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REVIEW:
Wiebetech eRazer --
"Shredder" for Hard Drives

Originally posted December 13th, 2007 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

WHY DO YOU NEED SECURE ERASE?
If you have some hard drives you plan to sell or give away, you may want to protect yourself by "zapping" them, not just by deleting files or reformatting. Those actions do NOT overwrite data. That means your credit card numbers, social security number, email content, addresses, financial info, software serial numbers, etc., are all still sitting there for someone to retrieve using some disk recovery utility.

Because of that, Wiebetech created a "magic box" (the eRazer) which writes zeros to the whole hard drive, thereby obliterating any data. No recovery software in the world can retrieve your proprietary information once the drive has been processed by the eRazer.

ARE THERE STANDARDS FOR SECURE ERASING?
The Defense Department recently updated their requirements for secure erasure of drives. If there is non-classified data, you only need to overwrite the entire drive in one pass. If the drive does have classified data, then it must be destroyed.

For you, the average geek, overwriting the entire drive with zeroes is all you need to do if you are giving away or selling a hard drive. However, if you work for a company that has a policy of multiple passes of overwrite, the eRazer has an option to do three passes ("F," "55," then zeros). If you need more than three passes to meet your organization's standards, you can always restart the process as many times as you want.

Be advised that this is a time consuming process. Wiebetech estimates two hours to zero a 250GB drive. It took us an hour to make one pass on a 160GB drive. Multiple passes means multiple hours per drive.

WHAT ABOUT APPLE'S DISK UTILITY?
Apple includes a Secure Erase option in Disk Utility. The default is to zap the directories but leave the data undisturbed. If you click the Security Options button before starting the Erase, you can choose one, seven, or thirty-five passes of writing zeros to the drive.

Though Apple quotes a DOD standard of seven passes, that standard has been recently updated to require only one pass as we indicated above.

So why not just use the Apple Disk Utility? Why bother to buy the Wiebetech eRazer? For starters, a software utility that zeros a disk does not detect HPAs or DCOs. An "HPA" is Host Protected Area sometimes referred to as Hidden Protected Area. It is an area of a hard drive that is not normally visible to an operating system (OS). A "DCO" stands for Device Configuration Overlay. It is another hidden area on many of today's hard drives which is not detected by the OS. Wiebetech's eRazer is able to detect and erase HPAs. The two top models can detect and erase DCOs.

Secondly, you may not have an easy way to connect the drive you want to "zap." It requires an external enclosure or free internal drive bay. You'll need a free data port (FireWire, SATA, etc.) or possibly a special host adapter. With the eRazer, you don't need to involve your Mac in the process at all.

(If you do choose to use Disk Utility to zero your drive, it uses less than 1% of the CPU. That means you can perform other functions on your Mac while it's working but you won't be able to use Disk Utility to do anything else until the zeroing process is complete.)

WHICH ERAZER IS FOR RIGHT YOU?
There are four models to choose from but we recommend the deluxe bundle kit (DRZR-2-VBND) that will erase EIDE/PATA and SATA drives in both 3.5" and 2.5" sizes. It gives you maximum flexibility.

It's a "must have" for information systems support staff.

The eRazer also makes a great gift for your geeky friends.

READ MORE
For an expanded discussion on why you should use "secure erase" on your drives, read the white paper by Wiebetech called "What's On Your Hard Drive?"

Apple Online Store

WHERE TO BUY THE WIEBETECH ERAZER
Order the eRazer directly from Weiebetech's website.

OTHER PRODUCTS FROM WIEBETECH
You might want to check out the other great storage products by Wiebetech. Some that we particularly like and have tested include:

The RTX 400 "Tray Free" four bay storage unit with FireWire 800, SATA, and USB 2.0 ports.

The SilverSATA II dual bay SATA storage unit with Hardware RAID 0 and 1 at the box level.

The ToughTech MINI XE Quad Interface enclosure for notebook SATA drives.

OTHER SOURCES OF WIEBETECH PRODUCTS
Check with Other World Computing (search on "Wiebetech").

Check with Small Dog Electronics (search on "Wiebetech").

WHERE TO BUY APPLE PRODUCTS
If you live in the USA and plan to purchase an APPLE product, please CLICK THIS LINK or any APPLE DISPLAY AD to help us earn our affiliate commission. It's a great way to support Bare Feats.

DON'T LIVE in USA?
Readers in Canada should visit Apple Store, Canada.
Readers in France should visit Apple Store - France.
Readers in Germany should visit Apple Store - Germany.
Readers in Italy should visit Apple Store -Italy.
Readers in the United Kingdom should visit Apple Store - UK.

You can also purchase Apple systems and accessories from Small Dog Electronics. You can custom order from them just like with the Apple Store.

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2007 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster and mad scientist