Capable computer cleaner

Remove personal data before junking or selling your computer with this thorough tool.

When it's time to get rid of old computers, many people think erasing and reformatting a hard drive is sufficient to keep private information out of others' hands. But to keep your private data safe from others, you really need a more thorough tool and EAST-Tec's DisposeSecure fits the bill. This hard-disk and network sanitizing utility can completely eliminate data beyond the possibility of recovery. It uses Department of Defense standards for data destruction, but users can configure custom security levels too.

DisposeSecure is a powerful and competent tool, and its interface and features reflect that, once you click through the trial screens. DisposeSecure comes in two interrelated parts, the Network Sanitizing tool--the program can clean one PC or a whole network--and the Bootable Media Creator, which makes DisposeSecure entirely portable and simplifies cleaning multiple machines. There are lots of settings, befitting a sophisticated application, but a fully indexed and searchable Windows-style Help center and integrated warnings and explanations make everything clear and prevent accidental disasters. There's a command line feature, too, and an Image Recorder that creates bootable ISO images.

DisposeSecure's free 15-day trial will only sanitize one-quarter of a selected disk, but the program only costs $19.95; cheap insurance, especially for small businesses. It works in all versions of Windows from 95 to 7.

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