KillDisk Application/General Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Questions

KillDisk Application

General Questions


How fast KillDisk erases disks?

Erasing speed depends on many factors:

  • HDD speed: RPM and SATA/SCSI/SAS type - the most important factor
  • Disk Controller speed: SAS (6Gbps/12Gbps), SATA III (6Gbps), SATA II(3Gbps), SATA I(1.5Gbps)
  • Computer overall performance (CPU + RAM)

For most modern computers and disks (manufactured within the last 5-7 years) SATA III standard is supported, so erase speed is limited by HDD throughput (disk write speed) only.

Our tests give the results: 10GB in average per minute per pass on average computer configuration and disks which age is up to 5 years old.

For example, 2TB Toshiba disk has been erased on Windows platform with one pass within 3 hours and 32 minutes, 14TB WD disk - within 18h 53m.

Attached are real-test certificates for erasing:

  • 2TB Toshiba (manufactured in 2015 year) SATA III (6Gbps) 7200rpm disk with [One Pass Zeros] and [US DoD 5220.22-M, 3 passes + verification] showing the average speed of 9GB/min per pass
  • 14TB WD (2019 year) SATA III (6Gbps) 7200rpm disk with [One Pass Zeros] and [US DoD 5220.22-M, 3 passes + 10% verification] showing the average speed of 12GB/min per pass






How is the data erased?

Active@ KillDisk communicates with the system board Basic Input-Output Subsystem (BIOS) functions to access hardware directly.

It uses Logical Block Addressing (LBA) access if necessary to clean FAT32 drives more than 8 Gb in size. To erase data it overwrites all addressable locations on the drive with zeros (FREE version). Active@ KillDisk Professional version suggests several methods for data destruction.

For example, in US DoD 5220.22-M method it overwrites all addressable storage and indexing locations on the drive three times: with zeros (0x00), complement (0xFF) and random characters; and then verifies all writing procedures. This complies with the US DoD 5220.22-M security standard.


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Are there any best practices for using Active@ KillDisk to erase large arrays of hard drives?

Hard Drives may be erased individually in a JBOD configuration, however, it is more optimal to configure the array of disks using either a RAID0+1 or a RAID 10 configuration as depicted below.

killdisk and arge arrays of hard drives   killdisk and arge arrays of hard drives

  We need to completely erase all data from a raid set including the raid striping information.. What is the best way to do this?

You should use a software like killdisk. The striping information is stored on sectors on the disk, and since Killdisk erases all sectors, it will erase those sectors as well.


What types of HDD it understands?

All types of HDD are supported. KillDisk will clean it up properly if hard disk drive or USB disk is visible in BIOS, or accessible under Windows environment (device drivers properly installed).


Will I be able to use my HDD after Active@ KillDisk erase operation?

To be able to use HDD again you need to:

  • repartition HDD using a standard utility like FDISK
  • reformat hard drive using a standard utility like FORMAT
  • reinstall an Operating System using bootable CD-ROM or USB / floppy if you wish to boot from the hard drive

Why can killdisk (or hard drive monitor) not return serial numbers from drives hooked up to RAID controllers?

The software uses standard SCSI/ATI function calls (through Windows or DOS) to get serial numbers from hard drives.

Most, if not all, RAID controllers do not properly process these requests.

Typically, a RAID controller is used to hook up 2 or more hard drives in such a way that the operating system thinks it is one drive. Therefore, the operating system can not access the drives individually. When queried for a hard drive's serial number, the RAID controller does not know which serial number to return, so it does not return a serial number at all. All RAID controllers tested will do this even if there is only one drive in the RAID set.


How many operating systems supported by KillDisk?

It does not matter which operating system is installed on the machine. If you can boot machine using supplied bootable disk (from CD/DVD or USB disk), you can erase any drives independently of Operating System installed. The only requirement is that machine be a standard PC (Intel-architecture, not PPC, not ARM, not MIPS).


Does KillDisk run on any computer?

KillDisk runs on any PC-compatible machine, which is based on Intel architecture. It does not run on MIPS, ARM, PPC processors, for example it won't run on Sun SPARC systems or iPad & Android tablets.


KillDisk Application

Which method is used for data access in DOS?

KillDisk uses BIOS functions to access hardware directly. It uses LBA access if necessary to clean drives more than 8GB in size.


I get an error message that "The disk is in use or locked" when I try to WIPE a volume with KillDisk.

If this error occurs, you should boot from the bootable media and try again. If the error still occurs, there may be a problem with the integrity of the file system. You should run a Check Disk first to correct any errors. Run CHKDSK /F. Check Disk can be run from within the Utilities group in the boot environment.

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