PC-Doctor drive erasure: Why deleting data might not be good enough


PC Doctor Drive Erasure - hero

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We’re all familiar with deleting files on our PCs. You highlight unwanted stuff and drag it into the recycle bin, right? Savvier tech types probably know that the recycle bin keeps the files in question until the bin reaches capacity, then it complains about being full and you are urged to clear it.

So, the files are properly gone? Ostensibly yes, the average or even intermediate computer user won’t be able to recover these files. However, the world of cybersecurity and indeed cybercrime is pretty mad, meaning it’s very tricky to actually make sure your data is gone for good. Almost impossible actually.

Of course, if the computer with the files is literally expendable, you could opt to physically destroy the drives. Luckily hard disk drives and SSDs can both be baptized in fire, so to speak. This is pretty much your only solution physically speaking, as some talented data recovery people can literally reconstruct cracked and snapped hard drive platters.

So, in the quite likely event that you don’t feel like setting fire to your PC, what are your options? In the advanced technological period in which we live, it’s worth being absolutely sure that your files are gone, especially confidential, personal stuff.

Luckily, PC-Doctor has a solution that passes muster both in terms of cyber security and user-friendliness, the PC-Doctor Service Center Drive Erase USB flash drive.

The drive allows you to skip the costly step of taking your drives to a technician for a professional erasure, allowing you to do it yourself, from the comfort of your own home, without sacrificing security or efficacy.

How does PC-Doctor securely erase your drives?

As mentioned earlier, PC-Doctor has passed some very stringent certifications for secure drive erasure. Most importantly, PC-Doctor is NIST 800-88r1 compliant, which is the current gold standard for media sanitation.

This certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) means that PC-Doctor has been verified as capable of erasing drives to the highest standards of cyber security. The official guidelines are extremely long and very comprehensive, so if you really want to know, you can read them here.

Anyway, what you need to know is that the PC-Doctor drive erasure USB stick will totally clean any type of drive, be it an HDD, SSD, SAS, or NVMe m.2. This means that the drives are returned to the same state they were when they left the factory – totally empty.

It might sound odd, but fully erasing drives is very tricky. This means that it’s hard to be sure, as you can’t necessarily see everything via the file explorer.

OK then, but how can you be sure that PC-Doctor Drive Erase has completed its operation successfully? Well, a certificate verifying the erasure is created after the fact.

This certificate, provided in convenient PDF form, proves the extent of the drive erasure, even including a cryptographic fingerprint. Furthermore, it provides additional information too, for example:

  • How many erasure rounds
  • General PC details
  • The verification method itself

The report also functions as a signable form for those using the PC-Doctor Drive Erase in a professional, enterprise scenario, allowing for proper accountability too.

PC Doctor Drive Erase

How to use PC-Doctor Service Center Drive Erase

You may initially be apprehensive about inserting such a powerful data removal tool into your precious PC. However, the drive won’t brick your PC as soon as you plug it in, as there is a specific process.

  1. Of course, it goes without saying that you should go through the drives beforehand just in case you’ve left anything important on there, as it won’t survive PC-Doctor’s deletion.
  1. First, shut down the computer in question, then insert the drive into any USB port. If you’re on a more modern laptop with hard-to-access USBs or even one that only has USB type-C ports, don’t worry.  PC-Doctor Drive Erase comes with an extension cable and a USB Type-A to Type-C adaptor to accommodate the lack of physical connectivity modern devices are prone to.
  1. After inserting the USB key, turn the computer on, which will greet you with PC-Doctor’s custom bootable environment. Here you can view previous reports, edit them, change language, and many other options. 
  1. To securely erase your drives, you select the ‘ERASE DRIVES’ option. You then have the option to select specific drives, or go scorched earth and erase all the drives connected to the system.
  1. After making your choice, PC-Doctor Drive Erase will get to work mercilessly, securely, and irreversibly erasing those drives. 

That’s about it, for how to use PC-Doctor Drive Erase. For an easier breakdown and additional information, see our Q&A section below.

PC-Doctor FAQS

Here you’ll find some of the more common questions about drive erasure, and PC-Doctor specifically.

Will the PC-Doctor USB stick start as soon as I plug it in?

No. You have to go through a few menus first, so there’s no chance of accidentally erasing anything before you mean to.

What systems does PC-Doctor work on?

PC-Doctor runs on any x86-64 PC, including Windows or Linux PCs, and Intel-based Macs. 

What languages does PC-Doctor work in?

At time of writing, PC-Doctor runs in English, but can save report certificates in English, Danish, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish.

What type of drives can be erased by PC Doctor?

PC-Doctor currently works on HDDs, SSDs, ATA, NVMe, eMMC, and SAS drives.

What methods does PC-Doctor use for drive erasure?

Depending on the type of drive in question, different methods are more effective than others. PC-Doctor uses whichever method will result in the most complete erasure. A full list of methods can be found here.

How much does PC-Doctor cost? 

You can purchase a PC-Doctor Drive Erase USB stick from their website here for $59.99, or for rapid simultaneous deployment on multiple systems, you can also buy Drive Erase in packs of 3 for $149.99.

Additionally, there are no license fees or maximum uses. Once you buy the drive erasure stick from PC-Doctor you can use it an unlimited amount of times. This provides a preferable alternative to erasure software subscriptions, as once you invest in PC-Doctor, it’s yours to keep.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.