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On Windows 7 how do you securely delete files?

By Jskid
Feb 24, 2013
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  1. I’ve got a couple files that I want destroyed beyond recovery. What program can do this?
  2. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,869   +889

    learninmypc likes this.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,368   +302

    FYI:- Background for those that follow this thread.

    When you perform a file delete by any means (aka right-click delete, select delete key,,,) the file NAME (not the file) is placed into the Recycle Bin. If and when you get around to Empty Recycle Bin, then two things happen.
    1. the space occupied by that file is marked as free-space
    2. the file name is removed from the system
    Notice that when (1) occurs, the space is not erased.

    SECURE DELETE is the process of over-writing the space currently used by the deleted file with (sometimes) multiple passes of binary zeros and ones. This will make data recovery 99% impossible. When the over-write is completed, then 1+2 are performed by the program.
    UNKNOWN9122 and learninmypc like this.
  4. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,869   +889

    So that is what wiping MFT Free space is in CCleaner! lol thanks man
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,368   +302

    I did not say one word about CCleaner. There are several products that contain securely delete or shred files and I was describing HOW that is performed. Secondly, there is an index to file names and then there is the file space itself - - that portion that gets fragmented.

    Securely Shredding a file attacks the file space itself - - the data as that's the portion that IS the thing to be protected.
    Very very rarely is the file name of any consequence.
  6. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,869   +889

    haha I know you didnt talk about CCleaner, I am just saying now I understand the wipe free space function in ccleaner lol
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,368   +302

    This will make it more clear

    [​IMG]

    The MFT is where the names, attributes, ACLs (ie: all the meta info about the file) is stored while the file itself is
    in the FSD. Secure Delete over-writes the FSD portion of the appropriate file - - not the meta data in the MFT.
  8. tigerant5000

    tigerant5000 Newcomer, in training

    I would highly recommend Revo Uninstaller. I have it and it is awesome.


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