Jul
31
2010

Eraser: Open-Source Secure File Erasing Tool

Earlier in the week, I posted a lengthy article explaining why “deleting” a file does not actually get rid of it from your computer. In it, I stated that the only true way to delete a file permanently that you either don’t want, or think could be a problem if the wrong hands got a hold of it, is by using a Secure File Erasing tool. So let me present to you one such tool that I particularly like.

Eraser Erasing

Eraser in the process of erasing.

Eraser, by the Eraser Project, is a tool that needs little introduction, being as its very name explains its purpose betterthan any description could. But to give it a basic description, it’s a secure file-erasing tool that the developers describe as “an advanced security tool for Windows which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive”. Here is the list of all of its features according to the developer:

  • It works with Windows XP (with Service Pack 3), Windows Server 2003 (with Service Pack 2), Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000 can still be used with version 5.7!
  • It works with any drive that works with Windows
  • Secure drive erasure methods are supported out of the box
  • Erases files, folders and their previously deleted counterparts
  • Works with an extremely customisable Scheduler

To explain the last one – Eraser allows you to “schedule” an Erasing task to perform when YOU want it to, as well as the usual “erase this now” options.

Also, Eraser can securely erase files already in your Recycle Bin using a single right-click on the Bin. And it also has “Free Space Erasing” options, which will clean all the unused space on any of your drives, ensuring files that are still on the drive despite being “deleted” are gone for good. Now THAT’S peace of mind!

Eraser 5.8.8 Main Interface

The main interface that you see when you open up Eraser 5.8.8 or Eraser Portable. Newer versions are similar, but slightly fancier.

Eraser is available in two flavours – a Full Installer, for placing directly onto your computer, and a Portable Edition that you could install and run directly from a Memory Stick or other removable media, though the portable edition is a little old compared to the full installer (still works wonders, though). The best part is since Eraser is free, open source software, it’s free to download and will never cost you a single penny to use – a rare find these days. The open-source nature also makes it something you can trust.

Eraser homepage (Find out more about, and get Eraser)
Portable Edition

One Response

  1. Outstanding This really is one of the best blogs I’ve ever come across on this subject.