10 January, 2007

Securely Wipe deleted files on XP for free

So Whittleman asked me the other day for a tool to wipe clean (properly wipe clean, not just into the recycle bin and empty, which leaves everything still there) all the files on his old PC as he is going to make a present of it to his mum...wonder what the dirty little scamp has been getting up to that he doesn't want mum to see eh..? ;)

So, as I was documenting it for him anyway, I thought I would copy and paste it for the greater good while I was at it...

This *free* tool, available direct from Microsoft technet, complies fully with the US Department of Defence clearing and sanitizing standard "DOD 5220.22-M", being in the knowledge of which, I'm sure, will make you feel very happy and secure... ;) Also note that the DOD usually feel the need to "clear and sanitize" four times (I'm sure you will be equally happy to hear), so you might want to repeat the last couple of steps a few times just to be on the safe side (depending on how "sensitive" your soon-to-be-deleted-data is, of course)...

So, to the procedure -

(Note - if the feds are banging on the door right now, it might be a little late to be starting this, as it takes about 15 minutes per sweep...so before you kick it off, move the freezer in front of the door... ;)

  1. Grab this file
  2. Extract the .exe file from the .zip file to the root of C:\
  3. Hit the "Start" button
  4. Hit "Run"
  5. Type in "CMD" (and press enter)
  6. Type in "cd\" (and press enter)
  7. Type in "sdelete /?" (enter)
  8. Click the “Agree” button
  9. Go back to the command window and type in "sdelete -z C:\" (enter)
  10. Wait until it finishes…Your free space on the drive is now as clean as the US Department of Defence insists it must be for a dumped hard drive…(well, actually, as I mentioned before they run it several times to be sure, you can choose the number of passes with -p [number], in the step above, or just do "sdelete -z C:\" (enter) again a few times, makes no difference)…

And there we go, all your accidentally downloaded animal pr0n will be gone forever!


Anonymous said...

thnak you for posting this my little nature chum - it's exactly what i need before i two recycle my laptop into the family!

Anonymous said...

wipedsc is better... its what the us navy use.

¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ said...

Yep, those Navy random 1's and 0's would be infinitely superior... ;)