You can reformat a hard drive however many times you want, but many modern software can still recover chunks of data out of it. If you really want once-stored digital information to die, you need to mangle that chunk of steel like the MAXXeGuard does. But what if you still want to use the drive, but would like to erase all past data that passed through its cells? The Drive eRazer Ultra might be able to help.
While it still won't guarantee 100% data termination, it can expunge every bit and byte to a level the US Department of Defense will be happy with. That is, it uses DOD spec-erase methods, along with 9 other preset data elimination processes to clean a hard drive as good as you can without rendering it to the junk pile.
Made by Wiebetech, the Drive eRazer Ultra is a small, standalone device that connects natively to both SATA and IDE hard disks. Simply hook up the drive to the device, choose the erase method you want to implement from the built-in LCD screen, and leave it to do the deed. You can perform multiple erase tasks if you want to be sure, which range from overwriting every single bit with either 1 or 0 to activating the drive's secure erase commands to using DOD-style erase (write a pattern, then its complement, then the pattern again in three passes) to other methods.
Why not just use a drive eraser software? While doing that probably makes sense for one-time jobs, having a dedicated device should work better if you clean drives regularly. Plus, using a hardware eraser frees up otherwise long waiting times in front of the computer. With this, you just set everything in a corner and wait till its done. It works relatively fast, too, averaging about 7GB per minute for each pass.
The Drive eRazer Ultra is available for $249 directly from the manufacturer's website.