Current Version 4.0
Author Center for Magnetic Recording Research
Downloads Count 10,091
License Type Free
Date Added Apr 6, 2012
Operating Systems
  • Microsoft DOS
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98
  • Microsoft Windows 98 SE
File Size 8.3 MB

HDDerase.exe is a DOS-based utility that securely erases "sanitizes" all data on ATA hard disk drives in Intel architecture computers (PCs). It offers the option to run the drive internal secure erase command, security erase unit, based on the ATA specification by the T13 technical committee. To run the utility make a floppy, recordable CD-R, or USB DOS bootable disk; then copy HDDerase.exe to the bootable media. Reboot the computer with the floppy, CD-R, or USB inserted, and type "hdderase" at the system DOS prompt. Make sure to set the correct priority boot order in the system BIOS, such as first boot floppy, CD-R, or USB depending on which media is used to run HDDerase.exe. HDDerase.exe must be run from an actual DOS environment and not a Window based DOS command prompt environment.

SUPPORT: Our sponsor, the National Security Agency, has ended their support of our program, and consequently we have no support staff to respond to problems. If you are having difficulty running the program, and have tried the readme.txt files on our website, then the easiest way to get drives securely erased is to connect the drive to a different PC and run hdderase.exe on it. This is particularly convenient if you have several drives to erase.

*NOTE: For laptop users, please make sure that there is sufficient battery life to run and complete the secure erase procedure. Secure erase may take as long as two hours for larger capacity drives. If power is lost during the secure erase, the drive will be in a locked state, preventing all I/O access. See the FAQ for further discussion on this topic.

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