Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How does the licensing work?
  2. How to update my current KillDisk software online?
  3. How is the data erased?
  4. What is the difference between the Site and Enterprise license?
  5. What is the difference between FREE and Professional versions?
  6. How many operating systems supported by KillDisk?
  7. Which method is used for data erasing?
  8. Does KillDisk support command line arguments?
  9. What types of HDD it understands?
  10. Will I be able to use my HDD after Active@ KillDisk erase operation?
  11. I think I have a virus on my computer and I want to completely erase the disk to make sure it is gone before I re-install my operating system. What is the best product for doing this?
  12. My company has requested that I prepare several machines to be de-commissioned and I need to make sure all data is off these machines. What is the best software for ensuring no data can be recovered from these machines?
  13. We need to completely erase all data from a raid set including the raid striping information.. What is the best way to do this?
  14. I think I have a virus on my computer. Is formatting enough to get rid of all traces of it or is there some way to make sure all data is completely erased from the drive?
  15. I am donating my computer to a charity. They will re-install the operating system on it but I need to make sure all my personal data is deleted before I ship it out. Is it enough to format the drive or is there something else I should do?
  16. My company has requested that I prepare several machines to be de-commissioned and I need to make sure all data is off these machines. My boss asked me to wipe the drives but when I asked him how he could not give me a clear answer. Does anyone know of a simple way to 'wipe a drive'?
  17. I think I have a virus on my USB stick. Is formatting enough to get rid of all traces of it or is there some way to make sure all data is completely erased from the drive?
  18. I am donating some old USB sticks to a charity. I need to make sure all my personal data is deleted before I ship it out. Is it enough to format the USB stick or is there something else I should do?
  19. How can I see certificate and log file created by Active@ KillDisk after disk erasing?
  20. How can I see certificate and log file created by Active@ KillDisk after disk wiping?
  21. How to load Active@ Boot Disk over the network via PXE environment? New!
  22. We are using a WinPE environment that is booted into via PXE from a Windows Deployment Server. I am wondering if there is a way for us to copy registry information and files into the WIM file that we boot from so the applications are already installed and registered? Or will I need to script the installation and registration to occur each time we boot into WinPE? New!

How does the licensing work? 

The software is licensed on a per USB / floppy or CD basis. Each license allows you to use the program from a separate USB / floppy or CD. If you want to use the program to wipe 5 computers concurrently, you would need 5 USB / floppy or CDs and therefore need a 5 user license.

How to update my current KillDisk software online?  

To update or re-download your KillDisk software go to the link below and follow the instructions: https://secure.lsoft.net/clients/

How is the data erased?  

Active@ KillDisk communicates with the system board Basic Input-Output Subsystem (BIOS) functions to access hardware directly.

It uses Logical Block Addressing (LBA) access if necessary to clean FAT32 drives more than 8 Gb in size. To erase data it overwrites all addressable locations on the drive with zeros (FREE version). Active@ KillDisk Professional version suggests several methods for data destruction.

For example, in US DoD 5220.22-M method it overwrites all addressable storage and indexing locations on the drive three times: with zeros (0x00), complement (0xFF) and random characters; and then verifies all writing procedures. This complies with the US DoD 5220.22-M security standard.

What is the difference between the Site and Enterprise license?  

A Site License allows for unlimited usage of the program at one physical location, whereas an Enterprise License allows unlimited usage at any of the purchasing companies locations worldwide.

What is the difference between FREE and Professional versions?  

Professional version in addition to all features of FREE version supports more than one hard drive and user can specify number of passes for data overwriting. Professional version of KillDisk is DoD 5220.22-M compliant

How many operating systems supported by KillDisk?  

Kil Disk is a DOS program and it does not matter which operating system is installed on the machine. If you can boot in DOS mode (from boot diskette for example), you can erase any drives independently of Operating System installed.

Which method is used for data erasing?  

KillDisk uses BIOS functions to access hardware directly. It uses LBA access if necessary to clean drives more than 8GB in size.

Does KillDisk support command line arguments?  

Yes, it does. You can place line into for example autoexec.bat to destroy all HDD (Hard Disk Drive) found. See help for the details.

What types of HDD it understands?  

All types of HDD are supported.

Will I be able to use my HDD after Active@ KillDisk erase operation?  

To be able to use HDD again you need to:

  • repartition HDD using standard utility like FDISK
  • reformat hard drive using standard utility like FORMAT
  • reinstall Operating System using bootable CD-ROM or USB / floppy

  I think I have a virus on my computer and I want to completely erase the disk to make sure it is gone before I re-install my operating system. What is the best product for doing this? New!

For completely erasing an entire drive you can use Killdisk. It can destroy all data on either a logical drive or a physical drive.

  My company has requested that I prepare several machines to be de-commissioned and I need to make sure all data is off these machines. What is the best software for ensuring no data can be recovered from these machines?

The best I have seen for this is Killdisk. Some software that erases all data on a machine is licensed by how many times it is run. The more you run it, the more it costs. Killdisk can be used as many times as you want (and it is reasonably priced).

  We need to completely erase all data from a raid set including the raid striping information.. What is the best way to do this?

