You’ve just bought a new PC or upgraded a hard drive, and now want to safely dispose of the old model. The problem is, what do you do about the data on that drive? A simple format or deleting the partition isn’t sufficient – the data remains easily accessible to anyone with a data-recovery tool.

The solution, therefore, is to employ the services of a data-erasing tool – one which doesn’t simply delete the first few bytes of a partition to declare it empty space, but which applies one of several known (and proven) techniques to scramble the data on the drive before all meaningful recovery.

There are plenty of tools that can do this job, but O&O DiskErase gains plaudits for its simplicity and ability to wipe an entire drive without having to fiddle around creating bootable media first. It’s spun off from O&O’s SafeErase tool, which comprises a wider range of data shredding features (such as free space on an existing drive).

Simply download and install DiskErase, choose which drives to wipe or – if you’re wiping an entire PC before passing it on or recycling it – flick the ‘Select all (TotalErase)’ switch and click Continue. Choose your level of security – from simple zeroes through various (unspecified) security levels – and make a note of the estimated time for the drive(s) to be wiped. Finally, click 'Securely delete now'.

Given the destructive potential of the program, it’s good news that O&O’s confirmation procedure requires you to enter a security code rather than simply click OK.

It goes without saying you’re going to lose everything on the selected drives or partitions, so make sure you have what you need before you begin – back up any data, deactivate any programs you’re transferring to another PC and avoid deleting any recovery partitions if the computer is going to a new home where they’re expecting a copy of Windows to be installed on it.

Once done, let DiskErase reboot to finish the job. Worried about wear and tear on an SSD? Don’t: DiskErase includes SolidErase, a feature designed to minimise the drive’s wear while ensuring data has been scrubbed.

Verdict

O&O DiskErase is another in the company’s long line of tools that does what it says on the tin. No fuss, no confusion.