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Posts posted by marmite

  1. Ignore CCleaner for a minute, if you enter a user and password in IE, the close IE, reopen IE and go back to that site does it remember your credentials?


    If not then IE is fundamentally where the problem lies. Have a look at this article ... http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/Pub0009...icle.asp?ID=348


    I must admit, even though all of my registry entries and IE Options appear to be set correctly, I can't get saved form passwords to work. I don't use it normally and originally answered 'no' to saving passwords - but now in investigating this thread it doesn't seem to want to turn back on.


    If I use another clean user it's fine, so it would appear that something is not being properly reset in my normal user. There are loads of articles on google about people having similar problems.

  2. Musical, looks like JD's recent experience is the same as mine. Maybe it is the ol' dial-up thing that's giving you grief :(


    But as he says ... if you haven't actually tried it since their changes you don't really know how it would behave for you now. Maybe give it another go if that's the case.

  3. Well Avira Free has a nice interface, and options, but on dialup has become a humungous joke.... :lol: their servers are soooooo overloaded there has been heaps of problems with the Free version.

    I was complaining about Avira earlier in the year when they had big download issues, but I haven't had a single problem with Free Avira since they sorted their servers out a month or two back ... so I'm more than happy to stick with them.

  4. I'd also add to fireyone's comments that if you do want secure free space wiping, in my experience (as per an earlier post) sdelete will do this.


    And of course, as with any operation that you may be unsure of, you may feel it prudent to take a volume back-up first.

  5. One year later I discovered the existence of 168 MB of Metadata,

    and since Windows explorer was unable to show me any metadata files,

    and what it did show me fully accounted for the "Used Space" of Partition C:\,

    I deduced that Metadata had to live in "Free Space".

    Ahhhh! Now I see where you're coming from :). However, referring to my last post, I think that the statement that 'a file (metadata or otherwise) is part of free space' is an oxymoron. If your 'metadata' files were living in free space, how would the program that's telling you you have 168Mb be able to find them?


    So in terms of your reasoning ...


    ... To that I added the "Size on Disc" of my daughter's profile when she was logged on ...

    Why? The displayed disk stats aren't dependent on the current user - "they are what they are". You may not be able to access the actual file structure ... but Windows sure can when it's adding up :)


    Have a look at 'Disk Management' (Right-click 'My Computer'/'Manage' ... then expand the 'Storage' node and select 'Disk Management'). That will give you your used disk space per volume. This should tally with the amount shown when you do right-click 'Properties' on the C:\ node in Windows Explorer. And that's it. Windows won't show you everything on the disk; as I said in an earlier post it lets you see what it wants to. Since we don't know where your 'metadata' lives, but assuming it is in there somewhere, then short of totting up the individual individual files on the volume it would be hard to prove that it's not included in that disk total. If you're still not convinced, cut out the middle-man; open up a dos window and do a 'dir' command. It should tally exactly. In short Alan I really wouldn't worry about it.


    I have just discovered that I can access the size of all profiles from My Computer Right Click :-

    System Properties => Advanced => User Profiles => Settings

    Indeed you can. But there isn't a direct correlation between the profile size there and the disk space taken up by your entire profile. For example, your 'Local Settings' folder which you'll find in your profile disk space, isn't taken into account in the 'User Profiles' size figures.


    You may not yet be convinced, but I hope this helps ;)

  6. Sorry I distracted from original OP concerns.


    I accept your advice that Metadata is not wiped, and will now investigate what data is held in C:\$Extend\$UsnJnl:$J etc. which might be leaked when it is updated / fragmented.

    Hey no need to apologise ... the thread had gone off on a bit of a tangent long before that :) I was more reinforcing the idea the OP's concerns still hadn't properly been addressed and that my posts weren't an attempt to address that. But I think the OP has long since lost interest anyway ;)


    When I use the term metadata in this context I'm talking about all of your afore-mentioned files. Generically, metadata is just 'data about other data'. What I said applies to all of those files. Any data that's in use by the OS is part of the file system somewhere. By definition, wiping free space should not ever affect any files that are 'in use' whether they be OS files or your data. Neither does free space wiping affect fragmentation.


    None of your system or data files should be lost or moved or fragmented by free space wiping. I'm still missing why you're concerned about the various files you mentioned before. Why do you think they will be treated any differently than other files? Please post back if you think I can help further.

  7. Okay. Well there's nothing quite like a practical test :)


    If there's one set of tools that I trust more than pretty much anything, it's Sysinternals. I used this piece of software to wipe my system volume free space. The accompanying article has some interesting information about how sdelete works, both for secure file deletion and free space wiping.


    sdelete was written by Mark Russinovich, who is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft. He's forgotten more about the internal workings of Windows operating systems than I will ever learn.


