How to wipe deleted entries like ~eadme.txt

By RealBlackStuff
Aug 28, 2003
  1. How to wipe deleted entries like ?eadme.txt

    On all my partitions, I have litterally thousands of entries referring to
    deleted files, all starting with ?, e.g. ?eadme.txt
    These are not normally visible, but they consume a lot of space and are
    copied along when I make a DriveImage of that partition.

    What is the best program (if any) to clean up these rubbish-files?

    Sorry I goofed, I meant a ? instead of a ~
  2. lalaji

    lalaji TS Rookie Posts: 136

  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,503

    I made a mistake in the original title and text.
    It gets a question-mark ( ? ) instead of the tilde ( ~ )
    at postion 1 in the DOS-alias name, but the file is not
    physically deleted.
    These files can be seen with e.g. "Deleted File Analysis Utility"
    from "Executive Software". These are NOT the same files as visible
    in Explorer.

    It is this slack from deleted file that I want to erase completely
    to free up space.
    I don't want to RECOVER them, so utilities like Window Washer are
    useless for this purpose.

    Any other suggestions please....
  4. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I'm not exactly sure what you are wanting to do, but if you need to delete files so they are not recoverable, your best bet is something like Norton's Wipe Info(Part of Norton Utilities) Wipe Info will make it gone, it uses DoD 5220.22-M Government wipe method with multiple write passes.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,503

    Hi StormBringer and thank you,
    I want to eliminate the leftovers of a deleted file.
    As Windows (and/or DOS) deletes a file, its first character of that filename is replaced with a questionmark and becomes invisible for the likes of Explorer. From such a moment onwards, the space occupied by the deleted file becomes available again in the FAT-table, but the deleted file is still physically there until it is over-written by some new file.
    I have about 75MB of such deleted files on my C-partition (10GB) alone, and another almost 300MB on various other partitions.

    It is this space (occupied by DELETED files whose names start with a ?) that I want to recover.

    In the meantime I found a utility called "Directory Snoop", that more or less can do what I want, but I am looking for something more user-friendly, if anybody knows such a pgm.

    I hope this clarifies what I really want.

    Thanks in advance
  6. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    What you described can be done using Wipe Info, not sure how it handles files that have already been tagged as deleted by the OS, though it does actually delete files, since it doesn't just tag them as being deleted.

    There are several apps that will do this, I'm sure some are easier to use than others, some probably have more or less options and so on..
    I'm pretty sure if you go to somewhere like, you can probably do a search for Wipe Info or delete and come up with several to choose from.
  7. filthy_mcnasty

    filthy_mcnasty TS Rookie Posts: 78

  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,503

    Thank you all for your help.

    After working with "Directory Snoop", I found it can do exactly what I wanted, and in a very efficient way (after I found out how to work the programs's "Purge" command).

    Norton WipeInfo, Window Washer etc. are only useful for wiping EXISTING files, not for recovering the space occupied by already DELETED files.

    The proggie as mentioned by filthy_mcnasty is a rather old command-line program, although its pedigree is OK. I remember I had it years ago but never liked it because of no GUI.

    I am happy with Directory Snoop.
    Case closed as far as I am concerned, thank you all again.
  9. hillybilly

    hillybilly TS Rookie

  10. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,503

    You can't.
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