Free space wiper for vista

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Security' started by T5, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. T5

    T5 Guest

    I have tried 101 different (so Called) free space wipers for vista and at
    all different levels of wiping, from 1 pass to 33 passes and nothing seems
    to work. After completeing a free space wipe, I run an undelete utility and
    lo and behold all of the files that I thought should have been erased are
    still there. Please tell me what I should do to totally erase deleted files.


    I am using vista home premium
     
    T5, Oct 19, 2007
    #1
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  2. T5

    GTS Guest

    The fact that the file names can still be found doesn't mean that the files
    are retrievable. Have you actually tried to undelete one of those files?
    There are some complexities in NTFS that make it difficult to impossible to
    clean the file names the way many of these utilities do (or used to do) in
    FAT systems.
     
    GTS, Oct 19, 2007
    #2
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  3. T5

    John Hanley Guest

    I use the product called CyberScrub Privacy Suite. When I use it to
    eliminate deleted information, there are Wipe Options beyond simply wiping
    the free space; one of them is to "Scramble deleted files and folders
    properties"; another is to "Scramble system transactions log file (on NTFS
    drives only)". When I use all the options, my File Recovery application
    comes up empty, so I think the stuff is quite completely wiped. Perhaps you
    could explore whether your chosen file wipe program has these additional
    features. Incidentally, I am also using Vista Home Premium. Cheers...
     
    John Hanley, Oct 19, 2007
    #3
  4. T5

    T5 Guest

    thanks guys that has helped me no end. I really don't want to buy another
    piece of crap like IOLO system mechanic 7 pro which claims to work with
    Vista but actually the delete part of search and recover actually doesn't
    work nor does the free space wiper of drive scrubber.
     
    T5, Oct 20, 2007
    #4
  5. T5

    Alun Harford Guest

    Well I think the first step is to stop paying money to snake-oil
    salesmen. It doesn't matter how many passes you do on a modern disk,
    variations in temperature mean that the head will probably miss the
    data. A competent adversary can easily get the data back anyway.

    If you want to destroy the data, destroy the drive (put a large nail
    through it, for example)

    Alun Harford
     
    Alun Harford, Oct 20, 2007
    #5
  6. T5

    Charlie42 Guest

    Sadly, even that won't erase the data completely, but it certainly
    increases the adversary's cost of retrieving your sensitive data.

    Charlie42
     
    Charlie42, Oct 20, 2007
    #6
  7. You have a few good answers but there an essential bit of information
    you have not given?

    What reason do you want to do this?
    For transferring a computer to another individual, typically given
    away or sold, the tools mentioned should do nicely.

    BUT, a very big BUT...
    How critical is it that the data never be retrieved?
    If you absolutely can not afford for the data to get out, you have
    only one option.
    You absolutely must NOT lose control of the drive until you physically
    destroy the platters on the drive.
    Other than that, the data can often be recovered but the cost grows
    fast and high depending on the method used to destroy the sensitive
    data.
     
    Jupiter Jones [MVP], Oct 21, 2007
    #7
  8. T5

    T5 Guest

    Thanks guys,
    So the word is that none of these data destroyer software packages actually
    destroys the data beyond recovery....like they claim to do?

    No, Jupiter I don't have anything that important that I need to totally
    obliterate I am just trying to understand if it is possible to use software
    to totally erase data and I think that my questions have been answered.
     
    T5, Oct 22, 2007
    #8
  9. T5

    GTS Guest

    Any reputable wipe program with multiple over-writes in several patterns
    will make the data unrecoverable by any normal means. How recoverable it
    is beyond that - i.e by the best equipment in government labs is a matter or
    widespread rumor and conjecture. Over my many years in the IT field I most
    often saw it conjectured there is equipment which can recover data
    overwritten as many as 7 times and was never able to corroborate that with
    any authoritative information. The new rumor seems to now say 21 times.
    That seems extremely unlikely, but the truth is that no one really knows.
    Perhaps it's best to destroy a drive if there were data of critical
    importance to national security and it was likely to end up in a
    multi-million dollar government lab, but short of that it's overkill.
     
    GTS, Oct 22, 2007
    #9
  10. T5

    Alun Harford Guest

    You can recover the data by using modified versions of the firmware to
    move the drive head a fraction of a track. You don't even need to remove
    the disk from the physical drives.
    Any good data recovery house can do this commercially.

    Alun Harford
     
    Alun Harford, Oct 22, 2007
    #10
  11. T5

    GTS Guest

    That's an urban legend. If you look at the claims of commercial recovery
    services more carefully, you'll find that they talk about recovering deleted
    files, but none claim to be able to recover overwritten data. There are a
    number of scientific papers discussing the theoretical possibility of using
    electron-microscopes (Scanning Tunneling Microscopy) to find a 'shadow' of
    the previously written sector. Some believe this was possible with floppy
    diskettes and early MFM hard drives though not with modern high density
    drives.

    Sean Barry of Ontrack (one of the most respected recovery companies) has
    said -
    "There is no chance of recovery with overwritten clusters. The bit density
    on hard disk drives is so great now that when the magnetics are rewritten,
    the data is gone," he said. Barry is Ontrack's Remote Data Recovery Manager
    and has 10 years of experience recovering files for private business as well
    as government agencies.

    The recoverability of overwritten data with modern hard drives lies mainly
    in the realm of theory and urban legend. Here are a few interesting
    articles on the subject.

    http://www.actionfront.com/ts_dataremoval.aspx
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence
    http://www.nber.org/sys-admin/overwritten-data-guttman.html

    --
     
    GTS, Oct 23, 2007
    #11
  12. T5

    GTS Guest

    GTS, Oct 23, 2007
    #12
  13. T5

    T5 Guest

    Totally fascinating guys.

    I am totally convinced that anything we do online is recorded and
    recoverable by someone somewhere otherwise the internet would be a haven for
    any vice going and governments and law inforcement agencies the world over
    wouldn't allow that ...would they? It is indeed a good thing that the bad in
    our society can be convicted on evidence gleaned by data recovery methods
    but what about the general public who can inadvertantly download something
    that might incriminate or add to a case put against them at a later date
    just because something from a long time ago resides on thier computer.
     
    T5, Oct 25, 2007
    #13
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