Active Killdisk_ll Want to start from scratch or sell your HDD? Then you will need one of the following 4 tools to format a drive

If you’re considering selling your laptop, PC, or external hard drive, you may be worried about someone else being able to get their hands on sensitive data that may be lurking in the memory of the device. Similarly, if you’ve purchased a used device it’s probably a good idea to ensure that as much of the space on it is as free as possible. There is software to help you with this and in this article, we will look at some of the best.

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1 WipeDrive

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WipeDrive removes all of the data from your system without hope of recovery. The US Department of Defense has approved this program and used it on its own computers. This program can help you stop your personal information from being recovered but it has two different levels of erasure. You can choose to either allow the program to leave the OS untouched or to wipe the drive completely. This can be used on a PC drive, or on any external drive or device. The program does move a bit slowly but it is very thorough.

2 Active Kill Disk

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This utility also has a DOD recommendation and uses Gutmann’s data destruction method, which rewrites the drive with data which mimics actually altering the drive’s magnetic field. While this program does a fine job and is quite easy to use, the free version only works once before it asks you to pay $50 for the full version. That being said, it is very popular for its thoroughness as well as its easy to understand interface.

3 CCleaner

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CCleaner is a multifunctional tool which has many other purposes besides a total hard drive wipe. It has a cleaner which can remove cookies and other temporary files while still leaving all other files intact, or can completely clean a drive, depending on your needs. So, whether you need to get a device ready to sell or you just want to clear out old file fragments, CCleaner has you covered. This tool is free for download though it will try to install Chrome when it installs but it’s easy to decline this offer if you pay close attention as you install it.

In all, most of these are pretty interchangeable in terms of performance. However, when you take cost into account, as well as functionality, CCleaner is free and is useful for things other than just wiping a drive. Despite the attempted browser hijack in the install, it’s clean and reliable and many who have been using it for years swear by it.