Darik’s Boot And Nuke Disk Shredder ( 7 /10 )

I use this software to wipe hard drives of all data.

This is a slightly controversial area but as best I can tell Darik’s Boot And Nuke Disk Shredder seems to be well regarded.

Darik’s Boot and Nuke (“DBAN”) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

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 prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.

The development and support of the DBAN software project is funded in part by GEEP International. GEEP is the largest, the most efficient, and the most environmentally conscientious consumer electronics recycling company in North America.

Its easy to use, download the iso image, burn it to CD, reboot and wipe the partitions of your choice – mind you it takes an awful long time per disk ( > 12 hrs for a 60Gb laptop drive )



dropped from 10/10 to 7/10 for time taken to shred a disk

USB Windows Boot Disk

I find it useful to have a USB boot disk when I am messing about with hardware, particularly since many systems no longer have a floppy drive. It was also the only useful thing I could do with the freebie Lotus QuickR 256Mb USB pen given away by Mary Beth Raven at ILUG 2008

There are a few articles on the web about creating these, one of the best is this O’Reilly Digital Media Blog

I personally found that for a windows boot disk the easiest method ( suggested in a response on the blog above ) was to use the Dell utility and rename the autoexec,bat file to stop it running the Dell diagnostic software

The utility is available at


The much praised HP Drive Key Boot Utility can be found at


I struggled with this a bit because it defaults to a linux boot disc whereas I wanted a windows boot disc ( to run Ghost 2003 )

Running Notes 8 when you are short of resources

Although the Eclipse notes client is a richer place to work there are times when it would be better to run the simpler basic client . A good example would be if I have several virtual machines running at once on my laptop.

Even though you have installed the Standard ( eclipse ) client you can still start the basic client by using nlnotes.exe ( NL is supposedly No Logo ). Your desktop icons etc will be the same in both versions.

I do this with a shortcut on my start menu. nlnotes.exe is located in the same folder as Notes.exe, in my case “C:Program FilesIBMLotusNotesnlnotes.exe”

Restarting Notes cleanly

Although Notes is much much better about restarting after a crash there are still times when it hangs. A good example for me is when you open the developer help with the script debugger on.

People used to use products like KillNotes.exe to restart Notes but since version 6 (?) you can use the NSD option with the -kill parameter. I have this set up as a short cut in my menu bar using the following syntax

“C:Program FilesIBMLotusNotesnsd.exe” -kill

Click on the shortcut and Notes is taken down and you can restart notes – with the Notes 8 eclipse client you will probably need to close the large java error pop up

Image:Restarting Notes cleanly

Thecus 4100+ NAS ( 2/10 )

Image:Thecus 4100+ NAS ( 2/10 )

This device is just terrible. It has a Gigabyte network interface but the CPU max’s out on just a standard network.

It did seem like an attractive option being able to take 5 x 1Tb disks but I ( and others ) have found the performance terrible, particularly with small files

Even with a 40% discount it was a bad purchase. Its a shame really because it has FTP, Web disk and even a web server.

Thecus’s own advise via their official representative on the Forum’s is buy a bigger unit from us – not much chance of that !