This article is about a program i picked up a while ago on Sourceforge what it does is delete files from your hard drive. At this point in time you may be scratching your head thinking “I thought the windows trash can did that?” and it does do that but not in the way you think.

Before i get into this to much i need to put a disclaimer here and that is if you have really sensitive data on your machine that you can't afford to have anyone see your in trouble. Once you put anything on a computer hard drive its very hard to make sure that file or files are gone unless you destroy the drive. A good example of this is some companies and even the government will call a hard drive disposal company in to basicly destroy the hard drives on site. When i say destroy i mean turn the entire hard drive parts and all into really small pieces.

That should give you some idea how serious some people are about erasing old data for good. You may ask why would they do such a thing if you can simply erase the drive or the files from within windows? And the answer is simple windows don't really erase files in fact even if i format a drive I'm not erasing the data off the drive. What a format does do is erase the fat table witch is basicly a directory of where all the files are on the hard drive.

Even when you delete files in windows there are several programs like one from Norton that allow you to undelete the files. This is where the problem comes in when you want to get rid of something for good.

A while back i read about people buying used hard drives off of Ebay and then trying to mine any old data off the hard drive. Keep in mind the people who sold the hard drives no doubt though if they did a simple format that their computer information would be gone for ever. As it turns out the information wasn't gone forever and a few people had stuff found on their drives , credit card numbers anyone??

This is why companies and the the government have the drives destroyed on site. Now if the information you have isn't all that important then you could do a format but if you had personal information such as financial records , credit card numbers ect ect then you may want to use something like eraser or destroy the drive your self.

If you choose to use Eraser it will do a decent job but even the creator of the program will tell ya not to put sensitive information on the drive to begin with. The way Eraser works is instead of just deleting stuff from the directory it will go to where the file is and over write them locations byte by byte with different data and different routines. When you look at the settings for Eraser you have various settings you can use for erasing methods. Also you can set how many times a particular file or entire drive gets gets wiped. The idea behind choosing how many wipes it does is the more you do the harder it is to recover a file or a entire hard drive.

Now there are a few exceptions here and one would be law enforcement or some government agency. They do have the time the money and the means to take a drive thats been wiped multiple times and recover the data off it. There may even be some individuals out there who can do this as well but i would imagine they are few and far between. The average computer user though will not be recovering your data at all.

As for the program Eraser its a nice program and easy to use witch could be a bad thing if you got kids. What i mean by this is the program can be used from the windows explorer if you right click on a file you will see the option in there to Erase something. If you select yes on the question dialog that comes up your data is gone. This is why you don't want a program like this if you have kids messing around with your machine.

Do to the fact the program comes up in the right click menu of explorer means the program is simple to use and its not complicated to understand at all. Keep in mind if you do use this program and depending on how many times you set it up to go over and erase a file it can take quite a while to delete a lot of files.

If you plan on using Eraser on a hard drive then your going to want to do this when you goto sleep. The program also comes with a scheduler program to that can be setup to wipe files as in a daily basis or weekly basis. It also comes with another program that you put on a disk and from what i read that to will wipe a hard drive out.

In closing its a good program and really simple to use. If you want your data deleted in the best manner possible and still want to have a working drive then there is no doubt that this program is worth having. The program is also open source and GPL so you can modify or look at the source code if you choose to do so. Also if you use the program on a regular basis then donate a few dollars to the creator of the software , you can do that on his site.

Here is the Link to the guys site who makes the program..