You should use a software like killdisk. The striping information is stored on sectors on the disk, and since Killdisk erases all sectors, it will erase those sectors as well.

  I think I have a virus on my computer. Is formatting enough to get rid of all traces of it or is there some way to make sure all data is completely erased from the drive?

Formatting alone is not enough. You should back up all data you need saved then use a data destruction program (killdisk is one) to overwrite all sectors on the disk. Then re-install the OS and copy your data back to the drive.

  I am donating my computer to a charity. They will re-install the operating system on it but I need to make sure all my personal data is deleted before I ship it out. Is it enough to format the drive or is there something else I should do?

Any data recovery can retrieve your data after formatting. Although the charity probably won't go looking for old data, you have no idea what other uses will do. The charity might just turn around and sell it and there are people who buy computers just to see if they can get old data from them. You should definitely wipe the drive. Use a program designed to make data unrecoverable. Killdisk in one of them.

  My company has requested that I prepare several machines to be de-commissioned and I need to make sure all data is off these machines. My boss asked me to wipe the drives but when I asked him how he could not give me a clear answer. Does anyone know of a simple way to 'wipe a drive'? >

If the machines are being de-commissioned it is imperative that the data be securely wiped form the drive. There are software tools designed to do exactly that. Killdisk is a tool that will overwrite every sector on the drive several times to ensure even the best data recovery labs could not restore a single file from the computer.

  I think I have a virus on my USB stick. Is formatting enough to get rid of all traces of it or is there some way to make sure all data is completely erased from the drive?

You may as well totally wipe the drive clean with a programed to obliterate all data on the drive. A program like killdisk can make sure any virus or malware in neutralized on the disk, then you can partition (if needed) and re-format it.

  I am donating some old USB sticks to a charity. I need to make sure all my personal data is deleted before I ship it out. Is it enough to format the USB stick or is there something else I should do?

It is not enough to format the disks. Many data recovery softwares can recover data / pictures from those drives after repeated formatting. You need to wipe the drive (overwrite each sector with garbage data) to ensure the data can never be recovered. Killdisk (by LSoft technologies) can do this. After running a multiple pass wipe no software will be able to recover data from it.

  How to load Active@ Boot Disk over the network via PXE environment?

There are several steps required, configuring WinPE WIM, Boot Manager and PXE Server.

For the configuration steps, let's assume that inserted Active@ Boot Disk has a D: letter in our configuration environment.

Step 1: Copy WinPE Source Files onto PXE Server
  • Map a network connection to the root TFTP directory on the PXE/TFTP server and create there a \Boot folder
  • Copy the Boot.sdi file from D:\Boot folder of Active@ Boot Disk to the \Boot folder on PXE/TFTP server
  • Copy the bootable Windows PE image (D:\ Sources\Boot.wim) to the \Boot folder on PXE/TFTP server
Step 2: Configure boot configuration
  • On a Windows® 7 computer or in a Windows PE environment, create a BCD store by using the BCDEdit tool
  • Create the RAMDISK setting, BOOTMGR and OSLoader settings for the Windows PE image
  • Copy the BCD file to the \Boot folder on PXE/TFTP server
  • Configure your PXE/TFTP server to point PXE clients to download Wdsnbp.com
Step 3: Deployment process
  • A client is directed (by using DHCP Options or the PXE Server response) to download Wdsnbp.com
  • Wdsnbp.com validates the DHCP/PXE response packet and proceeds to download PXEBoot.com
  • PXEBoot.com downloads Bootmgr.exe and the BCD store. The BCD store must reside in a \Boot directory in the TFTP root folder. Additionally, the BCD store must be called BCD
  • Bootmgr.exe reads the BCD operating system entries and downloads Boot.sdi and the Windows PE image
  • Bootmgr.exe begins booting Windows PE by running Winload.exe within the Windows PE image

For more detailed instructions, read Microsoft TechNet official documentation

  We are using a WinPE environment that is booted into via PXE from a Windows Deployment Server. I am wondering if there is a way for us to copy registry information and files into the WIM file that we boot from so the applications are already installed and registered? Or will I need to script the installation and registration to occur each time we boot into WinPE?

Customizing WIM is a complex task, however it can be done. To accomplish this, run the following: (Requires Microsoft's Windows AIK and done from a command prompt)

  1. Mount WIM:
    Dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:D:\ABoot\iso\sources\boot.wim /index:1 /MountDir:D:\!
  2. Attach Registry from a file to your local registry, add your values, unload registry:
    reg load HKLM\my D:\!\windows\system32\config\software
    reg add "HKLM\my\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts" /v "Courier New (TrueType)" /t REG_SZ /d cour.ttf
    reg unload HKLM\my
  3. Unmount WIM:
    Dism /unmount-Wim /MountDir:d:\! /Commit

Here is the link to access the Microsoft Windows AIK and documentation

An alternate method is to add a script in to the Boot Disk Creator while preparing bootable media. The script is then automatically launched when WinPE is loading. Here is a link with further details: http://boot-disk.com/booting_disk_drivers.htm.

 

 

This document is available in PDF format, which requires Adobe® Acrobat® Reader (Free download):

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