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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger access-mdb's Avatar
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    Recommendations for secure file deletion?

    What are lounge members' recommendations for secure file deletion?

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Access,

    I use Eraser and/or CCleaner Tools:
    ccleaner wipe.JPG
    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    VBA Rules!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
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  4. #3
    Star Lounger 1PW's Avatar
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    Aggressive, conventional multiple overwrite techniques successfully used with HDDs, can attract injury and possible non-secure erasure with some SSDs.

    HTH
    Last edited by 1PW; 2014-05-31 at 23:12.
    1PW

  5. #4
    Platinum Lounger
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    There is no need for aggressive multiple pass wipes, simple overwrite, 1 pass, is all that is required on modern magnetic hard disks. The same may or may not work on SSDs due to the way data is written internally.

    cheers, Paul

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    4 Star Lounger access-mdb's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. I'll use CCleaner with one pass (as suggested by RG). I had eraser some time back, but I wasn't sure if it was still recommended.

    I don't have an SSD, so that problem hasn't reared its head yet!

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    What are lounge members' recommendations for secure file deletion?
    drill holes in the hard disk

    then smash it with a sledgehammer

    if you are really paranoid
    then disassemble first
    and scrape off the magnetic coating before physically changing them

  9. #8
    3 Star Lounger
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    nsa kgb mossad et al would disagree with you



    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    There is no need for aggressive multiple pass wipes, simple overwrite, 1 pass, is all that is required on modern magnetic hard disks. The same may or may not work on SSDs due to the way data is written internally.

    cheers, Paul

  10. #9
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    You can overwrite free space on an SSD using the 1-pass method of CCleaner or other "eraser" programs. The truly secure way is to use "Secure Erase" command which wipes all data on an SSD in about 2 or 3 seconds. It's done by sending a controlled voltage spike to all flash memory cells at once. Unlike the 1-pass "overwrite" method, Secure Erase command does not place any additional wear on an SSD.

    Having said that, the best method of all is to obtain a powerful electro-magnet (such as a commercial handheld degausser) and wave it to and fro over both sides of the drive, be it an HDD or SSD. Note: the loud humming sound of the degausser may make your pets think that aliens have invaded the house.

  11. #10
    Platinum Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    nsa kgb mossad et al would disagree with you
    speedball, I refer you to this rebuttal of the original theory of data collection from an overwritten hard disk.

    cheers, Paul

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    An article related to this topic was published just a couple of days ago:

    How To Securely Delete Files From Your HDD Or SSD In Windows

    Bruce

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    vinnyt (2014-06-06)

  14. #12
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starvinmarvin View Post
    You can overwrite free space on an SSD using the 1-pass method of CCleaner or other "eraser" programs. The truly secure way is to use "Secure Erase" command which wipes all data on an SSD in about 2 or 3 seconds. It's done by sending a controlled voltage spike to all flash memory cells at once. Unlike the 1-pass "overwrite" method, Secure Erase command does not place any additional wear on an SSD.

    Having said that, the best method of all is to obtain a powerful electro-magnet (such as a commercial handheld degausser) and wave it to and fro over both sides of the drive, be it an HDD or SSD. Note: the loud humming sound of the degausser may make your pets think that aliens have invaded the house.
    For a mechanical HDD (MHDD) Eraser is more than enough. CCleaner's single-pass wiping option is made better if you first encrypt the drive, then overwrite it. Same with a file you really want to get rid of on a MHDD.

    The TRIM Command in Windows can be leveraged to effectively wipe a SSD completely in just minutes. The method is outlined with illustrations HERE .

    A more complete explanation of what happens with SSD wiping is found in this Kingston article about sanitizing a SSD.
    -- Bob Primak --

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  16. #13
    4 Star Lounger access-mdb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    drill holes in the hard disk

    then smash it with a sledgehammer

    if you are really paranoid
    then disassemble first
    and scrape off the magnetic coating before physically changing them
    Won't this mean I can't use the disk afterwards ? I just want to 'erase' files after I delete them. And if I come to dispose of the PC, I can leave the OS on it for the next user. I don't have anything that NSA et al would be interested in; I just want to stop other bad guys finding my personal details and using them.

    And I don't have an SSD (and am unlikely to get one either)

  17. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    For a mechanical HDD (MHDD) Eraser is more than enough. CCleaner's single-pass wiping option is made better if you first encrypt the drive, then overwrite it. Same with a file you really want to get rid of on a MHDD.

    The TRIM Command in Windows can be leveraged to effectively wipe a SSD completely in just minutes. The method is outlined with illustrations [B][U]HERE

    Yes, encrypting before erasing is an excellent idea and, depending on the amount of data involved and cpu power, encrypting may be much quicker than doing multiple over-writes of the data.

    Really enjoyed the article on using Windows Management to effectively perform a Secure Erase by invoking TRIM on the deleted partition. Should work fine in Win 7 or 8 but not Windows XP (no TRIM support). There's utility program called Parted Magic you can download and burn to DVD or to a flashdrive. It has a bunch of useful little programs including Secure Erase for almost any type of drive. i took a chance and bought Parted Magic for $4.99 and it has proved very useful over the last couple of years.
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2014-06-06 at 16:41. Reason: Added End Quote Tag

  18. #15
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    I use the Microsoft-supported sdelete command, by SysInternals/Microsoft guru Mark Russinovich. Check it out at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb897443.aspx. Russinovich is someone you can trust to get it right, the first time. His SysInternals team has published many useful utilities to fill gaps here and there.

    As a hobby project, I tried to figure out how to add sdelete to the context menu in Windows Explorer file lists, so I could securely delete the same way I can copy, delete, etc. This would make it much more convenient, obviously. I'd welcome anyone's pointing me to a tutorial on how to do this.

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