Posts Tagged 'secure delete'

Hardwipe – FreeFile Review

FFR-2015Hardwipe-header

When a file is deleted from a pc, that file still exists on the computer. To actually erase the file, a secure delete utility is needed to overwrite the data. Hardwipe is such a utility. It is Windows only and is available in free and paid versions. The free version which is sufficient for most users, has ads in the program window ($13 upgrade will remove the ads).

Hardwipe has both features that I consider essential in a secure delete utility – context menu integration and Recycle Bin erasure. Many of the other free apps lack one, or both, of those features. Context menu integration means that a file can be erased through a simple, quick right-click. Recycle Bin erasure is self-explanatory. Data can be overwritten 1,2,3,7, or 35 times (one time should suffice). The ads in the free version are not too intrusive – they remain contained to one corner of the program window. Hardwipe works fast and has an accurate progress bar.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I have used Hardwipe on both Windows 7 and 10 and found it to be fast and reliable on both. It has replaced my long time secure delete program Eraser, which seems to have gotten a bit slow and clunky in recent years. I recommend Hardwipe over Eraser, due to it’s speed and reliability. Hardwipe is definitely a keeper.

Download Hardwipe HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

Finally! An Honest Error Message [pic]

I’ve used Eraser for years and it is usually rock-solid, but recently it ran into a problem and returned the following error message – “Failed to erase file names from drive O:\,don’t know why exactly.” That bit of honesty made my day.

FreeFile Review – Invisible Utilities

What is an invisible utility? My definition is a Windows application that is completely unobtrusive; transparent to the user, when not needed, but is quickly available via the context menu (right click) when needed. And most importantly, it must provide something that Windows does not. this review will cover three such utilities that I have used for several years –  Eraser – 7-Zip – Unlocker.

Eraser will securely delete any file on your PC. Normally when a file is deleted, it still exists on your hard drive. To truly remove a file, it must be overwritten – that is what Eraser does. Once installed, several Preferences can be set by the user. The most important setting is for the number of times a file will be overwritten – 1, 3, 7 or 35 times. I choose 3x – for speed – and I also disable Scheduled Tasks. To use Eraser, simply right-click on a file and select ‘Erase’, click ‘Yes’ and the file is permanently gone. The contents of the Recycle Bin can be erased also. Right-clicking the Recycle Bin icon gives a list of erasing options.

7-Zip is for opening archive files – about 25 different formats. Windows will open .zip files, but no other archive types. 7-Zip will open .rar, .iso and many others. To use, right-click on an archive file and select ‘7-Zip’ and then ‘Extract files’ (or ‘Extract Here’), click ‘OK’ and 7-Zip does its thing. Most users will not need this application often, but it is handy to have on your computer. 7-Zip is available in 32 bit and 64 bit versions.

Unlocker is a lifesaver when Windows refuses to let you do anything to a file because some program has control of the file. To use, right-click on the locked file and select ‘Unlocker’. In the Unlocker window, select the locked file and click the ‘Unlock’ button. Usually, this does the trick. If the file is still locked, try the ‘Kill Process’ button. It can be difficult to find a download link for Unlocker – here is a good one. Be aware that Unlocker is available in 32 bit and 64 bit versions.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

All three of these utilities are simple to use and effective. They have been part of my Windows PCs for years and I appreciate them on the rare occasions when they are needed. While many similar programs exist, I find these three to be solid performers.

Download Eraser

Download 7-Zip

Download Unlocker

Visit DanKostecki.com for more FreeFile Reviews

 


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