HDShredder Review (v4)

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

Screenshot of HDShredder v4 in Windows XP
HDShredder v4.

Unlike file shredder programs that can erase only single files and folders, HDShredder is a full-fledged data destruction program that deletes everything that resides on a hard drive.

You can use HDShredder in Windows like you would any program or you can boot to it from a disc, which enables even the primary hard drive to be wiped clean.

Either way you use it, HDShredder will circumvent the use of a data recovery program by anyone that might get their hands on your hard drive in the future.

Note: This review is of HDShredder version 4. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

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More About HDShredder

HDShredder can be used in two ways. You can either install it like a regular Windows program for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Server 2003-2012, or boot from it using an ISO file.

Both install types let you erase files from internal and USB drives. However, the ISO method is the only one that will let you destroy the hard drive that Windows is installed to. See my How to Burn an ISO Image File if you need help doing this.

Write Zero is the data sanitization method that's used to delete files with HDShredder. You can choose to do a quick pass that overwrites data just once, or select to do it 3 or 7 times for greater security.

To wipe a hard drive with HDShredder, just select Drive on the main window, choose the hard drive that should be wiped, select how many times it should be overwritten with data, and then click through the wizard until you can choose the Start button.

Pros & Cons

HDShredder is a great data destruction program with many advantages:

Pros:

  • Can erase data from internal and external hard drives
  • Easy wizard walks you through deleting files
  • Relatively small download size
  • Able to delete files from any operating system

Cons:

  • Several options don't work unless you upgrade to a paid version

    My Thoughts on HDShredder

    Some programs that boot from a disc are available only as that - a bootable program, and most of them are hard to use because they provide no graphical interface. HDShredder takes on both of those pitfalls by providing a program that's pretty easy to use and is identical when ran from inside Windows as well as from outside.

    This means that no matter if you want to delete all the files from a USB device from within Windows, or wipe out your primary hard drive from outside of Windows, both tasks can be taken on with HDShredder.

    The only negative thing I found with HDShredder is that many of the options you see in the program appear to work... until you click on them and are told you need to upgrade to a paid version to use that feature. For example, several data sanitization methods are listed in the Deletion method page of the program but you can't choose any of them.

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