3.1.7 Active@ KillDisk

Active@ KillDisk is a powerful utility that will:

  • Wipe confidential data from an unused space on your hard drive
  • Erase data from partitions or from an entire hard disk
  • Destroy data permanently

Wiping the logical drive's deleted data does not delete existing files and folders.

It processes all unoccupied drive space so that recovery of the previously deleted files becomes impossible.

Installed applications and existing data are not touched by this process. Active@ KillDisk wipes unused data residue from file slack space, unused sectors, and unused space in MTF records or system records.

When you erase data with Active@ KillDisk, you destroy data permanently, conforming to any one of six international standards or your own custom settings.

Wiping drive space or erasing data can take a long time, so perform these operations when you are prepared to wait. For example, these operations may be run overnight.

To run Active@ KillDisk:

  • 1. From the Active@ Boot Disk shell, click Start > Programs > Active@ KillDisk.
    Active@ Boot Disk shell. KillDisk
    After initializing, the Active@ KillDisk workspace appears with all available devices listed under System Local Disks.
    System Local Disks. KillDisk
  • 2. Click a physical drive or a logical drive to select it. Properties of the selected device will appear in the Properties tab.
    Properties. KillDisk
  • 3. To scan the selected logical drive, click Scan. The Progress tab will appear, showing the status of the scan while Time Left counts down the remaining time. When the scan completes, sub-folders will appear in the System Local Disks list and the folders and files in the selected drive appear in the Folders and Files tab.
    Properties. KillDisk
    Available files and folders will appear with a colored icon, while deleted files and folders will appear with a gray icon.
  • 4. After the scan has been completed, you can:
    • Select existing and deleted folder and file information in the Folders and Files tab.
    • View sectors of data in a device or logical drive, select a device or drive and click Hex Preview. The Data Viewer appears. Scroll through the available data.
      Hex Preview. The Data Viewer appears.

View sectors of data in a file:

  • Select a logical drive. Files and Folders appear in the right panel.
  • In the right panel, select a file.
    Files and Folders appear. KillDisk
  • Click Hex Preview. The Data Viewer appears. Scroll through the available data.

Wiping Data

To clear data residue from unused sectors:

Select the check box next to a device or logical drive or multiple devices or logical drives.

  • 1. Click Wipe. The Wipe Free Disk Space dialog box appears.
    Wipe Free Disk Space
    (For more about setting your wiping methods, see Wiping or Erasing Methods, Chapter 3 of Active@ KillDisk manual)
  • 2. Choose one of the methods from the Wipe Method list.
  • 3. To se set other parameters for wiping click on more options in the bottom left corner.
    KillDisk Settings
    (For more about setting your wiping parameters see Parameters for Wiping or Erasing, Chapter 3 of Active@ KillDisk manual)
  • 4. Click Start
    KillDisk Confirm Action
    The Confirm Action dialog box appears.
    Click Yes.
  • 5. The process will be initialized with the Progress bar appearing at the lower side of the left panel.
    Progress. KIllDisk
  • 6. To stop the process at any time, press ESC or click at the Stop All button near the progress bar. You can also stop the drive wipe by pressing the little red square near the progress bar at Local System Devices.

Erasing Data

To erase data completely

Select the check box next to a device or logical drive or multiple devices or multiple logical drives.

  • 1. Click Kill. The Kill dialog box appears.
    KillDisk dialog appears
    (For more about setting your erasing methods, see Wiping or Erasing Methods)
  • 2. Choose a method from the Erase Method list.
  • 3. Set other erasing parameters by clicking on more options… in the bottom left corner.
    KillDisk Settings
    (For more about setting your erasing parameters see Parameters for Wiping or Erasing)
  • 5. Click Start
    • If the Skip Confirmation check box is clear, the Confirm Action dialog box will appear.
      Skip Confirmation check box
    • This is the final step before removing data from the selected drive forever. Type ERASE-ALL-DATA in the text box and press ENTER or click OK.
  • 6. The process will start and the Progress bar will appear.
    Progress. KillDisk
  • 7. To stop the process at any time, press ESC. You can also end the process by clicking on Stop All button or by clicking on the red square at the Load System devices panel near the progress bar of the drive that was being erased.

After the Wipe or Kill operation is complete, information about the wipe or erase session is displayed in the Session Log.

