Created 11 15 2004    Updated 03 28 2007


The Hard Disk Wipe and Zap
Utilities Page



1.  What are the Hard Disk Wipe and Zap Utilities?
2.  Why did you create this page?
3.  I'd like to download the IBM Zap and Wipe utilities
4.  Another method with a Dos Debug script
5.  The Starman's Zap and Wipe utilities
6.  Do I have to have fun?



1.  What are the Hard Disk Wipe and Zap Utilities?
In 1996, IBM created two excellent utilities called Wipe and Zap.
ZAP writes the first 128 logical blocks of the drive with 00h pattern, starting at Cylinder 0, Head 0, Sector 1.
This will very quickly wipe the FAT and boot sector, often necessary since Dos's Fdisk struggles 'seeing' non-dos partition types

WIPE writes the COMPLETE drive with 00h pattern, starting at Cylinder 0, Head 0, Sector 1 and ending with Max Cylinder, Max Head, and Max Sector.
As I understand it, WIPE suffers from the old 8 GB barrier meaning it will write zeros up to only 8GB
We've left Wipe on this page and in the download for completeness

March 27 2007 - Daniel B. Sedory (aka, TheStarman) informed me of his zap and wipe utilities
His zap utility is less dangerous than IBM's zap
More information about this here


2.  Why did you create this page?
I've used these tools many times in the past
At one time I was searching for the IBM Zap and Wipe tools but I could not find them
This page was originally a location for links to the IBM Zap and Wipe tools

Since I've become aware of Daniel's Zap and Wipe utilities, I no longer use the IBM utilities


3.  I'd like to download some Hard Disk Zap and Wipe utilities
Daniel's excellent Zap and Wipe utilities make the IBM tools redundant and as a result, I have chosen to no longer host it
More information about this here


4.  Another method with a Dos Debug script
Rad of http://radified.com/ was kind enough to inform me that he was creating links to this page
He made me aware of some Debug routines that can accomplish the wiping of the MBR
I took this information and created a simple batch file and disk image using debug under FreeDOS
Simply download this disk image, decompress it and use Winimage/Rawrite or equivalent to create a floppy disk
Boot from the disk and type clean
This will call a debug script to write zero's to sector 1 of the primary master ide drive
There is no user interaction so please be very very carefull and aware of what you are doing

By the way, if you are interested on how I got a 1.44 MB floppy disk image to be a 213KB zip file ...
Don't do a quick format of your floppies as it will leave old data behind that will become part of your disk image
Under Dos, a full format (unconditional) will overwrite most of floppy with hex F6
Since the floppy is full of repeated F6's, this will compress very well

I personally like to write zero's to the entire disk using DD under Linux/Unix/Cygwin ...
Try this;
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/fd0
Your floppy is full of zero's now
I then format the floppy, copy the system files, copy debug, a few text files and the floppy is done
The actual valid data on the floppy was about 263KB
The rest of the floppy was zero's and thus compresses quite well
Cool eh !


5.  The Starman's Zap and Wipe utilities

Daniel B. Sedory (aka, TheStarman) informed me of his zap and wipe utilities
The readme of his Zap tool explains it all

"ZAP63 was written because:  The original ZAP would 'zero-out' 128
sectors; that would  not only include any OS Boot Record of the first
partition, but also a portion of the  1st FAT (File Allocation Table)
if it had a FAT filesystem.  If you made the mistake of 'zapping' the
wrong drive using the original program, you'd have to hope its backup
copy was still intact and re-create the 1st FAT from that copy; or
lose the whole filesystem structure, and likely some data too!

Considering that program too dangerous, we created  ZAP63 as a safer
alternative:   By limiting the 'sector wipes' to 63 sectors, it will
still 'zero-out' the MBR (Master Boot Record) and any Boot Managers,
Overlays or even  Boot Viruses that often reside between the MBR and
the first OS Boot Record, but still makes it possibile for all
partitions on the hard disk to be easily recovered.

 Since version 1.3, ZAP63 is even "safer" (since a 'YES' must be
 entered before it will 'zap' your hard disk's first track)."

I'm quite impressed with these tools and with Daniel's permission have them available for you here
Please be very very carefull as these are very powerfull utilities
I will not be held responsible for any accidentally deleted information from use of this utility


6.  Do I have to have fun?
Yes, having fun is mandatory


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If you find an error or wish to comment please let me know.