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Erase just the free space on my hard drive

Erase just the free space on my hard drive

I'm about to give away an older computer with just the Windows XP operating system intact and all other programs uninstalled. However, upon peeking at the "free space" with software called "Recuva", I notice lots of deleted things that could be recoverable. Some of these include sensitive data files, pdfs, and other personal items that I would not want retrieved.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 20
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"I have seen many utilities that can overwrite just free space, but I have never had good experiences and like you, they seem to fail.

What I recommend you do is use some sort of backup / imaging software and take a copy of everything on your machine then use something like DBAN to truly wipe the hard drive then restore your backup to the drive.

This should do the job fine!"
Guest [Entry]

"Ccleaner also has a ""Wipe free space"" facility. I presume that it does your job, and I presume that it leaves everything intact. But I don't know how secure it is.

""You can set CCleaner to wipe the free areas of your hard disk so that deleted files cannot be recovered."""
Guest [Entry]

"Free File Shredder :

Shred Free Disk Space - This option will shred unused or free disk
space across the whole disk volume.
For instance, this option is very
useful if you haven't shred your
unwanted files regularly but instead
you used regular windows delete
command and now you want your
previously deleted files
unretrievable. Those files now can not
be shredded by picking them since they
are already deleted. This option will
enforce shredding of everything you
have deleted once using the regular
delete command, whether it was
yesterday or months ago.

Hard Disk Scrubber :

Summit's Hard Disk Scrubber is a Free
secure delete program designed to help
you permanently destroy sensitive data
from your PC. Use Hard Disk Scrubber
to overwrite free space on your
Windows drives, or to permanently
delete files so that they can no
longer be recoverred."
Guest [Entry]

"You could always use something like DBAN to wipe it clean completely, then re-install the bare bones operating system, rather than buying a new hard drive.

If you don't want to completely wipe out the hard drive, you can try out the SysInternals utility SDelete which has some options to wipe free disk space

SDelete.exe -z

The SDelete route may not be quite as secure, but will probably still do a satisfactory job and it is much simpler to use than having to DBAN the hard drive and reinstall."
Guest [Entry]

Eraser has features to wipe blank space, either securely, or with a single pass of zeros.