KillDisk Certificate

Wipe/ Erase Methods

Wipe/ Erase Methods of KillDisk

Select a wipe method or an erase method from the Method drop-down list:

  • One Pass Zeros or One Pass Random: The number of passes is fixed and cannot be changed. When the write head passes through the sector, it writes only zeros or a series of random characters.
  • US DoD 5220.22-M: The write head passes over each sector three times. The first time with zeros (0x00), second time with 0xFF and the third time with random characters. There is one final pass to verify random characters by reading.
  • US Army AR380-19: The write head passes over each sector three times; the first time with 0xFF, the second time with zeros (0x00), and the third time with random characters. There is one final pass to verify random characters by reading.
  • Canadian OPS-II: The write head passes over each sector seven times (0x00, 0xFF, 0x00, 0xFF, 0x00, 0xFF, Random). There is one final pass to verify random characters by reading.
  • Canadian CSEC ITSG-06: The write head passes over each sector three times (0xFF, 0x00, Random). There is one final pass to verify random characters by reading.
  • German VSITR: The write head passes over each sector seven times (0x00, 0xFF, 0x00, 0xFF, 0x00, 0xFF, 0xAA). There is one final pass to verify random characters
  • Russian GOST p50739-95: The write head passes over each sector two times (0x00, Random). There is one final pass to verify random characters by reading.
  • Gutmann most secure method: The write head passes over each sector 35 times overwriting data with different patterns. For more details about this, the most secure data clearing standard, you can read the original article at the link below: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html
  • User Defined: You indicate the number of times the write head passes over each sector. Each overwriting pass is performed with a buffer containing the pattern you specified (ASCII string).

Read KillDisk manual for more secure erasing methods supplied.

Erase/Wipe Options

KillDisk. Erase/Wipe OptionsVerification: In order to verify the wipe method, you will need to select the Verification check box and set the amount of area that the utility will read in order to verify the wipe method. Because verification is a long process, you can specify a percentage of the surface to be verified. To wipe or erase without verification, clear this check box.

Wipe out Deleted/Unused data: This parameter appears only when you are wiping data from unused space on the hard drive. The wiping process clears data residue from unoccupied space on the hard drive and does not affect installed applications or existing data.

This process contains three options:

  • Wipe unused clusters
  • Wipe Metadata/System file area
  • Wipe slack space in file clusters

You can choose to run only one or two of these options in order to make the process faster. If you want a thorough wiping of unused space, then include all of the options.

General Options

General Options. KillDisk

General parameters allow you to turn features on or off or change default settings before you erase or wipe data from an unoccupied space.

You can also change the look and feel of the application and its logging options. To view and change settings, press the F2 key, or click the Settings toolbar button.

Initialize Disk(s) after Kill/Erase: Because of the BIOS restrictions of some manufacturers, a hard disk device that is larger than 300 MB must have an MBR (Master Boot Record) in sector zero.

If you erase sector zero and fill it with zeros or random characters, you might find that you cannot use the hard drive after erasing the data. For this reason KillDisk is programmed to create an empty partition table and write a typical MBR in sector zero. This process is otherwise known as disk initialization.

Write Fingerprint to the first sector.

If fingerprint has been written to the disk's first sector, next time you boot from this disk, you will see a disk erase status, like this:
Write Fingerprint to the first sector

If by any chance the errors have occurred or the erasing has been stopped, status will be FAILED and displayed in red color.

Save Log & Shutdown PC after completion: Erasing can take many hours. You can leave the KillDisk working and set it to turn the computer off when erasing is completed. A log file will be saved and can be reviewed later.

Skip Disk Erase Confirmation: The confirmation screen is the final step before erasing data. In this screen, you type ERASE-ALL-DATA to confirm what is about to happen.

If Skip Confirmation is turned on, this final safety request will not appear. This option is typically used with caution by advanced users in order to speed up the process. It is safer to run KillDisk when Skip Disk Erase Confirmation is selected by default. You may want to use this as a safety measure to ensure that data from the correct drive location is going to be erased completely with no possibility of future data recovery.

Ignore Disk Write Errors (bad sectors): If this option is turned on, error messages will not be displayed while data erasing or verification is in progress. All information about errors will be written to the KILLDISK.LOG file. These messages will be displayed in the final Erasing report after the process has been completed.

Stop Process after Writing Errors: If by any chance writing errors appear during the wipe or deletion, you can adjust after how many errors would you like the KillDisk to terminate the process.

Retry Attempts: To specify the number of retries to do when an error is encountered, enter the number in Retry Attempts.

Clear Log File before Start: To truncate the session log before erasing or wiping starts, select the Clear Log File before Start check box. To append this session's information to the existing session log, clear the Clear Log File before Start check box.

boot disk

For more detailed instructions and support, see the Active@ KillDisk User Guide.