I have reviewed Eraser some days ago and found it to be an excellent program to delete all file information that exist on the unused (free) part of hard drives connected to the PC. As you may know, files that you delete or that get deleted automatically are not completely erased from the system when that happens. Instead, only some information are removed and the space they occupy is made available for writing again.
I verified the results with a recovery program and found out, that Eraser was indeed deleting all file information of files that had been previously deleted on my computer. The recovery software was not able to detect any files after using Eraser on the hard drive.
It happens to be that Eraser has another nice feature which is pretty unique if you ask me. You can access the program Eraser Verify from the start menu or by starting verify.exe in the Eraser directory. This little program lets you erase single files with different algorithms to make it impossible to recover the files by normal means. Every step is shown in a hex editor which means that you can verify on the fly that the file becomes unreadable.
The process itself requires minimum user input. Select the algorithm or keep the default one, select the file that you want to securely erase and click on Erase. The file will be shown before the program begins the process to show you how it originally looks like. If you click continue in that step Eraser will start to delete the file completely on the hard drive it is stored on. You see how the file looks after every step which means you can verify that the file information have been deleted.
Update: Newer versions of Eraser come with the feature integrated. It is a bit more complicated to use because of this, even though the functionality itself is retained. Click on Eraser Schedule > New Task or hit Ctrl-n to open the dialog box. Here you need to click on Add Data and select the file that you want to secure remove from your operating system.
The task should then be displayed in the Eraser Schedule window. To start the operation right-click the task and select run now from the context menu.
Note that Eraser can integrate program options into Windows Explorer so that you can erase select files or folders directly from the file manager which improves the process significantly.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.