CBL Data Shredder v1.0

A Full Review of CBL Data Shredder, a Free Data Destruction Software Tool

Screenshot of CBL Data Shredder
CBL Data Shredder (Bootable Disc).

CBL Data Shredder is an easy to use free data destruction program that can be run from both inside and outside Windows, making it a very versatile program.

When run from outside Windows, you can use CBL Data Shredder to destroy a hard drive that has any operating system installed to it. From within Windows, this free tool can completely erase any internal or external drive other than the one you're using for Windows, which is usually the C: drive.

Note: Follow the download links here for the: Windows versionfloppy program, and ISO image. Choose the version of CBL Data Shredder that is most appropriate for you.

Visit CBLData.com

Note: This review is of CBL Data Shredder version 1.0. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

More About CBL Data Shredder

CBL Data Shredder comes in two versions, both of which are useful for different scenarios. The first is a bootable program that can be used on a floppy disk or a data disc, and the other is a regular program that works in Windows 7, Vista, and XP. CBL Data Shredder also will run in Windows 10 and Windows 8, but only if the program is launched with administrative rights.

The bootable program that comes as a floppy disk program or ISO disc image is useful for erasing the hard drive that an operating system is installed to. For example, if you're wanting to wipe a Linux or Windows hard drive, use this method to boot from the floppy or disc to erase the drive.

The Windows version is useful if you need to destroy all the files on a flash drive or some other connected hard drive other than the one you're using right now to run Windows and the CBL Data Shredder program itself.

In both the bootable version and the Windows program, the following data sanitization methods are supported:

In addition to the several methods listed above, you can also create your own wipe method be defining zeros, ones, or some custom text that should be used as the overwriting text. You can also choose a custom number of re-writes for a more thorough clean.

To use the bootable program on a floppy disk, open CBL-Data_Shredder-floppymaker.exe and make sure a floppy is inserted. The program will place the CBL-Data_Shredder-dos.exe program on the floppy so it can be used while booting up the computer.

Few if any of you probably have floppy drives anymore, so the CBL Data Shredder DOS CD-R Image ISO file is what you'll want. See How to Burn an ISO Image File to learn how to properly burn that file to a disc, and then see my How to Boot From a Disc tutorial if you need help loading the program once it's on the disc.

To use CBL Data Shredder from a flash drive or other USB device, you'll need to download the same ISO image that's used for a disc (this one). However, once downloaded, you need to next extract the contents of CBL Data Shredder DOS CD-R Image.iso using a file extractor program like 7-Zip.

Once extracted, you'll find an IMG file called Bootable_1.44M.img in a folder named [BOOT].

Burn this IMG file to the flash drive using Win32 Disk Imager, and then boot to the device to run CBL Data Shredder. See How To Boot From a USB Device if you're not sure about that part.

The Windows version is easy to use - just launch the program and click Select Disk... to locate the drive that should be wiped. Then just choose an erase method and click Start.

CBL Data Shredder Pros & Cons

There's little to dislike about CBL Data Shredder:

Pros:

  • Erases everything on a hard drive
  • Bootable options available
  • Able to wipe away any operating system
  • Can be used from inside Windows
  • Not confusing or difficult to use

    Cons:

    • Windows version doesn't make you confirm before deleting a drive

    My Thoughts on CBL Data Shredder

    There are multiple reasons I prefer some data destruction programs over others. I like a program to be able to erase everything on a hard drive regardless of the installed OS, for it to be easy to use, and for it to support secure and industry accepted erase methods. CBL Data Shredder hits all of these points.

    The bootable program means you can delete absolutely everything on a drive, both the bootable version and the Windows version could hardly be easier to use, and the data sanitization methods CBL Data Shredder can use will certainly ensure that no file recovery program can retrieve your deleted files in the future.

    Something I don't like is that you aren't asked twice if you want to erase a hard drive when using the Windows version. This means files will begin to be permanently overwritten the moment you press the Start button. The bootable program, however, makes you confirm, which is great.

    Also, the bootable program tells you how large each drive is but that's about all the identifiable information you're given. This means it can be a little tricky to know which drive you really want to destroy and which you want to keep.

    Some of the program text in the Windows version is in German, but because so little of it is I don't see it as a huge problem. The cancel button, for example, is in German but it's the only button that's clickable while files are being wiped, so it's really not hard to miss.

    Visit CBLData.com

    Note: Use the direct download links at the top of this page to download CBL Data Shredder.