Storage

Review: WiebeTech Drive eRazer Pro SE

The WiebeTech Drive eRazer is created for system or security administrators looking for a simple and portable tool to perform the secure erasure of data on hard disk drives

The WiebeTech Drive eRazer Pro SE is a stand-alone device created specifically for the secure erasure of data from storage devices. While there are many ways to render data irrecoverable, the Drive eRazer offers a simple and convenient way of performing a thorough data wipe.

Specifications

  • Drive Compatibility: 2.5" and 3.5" IDE/PATA, (SATA with additional adapters)
  • Operating System Compatibility: Not required
  • Wipe speeds: 35Mb/s (Typical speed; actual speed depends on performance of drive hardware)
  • Power: AC power adapter provided
  • Dimensions: 3.2" x 2.2" x 0.95" (Main unit only; exclude cables)
  • Shipping Weight: 2 lbs, including accessories
  • Price: $153
  • More Information: WiebeTech Drive eRazer Product Page
  • For a closer look, check out the Drive eRazer Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

The WiebeTech Drive eRazer is created for system or security administrators looking for a simple and portable tool to perform the secure erasure of data on hard disk drives. Its small footprint and light weight allows you to easily stow it into a toolkit for portability when visiting remote offices. Of course, the Drive eRazer can only wipe one hard disk at a time, so trying to decommission a datacenter is better left to a specialist data company.

What problem does it solve?

Data breaches can result in repercussions including huge financial liability and legal repercussions. Indeed, the recent case of U.S. missile defense information surfacing from a hard drive bought off eBay is a somber reminder that reformatting is not an acceptable way to erase potentially sensitive information from a disk drive.

However, proper data wiping can be a cumbersome affair, especially out in the field. While there are many software tools that you can use, their downside is that they necessarily tie up the use of a dedicated machine or laptop while data wiping is in process. Doing a wipe from a production workstation is also not recommended due to the likelihood of a mix-up and mistakenly erasing the wrong disk.

To this end, the WiebeTech Drive eRazer Pro SE fills the niche as a portable, stand-alone gadget. If you are a technician or administrator, you will probably appreciate having one around.

Standout features

  • Portable - Bring it along with you to remote offices. The small form factor makes it suitable to lug around in a toolkit or possibly even in a laptop bag.
  • Quick to deploy - Just plug in the AC power adapter to the Drive eRazer, connect the hard disk to wipe, and you're ready to go.
  • Single switch operation - There is no need to deal with various configuration options or user interface to learn. Simply connect a HDD and flip the switch.
  • Faster than software solutions - Since it wipes at the top speed of the attached hard disk, the Drive eRazer works faster than all software-based applications.
  • Rugged - The anodized aluminum chassis is robust and can stand to the rigors of portable usage.
  • Support common drives - The Pro SE version is able to connect to 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch IDE/PATA HDDs. Other models are available that come with adapters available for SATA HDDs.
  • Low power consumption - Consumes far less energy than running a dedicated workstation to perform the data wipe.

What's wrong?

  • Flimsy connectors - The adapter for 2.5-inch HDD piggybacks off the default 3.5-inch IDE connector. When switching adapter, you must exercise care or risk breaking off one of the pins. My unit is fine so far; however, you might not get the same mileage if you swap them around a lot.
  • Only wipe one per Drive eRazer - Each Drive eRazer can only be attached to a single HDD at a time. It would be good if a dual (or even quad) unit is released so as to perform data wipes on HDDs from a RAID array, for example.
  • Indeterminable to completion - There is no way for you to know the percentage progress, much less the estimated time left to completion.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

The Drive eRazer makes it a breeze for technicians and administrators to perform a data wipe of a hard drive for various purposes, such as when doing an in-place hard disk upgrade or decommissioning an old workstation. It does its data shredding work quickly, and all it takes is to connect a HDD, flick a switch, and proceed wait a couple of hours for the operation to complete.

Against competing products on the market, the Drive eRazer appears to be one of the most affordable stand-alone hardware. Software alternatives exist, though they necessitate the availability of a - preferably dedicated - host machine.

Despite some areas that can be improved upon, the Drive eRazer offers a portability and simplicity that gives it a higher inclination of being used. Personally, I consider it an integral part of my personal toolkit.

User rating

Have you encountered WiebeTech Drive eRazer Pro SE? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of Drive eRazer in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

3 comments
Lost Cause?
Lost Cause?

Usually i use Active Kill Disk to erase my hard drives. I did try Secure Delete one time and it did something to my 200GB drive that I cannot undo. Whenever I install this drive (IDE) into any computer, the computer sees the drive but will not give it a drive letter. Anyone have any ideas for me to try next?

CR2011
CR2011

As an inhouse or person tool it might be fine. However, I was under the impression that in order for a business to remove itself from liabilty when selling old hardware, there must be a report generated showing the method of "wipe" used, hardware description, date, etc. And that info must be retained as proof that the company did thier due diligence. I do not see how this product can provide that for a business. Just me two cents.....

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What is your preferred method for erasing a hard drive? Is it software or hardware based?