Hard Disk Eraser
User Guide

How to erase hard drive? Windows7 logo   How to erase hard drive? Intel logo

Guide Contents:

  1. Product Overview
    1. Deleting Confidential Data
      1. Advanced Data Recovery Systems
      2. High Standards
  2. System Requirements
  3. Procedures
    1. Preparing a DOS-Bootable USB / floppy
      1. Copying Active@ KillDisk to a USB / floppy
      2. Label the Disk
    1. Automatic Boot and Execute (autoexec.bat)
    2. Erase Operation Complete
  6. Common Questions

Product Overview  

1.1. Deleting Confidential Data  

Modern methods of data encryption are deterring unwanted network attackers from extracting sensitive data from stored database files. Unfortunately, attackers wishing to retrieve confidential data are becoming more resourceful by looking into places where data might be stored temporarily.

A hard drive on a local network node, for example, can be a prime target for such a search. One avenue of attack is the recovery of supposedly-erased data from a discarded hard disk drive. When deleting confidential data from hard drives or removable USBs(floppies), it is important to extract all traces of the data so that recovery is not possible.

Most official guidelines around disposing of confidential magnetic data do not take into account the depth of today's recording densities. The Windows DELETE command merely changes the file name so that the operating system will not look for the file. The situation with NTFS is similar.

Removal of confidential personal information or company trade secrets in the past might have used the FORMAT command or the DOS FDISK command. Ordinarily, using these procedures gives users a sense of confidence that the data has been completely removed. When using the FORMAT command, Windows displays a message like this:

Formatting a disk does NOT remove all information.
Use Active@ KillDisk to securely erase data.

The FORMAT utility actually creates new FAT and ROOT tables, leaving all previous data on the disk untouched. Moreover, an image of the replaced FAT and ROOT tables are stored, so that the UNFORMAT command can be used to restore them.

FDISK merely cleans the Partition Table (located in the drive's first sector) and does not touch anything else.

1.1.1. Advanced Data Recovery Systems  

Advances in data recovery have been made such that data can be reclaimed in many cases from hard drives that have been wiped and disassembled. Security agencies use advanced applications to find cybercrime-related evidence.

Also there are established industrial spy agencies adopting sophisticated channel coding techniques such as Partial Response Maximum Likelihood (PRML), a technique used to reconstruct the data on magnetic disks. Other methods include the use of magnetic force microscopy and recovery of data based on patterns in erase bands.

Although there are very sophisticated data recovery systems available at a high price, datacan easily be restored with the help of an off-the-shelf data recovery utility like Active@ Partition Recovery (, Active@ UNERASER ( or Active@ UNDELETE (, making your erased confidential data quite accessible.

Using Active@ KillDisk, our powerful and compact free utility, all data on your hard drive or removable USB / floppy drive can be destroyed without the possibility of future recovery. After using Active@ KillDisk, disposal, recycling, selling or donating your storage device can be done with peace of mind.

1.1.2. High Standards  

Active@ KillDisk Professional conforms to US Department of Defense clearing and sanitizing standard DoD 5220.22-M. You can be sure that once you wipe a disk with Active@ KillDisk, sensitive information is destroyed forever.

Active@ KillDisk is a quality security application that destroys data permanently from any computer that can be started using a DOS USB / floppy disk.

Access to the drive's data is made on the physical level via the Basic Input-Output Subsystem (BIOS), bypassing the operating system's logical drive structure organization. Regardless of the operating system, file systems or type of machine, this utility can destroy all data on all storage devices.

Thus it does not matter operating systems and file systems located on the machine, it can be DOS, Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT/2000/XP, Linux, Unix for PC.

This document is available in PDF format, which requires Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
(Free download):

Size: 714 KB

USER'S GUIDE (Console)
Size: 683 KB

KillDisk Datasheet
Size: 2,44 MB

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