Review: MediaTools Wipe 1.1 erases data on up to 18 drives simultaneously
MediaTools Wipe 1.1's interface mimics a server hardware rack—a rather cool, intuitive, and impressive look that's most often used in audio software. The interface is also paned, so you can hide portions you're not using. It's an interface that makes you want to buy the program. Given the existence of freeware programs such as Eraser, should you? If you need to wipe lots of drives with high-powered algorithms, you should certainly consider it. MediaTools Wipe 1.1 is a powerhouse.
MediaTools Wipe 1.1 can erase up to 18 drives simultaneously, something the freebies can't do. You can see all the drives attached to your system in the top faux rack space and freely select any single one for wiping. But for some reason, you can't just multi-select the drives from this pane. You must invoke the MultiWipe command (from the Help menu of all places) to open a dialog to wipe multiple drives; it's a very odd, unintuitive process in an otherwise intuitive interface.
Below the drive array is the View pane, which lets you see the actual information on drives in both ASCII and hexadecimal. This can be very useful if you're not sure a drive needs wiping or not. I wish Prosoft had gone one step further and allowed you to edit the data which can sometimes be handy repairing file headers and file table entries.
The MediaTools Wipe interface impressively mimics rack-mounted hardware. It's also super-easy to use.
At the bottom of the interface is the Wipe pane. From here you can choose to wipe the whole drive, or define an area to wipe. You can also choose from a list of advanced algorithms: DoD 5220.22-M (C,D, E, and H), AR-380-19, AFSSI 5020, NAVSO P 5239-26, NCSC TG-025, and Gutmann. Those sound serious, and they are. You may also load your own custom wipe pattern. Additionally, you can select and deselect dynamic error skipping, which will jump a user-specified number of sectors when an error is encountered. In the rare occurrence of a repeating pattern of corruption or deliberate damage, this could be useful. There are also options to verify the wipe, and to ignore read, write, and compare errors.
Once you've selected all your options, simply press start and away MediaTools Wipe goes. In my limited testing with three small internal drives, the program worked flawlessly, erasing them simultaneously. The process was also quicker than I expected. MediaTools Wipe also worked well with several individual external hard and flash drives. The demo version shows you the features, but you can't actually wipe anything so you'll have to take my word on its effectiveness and speed.
MediaTools Wipe 1.1 is available under three different licenses: the $49 technician's license that is good for one PC, the $499 site license good for one location, and a $999 enterprise license that you may use in any company location and any seat. There's also a portable Linux version that you can run from a flash drive.
All in all, despite a couple of odd design decisions, MediaTools Wipe 1.1 worked as advertised. Here's hoping that the next version allows multi-wiping from the main interface and adds sector editing to the mix. Those features would be worth another star.
Note: The Download button on the Product Information page will download the software to your system.
Copyright (c) 2013 PCWorld Communications, Inc.
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