HDDErase 4.0 Free Data Wipe Software Program Review

A Full Review of HDDErase, a Free Data Destruction Software Tool

Screenshot of HDDErase v4.0
HDDErase v4.0.

HDDErase is a bootable data destruction program that works by running off a disc, like a CD or DVD, or floppy disk.

Because HDDErase runs before the operating system is loaded, it can erase not only any operating system, but even the one that you're primarily using, like whatever you have running on the C: drive.

Note: This review is of HDDErase version 4.0, released on September 20, 2008. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

Download HDDErase
[cmrr.ucsd.edu | Download Tips]

More About HDDErase

HDDErase is a text-only program, which means there aren't any buttons or menus that you can use to work with it.

To get started, just click the Download Freeware Secure Erase Utility link on the download page to download HDDErase as a ZIP file.

The easiest way to use HDDErase is from the bootable ISO image included with the download. You can also create any boot media you want (floppy, disc, flash drive, etc.) and copy the HDDERASE.EXE file to it.

The included HDDEraseReadMe file has some information on how to create the boot disk. You can also read my guide on How to Burn an ISO Image File if you need a little more help with that part of the process.

Once whatever boot information is included on your bootable media is loaded, execute HDDERASE.EXE to launch the software and then enter Y to start the wizard. The wizard is composed of confirmation prompts and other questions that just require you to enter Y a few more times before erasing the disk.

The only data sanitization method HDDErase supports is Secure Erase but this is arguably the very best one available.

HDDErase Pros & Cons

There's not much to dislike about this tool:


  • Erases everything on a hard drive
  • Supports a hard drive's only built-in sanitization method
  • Very easy to use
  • Supports erasing any operating system
  • Small download size


  • Must boot from a CD/DVD or floppy disk to use HDDErase

My Thoughts on HDDErase

Even though HDDErase doesn't run from an operating system like a regular program, it's still actually very easy to use. As I said above, only one key needs to be entered a few times to start deleting a hard drive.

I also like that the downloaded files are very small in size. At around just 1-2 MB, you get all the files necessary to run HDDErase.

If you like the simple interface of HDDErase but would like more choices for a data sanitization method, maybe DBAN or CBL Data Shredder would be a better fit, as they both support several more than HDDErase.

Download HDDErase
[cmrr.ucsd.edu | Download Tips]