All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One



Score: 96%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: iolo technologies
Developer: iolo technologies
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

For anyone who's familiar with System Mechanic, the user interface in DriveScrubber should be fairly easy to work with. For that matter, there aren't a whole lot of options, and the options are presented in a way that everything is relatively clearly identified. I never found myself wondering what something was for or whether I should use an option or not. For that matter, there are lots of informative hints that explain what the different options do.

The Home screen gives you a pretty good overview of what can be done with DriveScrubber. You can wipe all of the contents of a drive or you can wipe just the free space on a drive. The other main option, "Create DriveScrubber boot disk," is required if you want to wipe the hard drive on which Windows is installed.

Also clearly visible on the Home screen is a section for adding time to your license and a section for using the Desktop File Incinerator. (The Desktop File Incinerator is also included in System Mechanic.)


DriveScrubber isn't a game, it's a utility. With it, you can thoroughly clean a hard drive, removing any residual data that lingers when you use your computer.

Depending on your intended usage, the Desktop File Incinerator alone may suit your needs. This gives you the ability to right-click on a file and not only delete the file, but to delete it with military-grade effectiveness. If you set the configuration settings on this feature to be strong enough, you can use the incinerator and know that your file is permanently gone. I assume that the reader would want this feature to destroy any written traces of strategic planning for an upcoming match of Call of Duty or their temporary install of their Steam account at their grandparents' house or similarly sensitive data. If the ability to remove a specific file permanently is really all you need, you might want to look into getting System Mechanic, as it includes the Desktop File Incinerator along with a whole lot of other tools useful in maintaining your gaming machine.

However... you might be surprised to find out how much data actually remains on your computer after it's no longer needed. Temporary files, such as images or webpages can remain on a hard drive after simply viewing a web page, remaining on the hard drive until the space is overwritten. This is definitely something to bear in mind if you are getting a computer (or hard drive) second hand or giving one away, but it's a good idea to clean the unused memory on your hard drives just to keep your computer in top condition.

DriveScrubber has options that let you do just that - clean only the unused hard drive space - or to wipe a drive clean completely, something that would be a good idea before starting a clean operation system install.


There's not a lot of complexity involved in using DriveScrubber. You could definitely cause damage by using it incorrectly; you could wipe all the data from a hard drive irrecoverably. However, DriveScrubber does a good job of explaining what the settings do and warning you before you begin wiping data to verify that you know what you're doing... and informing you when proceeding to the next page isn't going to start a wipe operation. That helped to curb my nervousness.

Even if the drive isn't recognized by Windows (showing up as a physical drive only, and not a logical drive), it's still easy to select the physical drive; simply click on the "My drive is not listed" link below the logical drive list and DriveScrubber will show all of the physical drives it sees.

The most difficult thing to do with DriveScrubber is to completely wipe your computer's system drive. Since this drive has Windows installed on it and DriveScrubber is running on top of that operating system, attempting to simply wipe the system drive while the operating system is running would result in crashing the system and it wouldn't finish wiping the disk, but it also wouldn't boot into Windows again. Luckily, the folks at iolo thought of that and their solution is providing the ability to create a boot disk. If you have a 32-bit Windows operating system and a working floppy drive, you can create a boot disk on a floppy. Otherwise, you'll need to burn a CD, as the install for 64-bit is about 1.6 megs, a bit over the available storage on a floppy disk. Surprisingly, there isn't any support to make a boot disk of a flash drive or (temporarily) on a different hard drive (or partition), so if you don't have a working floppy drive on a 32-bit system or a CD burner, you may want to consider purchasing the disc-based version, rather than the download version I tested; the disc-based version includes the ability to boot from the disc. Note, however, that the disc-based version is licensed for up to three machines, while the download version features iolo's Whole Home License.

Game Mechanics:

When I originally saw the boot disc option for wiping the system drive, I was erroneously thinking that it was somehow copying off the Windows install onto the boot disc to be restored after wiping the drive. This is absolutely not what it is doing.

...It makes no claim to do so and, looking back, I'm surprised I entertained the thought, especially given that it works on several different versions of Windows. The boot disc is required to wipe the system drive so that you can wipe the drive without the operating system being the active operating system at the time of the wipe. If you wipe your Windows install and you want to re-install Windows, you would have to install Windows as normal, from a Windows install disc. If, however, you want to take a system back to original specs and you have a recover partition, you could recover your system via the computer's recovery feature and then run DriveScrubber on the free space after the system has been recovered.

DriveScrubber has the options necessary to clean a hard drive to US Military standards, and explains what values these settings need to be set to. In one test, I wiped a drive with more than the 7 passes specified by the military, and, while it took quite a while to complete, using iolo's Search and Recover revealed no retrievable files when the wipe (and a subsequent quick format) was completed.

As I mentioned above, a complete wipe can take quite a while, depending largely on the size of the hard drive and the number of passes you want DriveScrubber to perform. My 10-pass (admittedly excessive) test took over six hours, but the part that was the most annoying wasn't that it took that long, but that it initially estimated that the entire operation would take three hours. Then, when I checked at three hours, it estimated an additional two hours. I checked back after that and it was still going, and the new estimate was that it would take a remaining fourteen hours. Then, shortly after six hours, it was done. This estimation error could have something to do with the old hard drive I was testing - I generally don't retire old hard drives without reason - but I would think that with each pass it completed, the estimate would have gotten better; instead, it seemed to get worse.

The time estimation aside, DriveScrubber does what it claims and does it well. If you have a reason to want to completely wipe a hard drive of its contents or simply remove any personal data from the (previously used) free disk space, DriveScrubber is an easy way to make that a reality.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:

Compatible with 64/32-bit Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2000 (will wipe drives from various operating systems, but only runs on those listed), Internet connect (for download version), CD Player (for disc-based version) Wiping System Drive: If wiping system drive of the same system being used to perform the wipe, a boot-able device must be made. This can be a Floppy disk (for 32-bits systems only) or a CD. The ability to write a boot disk or burn a boot CD requires a functional drive and usable, blank media.

Test System:

AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 220 Processor 2.80 GHz, 4 GB dual-channel DDR3, ASUS Mainboard, CoolerMaster 850watt power supply, Dual boot: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit / Windows XP Home Edition (played in Windows 7), Graphics: ATI Radeon 3000 (on motherboard) / XFX ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB graphics card, Dual Monitors (Gateway HD2201 21" HDMI / Sony SDM-HS73), 1.5 TB Western Digital Caviar Green SATA Hard Drive, 750 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive, Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse, Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Logitech Z313 2.1-CH PC multimedia speaker system, A30 Gaming Headset/Ear Force Sierra: Call of Duty: Black Ops II Limited Edition/Skullcandy SLYR Gaming Headset, Cable Modem, 8GB Einstein Mimobot USB Flash Drive running as dedicated ReadyBoost Cache

Related Links:

Sony PlayStation 3 Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories Sony PlayStation Portable Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated