When old computers reach the end of their useful life within an organisation, many an IT professional immediately has thoughts of charity on their mind and donating an old computer means someone else can use it to gain skills or keep in contact with the outside world.

However, this is not without its problems. No-one in their right mind would donate the CEO's old desktop without deleting important data such as financial records or confidential emails. Reformatting the disk does not erase this data permanently.

WipeDrive is designed to securely and permanently erase all data from a hard drive, regardless of the drive's format. This does so by overwriting the data a number of times. A Department of Defense Level 2 overwrite means the software passes over the same bit of information three times and then verifies the drive is clean.

The CD-Rom provided is a bootable disk and initially fires up a version of DR-DOS before heading into the main program. For old computers that cannot boot from a CD-Rom the vendor has provided the option to make a bootable floppy disk that does the same thing.

There are many options to choose from, all pretty much revolve around how many times a hard disk needs overwriting and verifying. There is an option to look at individual sectors to make sure they are clean too.

One thing that we thought was missing was the ability to wipe clean individual partitions, we would like to see this maybe in a future upgrade.

Also included with the software is a 15-day trial of SecureClean, which deletes files and personal data from internet cookies and history data as well as emails.

On the whole this is not a bad bit of software, however there are plenty of freeware applications on the internet that do a similar job.