (Destructive) File and Disk Deletion Tools


The utilities listed on this page allow you to destructively wipe/delete/erase a file, a disk (floppy disks, hard disks, etc), or a hard disk partition. This is usually accomplished by overwriting the existing data on the disk or file with either random numbers, a series of zeros and ones, or bit patterns. Using these programs make it difficult for people to recover deleted data from your disk after it has been deleted via the normal deletion process. Compare these tools to a paper file shredder - an electronic or digital file shredder for computer files, hard disks, etc.



Free Secure Products - Delete / Wipe Files / Wipe Disk / Destructive Delete


Active@ Kill Disk Free Version

This is a Dos Program that allows you to completely wipe all data on a hard disk, floppy drive, or zip drive. It will display information about the drive including data in any sector so that you can see what is actually there before wiping. This program overwrites the drive with only zeros.

Autoclave is open source. It is a drive sterilization utility that wipes a hard disk several times. It runs from a bootable floppy disk that you create after downloading the file. This program requires an x86 PC and is no longer supported or maintained.

Darik's Boot and Nuke

Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN for short) is designed for bulk or emergency data destruction. Another use would be when you need to wipe your disks before giving your computer away to someone.)

The program comes as a bootable floppy disk or a CDROM image (you can download whichever version you prefer). It comes complete with the Linux operating system and the Boot and Nuke utility. Once you boot up the utility it will destroy all data in every partition of every hard disk.

Eldos Crypto4 - $19.95 (not free)
Crypto4 Files works right from Windows Explorer. It allows you to sign, verify signature, encrypt, and decrypt files using X.509 certificate.

It also allows you to securely delete, pack, unpack and e-mail files with a couple of clicks.

Eraser Secure Data Removal Tool
Eraser is an open source program that works under Windows. It securely erases data by replacing it with pseudo-random data or any combination of data you specify. It erases files, file slack space or cluster tips (the space that is allocated to a file by the operating system but is never-the-less empty). It also wipes the Windows virtual memory swap file, as well as any unused hard disk space or an entire hard or floppy disk (or zip disk, etc.)

It will wipe the disk any number of times you specify. This makes it possible to use the US DoD standard of either 3 or 7 wipes, or the Gutmann standard of 35 times, any other standard. It will also erase the filenames in the directories you delete.


Freeraser: Free Shredder

This is a Windows file shredding utility that gives you a choice of using 3 different file wiping options:

A quick, 1 wipe erasure that fills the erased space with random data

A 3 wipe erasure using one of the Department of Defense standards, DoD 5220.22M standard

or, A 35 wipe erasure using the Gutmann algorithm.

InterCrypto Master Shredder
- $29.95 (not free)
Master Shredder is a professional files wiping utility for Windows 7/Vista/XP (both 64-bit and 32-bit). It completely deletes files so that cannot be recovered by any third party software or by special hardware devices that analyze remanent magnetization of the hard drive.

Object Media Demon

Object Media Demon does not not meet UK guidelines.It allows you to specify a directory all subdirectories that should be completely be erased. The files are deleted by filling the contents with random data before deleting the file.


OverWrite is a Unix utility. It overwrites files with random patterns and deterministic patterns and is released under the GNU General Public License. It comes with source code.

Secure Delete

Secure Delete is a Windows program that comes with source code. It erases files or directories after filling them with random data. Their site warns that it does not meet the US DoD or UK Ministry of Defense standards.

SysInternals SDelete

SDelete is a command line utility that comes with source code and works under Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0 and Windows 2000. It can also wipe Windos. NT/2K compressed, encrypted or sparse files by using the Windows defragmentation API, and clears the NTFS Master File Table (MFT). It does not, however, erase the filenames of the files in the free disk space due to NT/2K limitations.

It uses the US Department of Defense DoD5220.22-M standard and allows you to specify the number of overwrite passes.

Wipe Secure File Deletion

Wipe is open source, secure file wiping tool for Linux that destructively deletes files by overwriting data using pseudo random data.



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