Best option, HDDerase for certified NIST 800-88 Secure Erase. Simple and secure. Highly recommended.
For my purposes, I selected pieces from Gordon Hughes’ (UCSanDiego Center for Magnetic Recording Research) publication. I am sure he would want you to read his complete work found here.
Complete eradication of user data off drives can be accomplished by running Secure Erasure utilities such as the freeware “HDDerase” discussed here.
Secure erase has been approved by the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), Computer Security Resource Center. NIST document 800-88 approves SE at a higher security level than external software block overwrite utilities like as Norton Government Wipe, and it meets the legal requirements of HIPAA, PIPEDA, GLBA, and Sarbanes-Oxley.
UCSD.edu provide a download that can be used to create a bootable disk containing the Secure Erase Utility here:
Download Freeware Secure Erase Utility
Instructions and Example Screen Output can be found in the:
Although, I don’t see DoD certification specifically mentioned. DBAN describes the use of the DoD 5220 Block Erase technique. Highly recommended.
Darik’s Boot and Nuke (“DBAN”) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers.
DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware.
DBAN is a free software product that can be used at home or in a business at zero cost.
More data destruction at: http://find.pcworld.com/54638
Just looking to securely erase files or folders instead of the entire drive? Use Eraser found at http://eraser.heid.ie
Uses the multiple overwrite technique.
For your PC, the best way to protect your data if its stolen, is Full Disk Encryption. Encrypt your entire existing drive or just a folder or a file. No one will access or recover it without your password. www.truecrypt.org