How to overwrite the free hard drive space?


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Hi, is there any tool or something that could help me? I really have to get rid of some files.


thank you,
Nik
 
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catilley1092

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Kannan, welcome to the forum! In addition to the tool that Veedaz suggested, which I'm positive is a good one, coming from him, there's another. One that you can use for daily cleaning. CCleaner has a "free space" cleaner, plus much, much more. You can clean as you delete your files, overwriting them up to 35 times, if you want to take it that far. But keep one thing in mind, with the "free space" overwriters, if you clean 100% of you free space, you may overwrite all of your restore points. You certainly don't want that to happen.

You have another option, which actually recovers your deleted files, so that you may choose to recover or delete the found files. A two in one deal. The program name is Recuva, written by the same group as CCleaner. What you do is a "deep scan", which may take a while. Afterwards, you have the option of recovery or deletion of the files. They also can be overwritten up to 35 times, but on a large drive, this will take some time. You can actually use your computer while the files are being overwritten.

So Kannan, with the three above choices, I'm positive that you'll find one or more that will work for you. If you use CCleaner to delete you files, rather than the built in disc cleaner, these files won't build up on you so bad. But your downloads, you can just dump them in the Recycle Bin, then empty it. Your temporary internet files, cookies, and so forth, CCleaner will handle the task just fine.
Best of Luck,
Cat
 
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But keep one thing in mind, with the "free space" overwrites, if you clean 100% of you free space, you may overwrite all of your restore points. You certainly don't want that to happen.
Ummm cat, restore points are not stored in free space. The point behind the free space cleaner is to clean free space where files once had been.

Say for instance you move a file to a new location. Then the file is essentially in two locations, however the new location overwrites the old location in the master file table. The old file is still there and simply not addressed in the Master File Table and will stay there until the space is overwritten by zeros(Hence the cleaner) or another file.
 

catilley1092

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Very recently, on my laptop, I installed File Shredder on the XP partition of my laptop. It has four partitions. I checked to "shred" the free space on all four partitions. My restore points for XP, Vista and Windows 7 were wiped out entirely. Oftentimes, these programs runs until your low disc warning light comes on, followed by a popup warning that your disc space is very low. Then the program moves to the next partition, and does the same. It's actually happened to me at least four times. If you have a spare system laying around, try it out, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Sometimes, you'll go from having 70+% free space, to nearly 90%. Some of these cleaners are more potent than many thinks they are.
 

Nibiru2012

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Some of these cleaners are more potent than many thinks they are.
That's why they're called "cleaners". They get rid of all the old files, temp files, etc. The sectors are rewritten and the old remnants are gone.

Funny though, when I have done free space wipes in the past I've never had that warning pop-up of low space.
 
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catilley1092

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I haven't, with all of them. But File Shredder will do that. It won't install on 7, I've tried a couple of times, and I got that notice that the program didn't install correctly. This was done from my Win 2K & XP Pro partitions of my laptop, there's a place to "shred free space". Having four partitions on it, I checked all of them, and that's what happened to me. CCleaner done the same to me, but in both instances, I had it set to overwrite 35 times. That may or may not have affected the outcome, I don't know. But I've never wiped my desktop drive, even my older one, in such a manner, and I won't. This drive was expensive (to me), remember you suggested it to me (the 750GB WD Caviar Black).

Honestly, I can say that even after that harsh of a wipe, I can still use Recuva and recover some files. That's one reason I suggested it, you do a deep scan, recover the files, then overwrite them. You do have the option to recover or securely overwrite the files that's found. And after all, remember that it's not me, but the OP that stated that he/she "really have to get rid of some files". I have my own security measures in place for deleting what I feel needs to be done securely. Downloads hit the trash can and are emptied, temporary internet files & cookies are removed by CCleaner by the suggestion you gave me (the DOD mode, 3x overwrite).
 
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TrainableMan

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Sounds like the author of that program needs to cross the red queen in Alice In Wonderland ... Off with his head!

Note to self, avoid File Shredder ... it's like putting your tie in the paper shredder while you are still wearing it.
 

22b

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It's something beyond just securely deleting files.You obviously know that when you delete files and other stuff without shredding, their content still remain on your computer and some program can recover these files.

This is happening because when Windows deletes a file, it does not actually clean the file contents. Instead, it just declares the space that was taken by the file as empty. This makes file deletion very fast but is a real problem when the deleted file had a private content. But you probably know this, I just babbling here....

So, I use this tool for overwriting.I've tested both Eraser and CCleaner but this tool has the fastest overwriting I've ever tested. Hope it helps you:



http://www.mil-shield.com
 
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It is not recommended to shred the free space on a disk drive with less than 400MB free space.The shredding will be done properly but Windows may clean all System Restore points to free disk space during the shredding.

Download Mil Shield. It writes zeros over the free space. It's more of a security feature.
 

catilley1092

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I think Nibiru brought up Eraser, too. I'll take a look at that one, thanks for the heads up.
 

Nibiru2012

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How about we just ship our drives over the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and use the giant superconducting magnets to instantly wipe them at once.

We can have a big wiping partry!! LOL! :toilet:
 

TrainableMan

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Hey, what SourceX said makes sense and could explain why Cat lost his restore points. Windows thought he needed space and deleted them because the shredder was filling the empty space and hadn't released it yet.

BTW Nibs, if you do encase your HDs inside electromagnets to erase them in case of "emergency", just remember the FBIs policy is to kill the power first, so your electromagnets need to be on Back-up UPSs. I'm just saying.
 
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Nibiru2012

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BTW Nibs, if you do encase your HDs inside electromagnets to erase them in case of "emergency", just remember the FBIs policy is to kill the power first, so your electromagnets need to be on Back-up UPSs. I'm just saying.
That would be something to consider, but with my ingenuity and a little help from Mr. Nikola Tesla I'm sure I would get it resolved.


 

Nibiru2012

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I have been having issues with Eraser here lately. Whenever I want to erase a file or folder on a drive using the Explorer context menu from the right-click mouse feature it makes a weird folder with a bunch of gibberish on it.

I'm going to look for something else. Acronis True Image had a Drive Cleanser function, but it's only for wiping the entire partition or drive.
 
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I'm with
Mil Shield. It removes cookies, wipes the free space, and cleans any piece of unwanted files. I usually set it to clean twice a day, and it wipes my 1GB, sometimes 10GB of free hard drive space.
It's a good 64 bit cleaner...saves a time
 
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