    Needless to say I'm still here, and so is my system partition. I analysed my volume before and after the clean with a recovery tool, and as expected sdelete had securely wiped my free space. That's with just the default single sdelete pass (sdelete uses DOD 5220.22-M, but you can specify multiple passes if you wish). Also note that sdelete is a command-line tool; don't use it if you're not comfortable with that, or with interpreting the parameter selection/syntax. Additionally, it is only for use on XP onwards.


    Of course, I would hope and indeed expect that ccleaner be just as well behaved. And it has the advantage of a nice user interface :)


    Please note that a lot of this thread has strayed from the OP's original concerns. I'm just talking here about the practicalities of wiping free space on the system volume.

  8. Disk Filler is gone? :(

    There's always copy'n'paste ;)


    I suppose another thing worth mentioning is that if you only have one big volume, or a very big system volume, then the whole fill-and-delete thing ain't gonna be quick!

  9. I can't download Disk Filler from that link. The only available file is one that Mr. Edwards says is not it. Am I doing something wrong?

    Damn - I do apologise. It's a widget I've had for a couple of years and I just googled it to find the web site ... since the site was still up I didn't even check the download link.


    I've taken that link out to stop others getting the same problem - thanks for pointing it out. Meanwhile I'll google for a similar tool!

  10. Alan your post has piqued my curiosity :). As someone who develops Enterprise level systems on an XP / W2k3 platform, I have never even had to concern myself with most of the "super-hidden" objects mentioned above; never mind worried about them. When you use some of the tools that expose things like this, there's maybe a tendency to worry unnecessarily (but understandably) about potential issues with them.


    Before I used "Wipe Free Space" I would need to know :-

    whether the same policies apply to wiping via a Boot CD of any sort (Boot XP, Boot DOS, Boot Linux, etc.)

    Given the correct tools, I would have though that once you get down to disk level, the principles are the same whatever OS you're looking at. But that's not an area I have any experience with, practical or otherwise; so I won't comment further on that.


    Before I used "Wipe Free Space" I would need to know :-

    what parts of my privacy might be exposed via Metadata that is not wiped ;

    Since these objects do not constitute free space, this is not a free space issue. You might be concerned at what's in these objects from a privacy perspective; but that's a different question.


    Before I used "Wipe Free Space" I would need to know :-

    what damage could the O.S. suffer if some metadata items were wiped ;

    whether all free space wipers have identical exclusion/inclusion policies for all types of metadata ;

    Effectively this is the same issue. Any OS files, hidden or otherwise, should not constitute free space. Therefore, any tool that wipes free space must be able to recognise the difference between free space and used space; otherwise it's not doing it's job. And if it fails to do that on your system volume then it's potential bad news.


    But if your disk tool can quite happily recognise these files, why shouldn't your free space wiper? They are both reading your disk directly and dealing with the raw entries; whereas your OS view is only showing you what it wants you to see. Your free space wiper probably doesn't give a damn whether the 1s and 0s it's reading translate to the disc space behind 'C:\$Extend\$UsnJnl:$J' or 'C:\my family pic.jpg' ... all it is interested in is whether that disk space is in use.


    I expect any tool, ccleaner included, that claims to be able to wipe your system volume, can do so effectively and properly. There can't be worse press for a piece of software than 'a feature' that trashes your OS partition!


    That's not to say throw caution to the wind. I think Steff's approach is the safest (and the approach you seem to advocate with your reference to a boot disk), which is not to do this on an active system partition; i.e. do it from a start-up task outside of Windows or better still from a boot disk. But this is one scenario when I'd definitely want a current partition back-up available!


    And if you're still unsure I think the safest way for the nervous or untrusting is ... fill your free space with 'filler' files and then securely delete them ... it certainly works!


    And at the end of the day it also really comes back around to whether you need to wipe your free space. One of those issues that will run and run I think. But as I said earlier in the thread ... the only point in wiping free space is if you have files that have been insecurely deleted and you really feel the need to write all over your free space to make sure they're gone. If you have sensitive or private stuff you no longer want wipe it as you go along or keep it in an encrypted volume. If you do either of those there's no need to wipe free space.

  11. What about metadata?


    Is there universal agreement or understanding of what Metadata is and does ?

    'Metadata' is a generic term ... what particular metadata (what files/objects) are you referring to Alan?


    Edited to add ... and if we're talking files then it won't be related to free space wiping anyway; more to do with ordinary ccleaner clean-ups.

  12. But mission acomplished now.

    Glad you're sorted ... by whatever means :)


    I will from now on be more observant when I delete sensitive information...

    ...(probably) using Context Menu File Shredder in Eraser 5.7 (or later???).

