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Eraser! (Free!)


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What Is Eraser?

Eraser is an advanced security tool (for Windows), which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. Works with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Windows 2003 Server and DOS.

Eraser is Free software and its source code is released under GNU General Public License.

The patterns used for overwriting are based on Peter Gutmann's paper "Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory" and they are selected to effectively remove magnetic remnants from the hard drive.

Other methods include the one defined in the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual of the US Department of Defence and overwriting with pseudorandom data. You can also define your own overwriting methods.

Why use Eraser?

Most people have some data that they would rather not share with others - passwords, personal information, classified documents from work, financial records, self-written poems, the list can be continued forever.

Perhaps you have saved some of this information on your computer where it is conveniently at your reach, but when the time comes to remove the data from your hard disk, things get a bit more complicated and maintaining your privacy is not as simple as it may have seemed at first.

Your first thought may be that when you 'delete' the file, the data is gone. Not quite, when you delete a file, the operating system does not really remove the file from the disk; it only removes the reference of the file from the file system table. The file remains on the disk until another file is created over it, and even after that, it might be possible to recover data by studying the magnetic fields on the disk platter surface.

Before the file is overwritten, anyone can easily retrieve it with a disk maintenance or an undelete utility.

There are several problems in secure file removal, mostly caused by the use of write cache, construction of the hard disk and the use of data encoding. These problems have been taken into consideration when Eraser was designed, and because of this intuitive design and a simple user interface, you can safely and easily erase private data from your hard drive.

Top reviews from the most popular software sites and magazines confirm that Eraser is one of the best security tools available for Windows.

You tell Eraser what to erase, you are in control.

You can create a Task in the Scheduler to Erase certain Files/Folders/Unused Disk Space.

And you can set this to run on particular days or each day or on Reboot.

1. Eraser runs from the Taskbar.

2. Right click on the Icon and select Open.

3. Click on File on the menu and select New Task.

It is very easy from there. The Help menu is worth clicking on.

To Erase files/folders:

1. Open Windows Explorer.

2. Right click on the file/folder you want to erase and you

will see an 'erase' option on the menu. Choose it if you

wish to erase the file.

To erase the contents of your Recycle Bin:

1. Right click on your Recycle Bin.

2. Choose Erase Recycle Bin.

To erase unused disk space (files that have only previously been deleted):

1. Open Windows Explorer.

2. Right Click on the Drive and choose 'Erase Unused Space'.

To erase your entire hard disk:

Eraser uses the 'Darik's Boot and Nuke' disk option to erase all your hard drives.

To use this option:

1. Place a floppy (or CD) in your a: drive.

2. Click on the Start button and then choose Programs->Eraser->Create Boot Nuke Disk.

3. Ensure 'Writing on Floppy' is ticked. Tick 'Formatting' if your floppy needs to be formatted.

4. Click OK. Result: Your Boot Nuke Disk has now been created.

5. Boot up your PC with the floppy still remaining in your a: drive.

Remember: If you wish to erase the Hard Disk of another PC, then bring this Floppy to the PC, insert it into the a: drive and Boot it up.

Result: All drives will now be erased (including the Operating System)

IMPORTANT: USE WITH EXTREME CAUTION

For a summary:

'Darik's Boot and Nuke' ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.'

To erase the hard disk of a computer where Eraser cannot be installed onto:

You don't need to install Eraser onto the PC where you are going to erase.

Take the following steps:

1. Connect to the Internet using your new PC and download and install Eraser.

2. Place a floppy (or CD) in the a: drive of your new PC.

3. Click on the Start button and then choose Programs->Eraser->Create Boot Nuke Disk.

4. Ensure 'Writing on Floppy' is ticked. Tick 'Formatting' if your floppy needs to be formatted.

5. Click OK. Result: Your Boot Nuke Disk has now been created.

6. Bring this Boot floppy to your old PC and place it in the a: drive. Now reboot the old PC.

Result: All drives will now be erased (including the Operating System)

IMPORTANT: USE WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

http://heidi.ie/eraser/default.php

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