In this day and age of the Recycle Bin sitting quietly in the corner of our PC’s desktop it’s hard to remember a time when deleting a file simply was that: deleted. The recycle bin gives us the breathing room to reclaim any files we may have inadvertently deleted. So when we empty the bin that’s the end of our files, gone and forgotten?

You’d think so, but in reality, the data is still there, it merely means that Windows no longer recognises its place on your hard drive. It does this by merely marking the space on the drive as free, so that fresh files can be saved there.

This is worth knowing because if you sell on your PC and delete all your private information, someone could come along and still get access to the data. That’s why it’s easy to buy programs that will find lost data, as it’s not really gone anywhere.

Drive Erase Pro is one of those programs that does exactly as it says, it’ll take that drive and erase any evidence that files were ever on there: once they’re gone, they’re gone.

It’s a simple install and immediately you’re faced with which partition or drive you want to cleanse. The wizard looks similar in appearance to the disk manager in Windows XP, so if you’ve set up your own partitions you’ll be aware of how it works. The wizard is nicely sign posted, which gives you the confidence to proceed without worrying you’re doing the wrong thing. You click on the partition you want and as long as you haven’t any programs running from it, you’ll find it runs itself.

What’s more, should you need to wipe the primary drive, you’ll need a boot disk, which just happens to come with the package, which will allow you to boot from your optical drive and erase the C: drive. It does this by booting a little Lynux application that acts in exactly the same way as the primary program by allowing you to select which partition you want erased.

Price when reviewed:

Drive Erase Pro isn’t an essential tool, it’s one of those applications that will be seen as “something for the serious hobbyist” and to be fair, you aren’t really going to use it that many times to make the £30 asking price pay for it.

However, if you’re serious about your privacy, or simply have something to hide, you’re unlikely to find anything as effective or simple as this. Just remember: with Drive Erase Pro, once it’s gone, it’s gone.