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Ccleaner's new "drive wiper"?

Discussion in 'Software' started by grc123, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. grc123

    grc123 MajorGeek

    Does anyone have the scoop (a solid opinion) on ccleaner's new Free Space Drive Wiper?

    "Wiping" free space...really??

    I suppose there are "fragments" (for lack of a better word) left behind in the free space, that this tool shaves-down, minimizes, or completely eliminates?
  2. Earthling

    Earthling Interplanetary Geek

    I've noticed it but haven't used it. Usually these things overwrite unallocated space with zeros or suchlike. You might be surprised - alarmed even - if you knew what was still on your disk even though you have previously deleted it. I once used Disk Investigator to see if any of my highly sensitive IDs and passwords could be found in unused space and indeed they are there. However you would need to know what strings you are searching for in order to find them, so I haven't bothered with disk wiping. Life's short enough as it is ;)

    Apologies to MG but your link to Disk Investigator is well out of date.
  3. DavidGP

    DavidGP MajorGeeks Forum Administrator - Grand Pooh-Bah Staff Member

    This tool is not a defragmenter, as Earthling mentions its a way of erasing securely (depending on the method of erasure used) any delete files, depending on the method used say a 7 pass method it will erase > jumble up the data blocks and erase again and do this 7 times, it will take ages depending on the free space on the drive.

    Yeah fragments is an ok word but data blocks are what they are, but basically when you delete a file its not really deleted yet, it just has its data block flagged a free, so that when the space is needed again the system knows it can use that previously used data block.

    This is why data recovery can happen if you accidently delete a file/s and unless the data block is overwritten the data can be recovered by some recovery apps, but if parts of the files or data blocks they cover are reused by another file, then recovery is near impossible as the file is gone or corrupted.

    Personally unless I was going to sell a PC and the HDD (DBAN would be the app of choice here) I wouldnt use these types of free space wiper, and TBH Glenn, with your luck with PCs it may go horribly wrong.

    Do let MA know and he will change it, not easy to always keep upto date with all apps, his email is tim @ this sites url.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  4. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

  5. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

    It was missed from the server crash last year. Your link was also out of date, it is at 1.51 now :)


    We like to be current on everything, you can always email tim(AT)majorgeeks.com if you see something out of date.

  6. motc7

    motc7 King of Castor Oil

    I found something similar to this called Disk Redactor. You can find it out on the net.

    We've been pleased with it. Haven't tried CC Cleaner's version, but worth a shot.
  7. Earthling

    Earthling Interplanetary Geek

    Oh Lord! I have just updated and run Disk Investigator looking for just one item of secret data - and found a scary amount of it and related stuff. From what I am seeing I'm pretty sure a savvy thief would be able to use this program to uncover vital IDs, passwords and related info which have been entered while on a https:// site.

    As DavidGP says, wipers can take forever so what the heck can be done here? I have Win 7 Ultimate and XP MCE on this comp. Win 7 I guess I could run fully encrypted, though I've never tried it, but it was on the XP partition I found all this stuff and I don't believe it has that capability.

    @grc123 - sorry to hijack your thread here but this seems very pertinent to your question
  8. Earthling

    Earthling Interplanetary Geek

    After finding sensitive data in free space on my XP drive (see above) I ran CCleaner's Drive Wiper and it took about 25 minutes to complete a single pass on a 50GB partition. I then searched again for that same data using Disk Investigator and all ten instances had disappeared. There were no problems and I shall definitely use it again from time to time. :)
  9. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek


    One option for full encryption (actually it has a lot of options, you can simply make an encrypted container, etc.) using any OS is TrueCrypt, free open source software.

    NEVER let someone else use your drive. Always replace it with a new drive before selling the computer. I always physically disassemble any drive I will never use again, and destroy the plates. Too much at stake, and I value my privacy.

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