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Overwrite free space

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Is there an option in CCleaner to overwrite all free space on a hard drive? I can't find it, but I've been known to miss quite obvious things. If this function doesn't exist, it would seem an obvious addition to a great program.

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Why? I'm not trying to be condescending or anything, I would like to know why it would be useful. It would just seem to me that aside from a security situation cleaning free space would be unneeded. That and wouldn't the feature make a little more sense in Recuva? Something beyond just securely deleting files as it does already, something that will keep Recuva from finding them. If all you really want is to securely delete already deleted files, then use Recuva, it has that ability.

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Why? I'm not trying to be condescending or anything, I would like to know why it would be useful. It would just seem to me that aside from a security situation cleaning free space would be unneeded. That and wouldn't the feature make a little more sense in Recuva? Something beyond just securely deleting files as it does already, something that will keep Recuva from finding them. If all you really want is to securely delete already deleted files, then use Recuva, it has that ability.

 

Thanks for your reply. I will have a look at Recova. The specific need I have is as follows. My daughter is a lawyer, and her laptop is always full of confidential files. Despite my regular nagging, she has never made the effort to use encryption and does not use a secure delete program when deleting files. (In my experience it is amazing how few lawyers understand the need for this sort of thing). She is upgrading to a new laptop and wants to pass her old one on to a friend. She has been thinking that she will have to have the hard-drive reformatted to securely delete all data, including previously deleted files. My suggestion was to run a program that would overwrite all free space, which would securely delete all previously deleted files and avoid the need for a reformat and reinstallation of the operating system. I used to subscribe to a program called Privacy Guardian, which had this "overwrite free space" function, but I ended up deciding that it was not worth the money in terms of the amount of use I put it to.

 

The reason I thought this function would go well with CCleaner, is that it is (as its name says) a cleaning program. It is what I use to get rid of everything on my computer that I no longer want. An "overwrite free space" function, is in effect a way of saying "just in case I didn't securely delete everything I should have in the past, I will make doubly sure by overwriting everything that has been previously deleted." However, if Recova can already do this, that is great.

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Have her try Eraser http://www.heidi.ie/node/6.

 

 

As suggested above, Eraser can perform the free space over write. My advice to you if the data is really that sensitive use DBAN running for a few days.

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As suggested above, Eraser can perform the free space over write. My advice to you if the data is really that sensitive use DBAN running for a few days.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I have downloaded eraser and will give that a go.

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My tupence worth, and not wanting to sound too paranoid ...

Even after using some of the generic software 'erasing' software, I would be concerned about passing on hard-drives (especially in this kind of work)

 

Although I'm sure your daughter trusts her friend, what about after? If her friend passes it on to another friend (or it gets stolen...) and so on.

I know a lot of cynics will say 'so what', but I am sure that your daughter has worked with computer forensics guys who could tell her a tale or two about so-called 'unrecoverable' information..!

 

I would, in your position (and given the information that may remain), I would replace the hard drive and incinerate the old one. Sounds drastic, but given the possible and potential information that may remain, well...!

 

Normally I would agree with the info the guys have given above (using Eraser etc.), but in this situation you can't be too careful ;)

 

Let's not get paranoid tho

(u talkin' to me?)

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Yup, I think the forensic bods will not magically recover overwritten data, but instead look at hiberfil.sys and pagefil.sys, and all those other hidden nooks and crannies that Windows uses to stitch you up......... The only true solution is as Burt says, hammer it into the ground.

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