    FWIW I've never had a problem with Eraser, and at some point I've probably done a system partition free space wipe, though I've no idea at what version. I can say that I will continue to confidently use context menu 5.8.7 for secure file deletion. Just as a result of a couple of recent threads on these forums I've done quite a bit of messing around with deletion / recovery and I still find Eraser to be the most performant and the best at it what it does ... this includes a comparison with the PGP shredder. I'll be the first to post if my partition disappears ;)


    Also note I'm not knocking ccleaner here either ... in this context I'm more interested in ad hoc file wiping; not something done as part of a wider-scoped and periodic 'cclean' for which I will still use a ccleaner 3-pass.

  13. If your purposes involve matters which require absolute data security, like the code to launch the missles or the formula for Coca-Cola, you should not count on any software app. Replace and destroy the HD. Just my opinion.

    Or to corrupt a line from 'Aliens' ... "I say we take off and nuke the whole HD from orbit - it's the only way to be sure" :D

  14. He was refering to that later point releases (i.e. 5.8+) have had

    extremely serious bugs these bugs don't exist in version 5.7.


    Read his own words here...

    Thanks Steff; strong words. Though you wonder how many of those issues are personal. Also, I wouldn't expect a complete rewrite of the 'core' to be a minor point release.


    There are currently 13 open defects on Eraser - none look particularly serious. I'm not 'defending' the product - I'm following up to look after my own interests because I don't want to be using something that will break my system. And I don't use it to wipe free space ... which may be safer ;)

  15. ... His recomenndation was to NOT use any Eraser version beyond version 5.7.


    -"the last version whose core was developed by the original author, Sami Tolvanen"

    @ Steff: What was his justification for that statement?


    @ AssChin: What version of Eraser were you using (quite successfully, by the sound of it)?


    I have my doubts though to Wipe Erased, Unused space on a Disk within

    a running Windows plattform.... especially on the Operating Disk.


    Any comments on this?

    Just a comment on free space wiping in general. IMHO habitually wiping free-space is a time-consuming and unnecessary exercise. If you create a lot of material that you subsequently don't want to leave visible or recoverable then it's better (and easier) to securely delete these files as you go along.


    I tend just wipe stuff on a point of principle ... privacy! If someone breaks into the house and nicks my PC I don't want bank details or family photos available to all and sundry. Anything non-transient just goes into a TrueCrypt volume.

  16. If anyone tried to Gutmannise wipe free space then they'd still be waiting for it to complete. That's terabytes of writing.

    Absolutely ... and a useless exercise :) As per my first post, IMHO Gutmann is a pointless overkill in any scenario.


    But I wasn't thinking about Gutmann - I just wondered if the OP was expecting three passes and actually got just one.

  17. Interesting points. I've used Eraser for years. Wiping is all that it does and it does it very well. I can't comment on the accuracy of the OP's findings, but if any product offers 'secure deletion' as ccleaner does, then it should do what it claims to do.


    I'm betting (it's not mentioned explicitly) that when the OP ran Eraser (and Encase [a leading commercial forensic investigative tool] found the drive wiped clean) it was also done with just a 3-pass. I would call that to all intents and purposes 'forensically clean'. Even with electromagnetic scanning tools what might be recovered is still moot .


    So when something like ccleaner offers a 35-pass Gutmann (or as Augeas said t'other day "My post count would be halved if Gutmann had kept his mouth shut.") then I would certainly not expect to be able to retrieve the file content!


    If the OP is correct, why not get ccleaner to wipe 3 times properly, rather than 35 times 'not very well'? Probably wouldn't help the sales pitch ... the causual user would say "huh, this only does a 3 pass erase" :blink:


    I would like to see the devs' comments too. I would expect a 3-pass (or logically, a one-pass, but I'm the nervy type) to leave file content unrecoverable by any software. Also interesting that the other product does (apparently) erase file names on a free-space wipe - wonder why ccleaner (apparently) doesn't?


    Edited to add: Augeas I've just read here that you think 'wipe free space' doesn't perform multiple passes. I can't find that in the documentation - have you a reference to that please?

  18. Avira Antivir free. I used to use AVG but that got very naggy. I love Antivir's interface and its configurability.


    My update is scheduled every two hours ... I know ... overkill :)


    And if I hadn't suppressed the nag screen that would probably annoy the hell out of me.

  19. At home everything goes through a Vigor 2800G Security Router ... wonderful little bit of kit. It's a bit old now, but still feature-packed.


    Software firewall varies - a mix of Zone Alarm free (long-standing fan ... pity it's gotten so bloated) and XP built-in. Though not on the same machine obviously :).


    I tried Comodo free once and that was awesome ... but I couldn't afford to employ someone to keep it configured properly :blink:. I uninstalled it in the end because it was such a pain to look after - but for a free product the control and flexibility were amazing.


    Quite fancy trying Smoothwall at some point ... if ever I get an old PC I can build it on ... and the time, of course.

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