SecureClean and WipeDrive
Quick look: File and hard drive cleaning utilities
- By Carlos A. Soto
- Aug 07, 2003
Part of testing a product is using it, which is a good philosophy to have when reviewing notebook and desktop PCs. As important as benchmarks and statistical analyses are, using the PC for a couple of weeks or months gives you a lot more than data.
But after testing a PC in the GCN Lab, I have to give it back. Call me paranoid, but after using a notebook for that long I always feel a little uncomfortable returning it, despite clearing data that I put on it using the embedded operating system utilities.
WhiteCanyon Inc. of Orem, Utah, has released a couple of programs, SecureClean 4.0 and WipeDrive 3.0, for frequent PC swappers or anyone who wants to erase their tracks.
The obvious differences between the two programs are that SecureClean is for the individual file or folder, while WipeDrive erases the entire hard drive.
WipeDrive, which meets Defense Department standards for data elimination, essentially formats your hard drive, including all partitions, and should be used only when you're reinstalling an OS and have made necessary data backups, or need to quickly delete everything on your machine.
To use, simply boot from the disk by having it in your PC when you turn it on. From there an easy-to-use tutorial will walk you through the deletion.
SecureClean is a little more complicated to use than WipeDrive, but I found it more useful. Instead of wiping the drives, the software cleans your PC by removing the erased residual data that remains on the hard drive.
It also installs with a proprietary trash can that you can use instead of the one provided by the OS and logs all the information it finds every time it conducts a scan of your computer.
The newer version also erases and cleans e-mail folders and files, securing sensitive data on that end as well.
Because of the sensitivity of the cleaning tool, it's important to remove or turn off protected recycle bin information such as that commonly found in Norton tools by Symantec Corp.
Price: SecureClean, $49.95; WipeDrive, $39.95