Best method


New Member
What is the best method to clean a whole drive using eraser. I have replaced my drive with a new one. I have intalled the OS on the new drive, installed it as the master, move the old drive to a slave postion and moved all information I need over from the old drive to the new drive.

I have to return the old drive as it was defective so I want to clean everything, including the OS installed on it the most secure way I can (short of distroying it).

I have selected all files, all directories on this old drive and and have used eraser to clean them (using Gutmann). I will then do the low level format with WD Lifeguard (I assume that is the write 0's option) that was pointed out here on the forum, My thoughts are to then go back over and clean all unused (that should be the full disk after the erase as noted above) with Pseudorandom.

My questions: Because I selected all files and directories I assume there is still information on the drive because of the boot recrods and other system information on a drive, how can I erase that so there is NOTHING left on the drive. Does the low level Lifeguard take care of that?

Also, after I clean all unused space, my thoughts were to re-format the drive. Will that help? Hurt? Make any difference?

What else can / should I do that I am missing here before I sent the drive back?


Eraser will wipe the files and directories. The lowlevel format will do the rest.

I would do a freespace erase after wiping the files so as to clean out the end of the drive.

cleaning a drive

Thank you for the tip, I did the file (and directory) errase. I had some problems in that eraser hung up on a couple directories (Windows) and a couple of others but cleaned most of the drive.

I did a high level format to get rid of those I could not with eraser then I did a unused space clean with cleaner. I think this is what you were suggesting.

I am now trying to get the WD utility to work so that I can do the low leve (Write 0's) to the drive but having some problems. When I run the utility the drive (I have it set to F) shows up in the bottom window (logical drives) but doesn't show up in the top window (physical drives) so I can not test nor low level format it. The drive shows up and is accessable from everything else in windows so not sure what is going on. Any suggestions on that?

Just so I am understanding your suggestion correct, is this the method you are suggesting and when I figure out why the WD utility will not work and correct it, then low level format will I be about as good as I can get as far as cleaning the drive?

Run DBan on the old drive, this comes with eraser or you can download it from

Just make sure to disconnect the new hard drive before starting the wiping process!