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Shodan816

Secure Deletion STILL Not Working...

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All I can say is 'unbelievable.' Unbelievable that unless secure file deletion is either fixed once and for all the author should simply admits it will never work. I have posted this issue here for months and months. OK, here is the scenario - one more time.

 

Running Windows Vista and CCleaner Portable edition - V2.02.527. Secure deletion set for 1 pass (simple overwrite.)

 

I delete a file from Windows Explorer to my Recycle Bin. Then run CCleaner. I would EXPECT CCleaner to overwrite all recycle bin contents one time. Next I run a good file recovery program. Indeed the name of the file has changed, but as soon as I restore it, the contents are untouched. When I read the term 'Secure file deletion - simple overwrite' I certainly assume that applies to file CONTENTS and not just the file name. Obviously, it does not. I wonder how many thousands of other CCleaner users are assuming their files are being overwritten, when they are not ?

 

All I would like to know is whether or not this issue will EVER be FIXED ? ! People have been raising it to the author's attention for at least a couple of YEARS now.

 

Thanks for listening, and my apologies in advance for sounding a bit frustrated here. Yes, I AM aware this is free software, but as highly as it is acclaimed, it should do what it claims to do. Other file deletion utilities - e.g. 'Eraser' - indeed render files 'unrecoverable' via normal file recovery utilities. So then, why can't CCleaner do the same ?

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I have tested your problem but I can't get the contents of the file as you are saying. (test on my XP machine)

This is what I have done:

1 - Created a new and empty text (TXT) file,

2 - Open it with Notepad and typed my name in it or some recognizable text,

3 - Emptied my recycle bin (just to make sure i will only have this new file in the recycle bin),

4 - Delete the new TXT using windows explorer,

5 - Start CCleaner and select 1 pass for Secure Delete,

6 - Selected "Empty Recycle Bin" item in the Cleaner options and pressed Run Cleaner,

7 - Started Recuva (www.recuva.com) and restored the file to the desktop (the file was name ZZZZZZ.ZZZ in my case),

8 - Open it with Notepad and the file is empty...everything is gone!

 

I have followed the same steps but this time i used "DOD 5220.22-M (3 passes) and when I open the file with Notepad it was full of garbage...so I have NOT been able at all to retrieve the recognizable text from the Secure deleted file...

 

So, i can't really reproduce what you are saying...Secure delete and CCleaner works correctly for me when deleting the contents of my Recycle bin.

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I think we need some clarification here. Does 'Secure deletion' apply to all the files that CC deletes? (Excluding index.dat files which are deleted by the O/S startup files.) I was under the impression that it does. So all those temp files, temp internet files, etc will be overwritten?

 

If so, then secure delete certainly does not work. I very rarely delete files to the recycler (I use shift/del) so I can't pontificate on that. But I know that when I run CC in secure delete mode it produces a variable number of ZZZZZZ.ZZ files (and all of those I have tested have been overwritten), and a whole string of files which retain their original name and, whilst not all are capable of being recovered due to the nature of Windows, the majority are recoverable.

 

I'm not really too worried about this, if I have a sensitive file I copy it to a folder which is marked for emptying by CC, and these files seem to be renamed and overwritten OK. But if I'd surfed rather injudiciously I'd be worried at all those temp internet files lying there ready to be recovered and no (easy) way of getting rid of them.

 

Rgds.

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Thank you, 'htome' for your testing efforts. I can follow preciesly the same steps in Vista and the contents of the TXT file are clearly visible, as though I had never deleted the file at all. Perhaps Mr. G can explain why it works under XP and not under Vista. CCleaner seems to destroy other files just fine on my machine. Only the recycle bin files that I have a problem with.

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Just to make certain I did not overlook something, I ran this test one more time. Deleted a JPG file to my Recycle Bin. CCleaner is set to Secure File Deletion - DOD (3 passes.) While the deleted JPG was in my Recycle Bin, I ran CCleaner. Indeed the Recycle Bin emptied and next I ran a good undeleter - Recover My Files. It recovered a JPG photo from the Recycle Bin and I undeleted it to another drive. The file name had changed, but as soon as I opened it - WALAHHHH ! ! - there was the photo I had 'ERASED' with CCleaner - good as new.

 

Now, the only answer I would like is whether or not CCleaner will ever be made to truly destroy files cleaned from the Recycle Bin. It CAN be done - just install Eraser and it will prove that point. Files 'erased' from the Recycle Bin with Eraser are not recoverable, at least not by simple undelete utilities like Recuva and Recover My Files. Will CCleaner ever be able to accomplish this - as so many of us believed it has been doing all along ?

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Just to make certain I did not overlook something, I ran this test one more time. Deleted a JPG file to my Recycle Bin. CCleaner is set to Secure File Deletion - DOD (3 passes.) While the deleted JPG was in my Recycle Bin, I ran CCleaner. Indeed the Recycle Bin emptied and next I ran a good undeleter - Recover My Files. It recovered a JPG photo from the Recycle Bin and I undeleted it to another drive. The file name had changed, but as soon as I opened it - WALAHHHH ! ! - there was the photo I had 'ERASED' with CCleaner - good as new.

 

Now, the only answer I would like is whether or not CCleaner will ever be made to truly destroy files cleaned from the Recycle Bin. It CAN be done - just install Eraser and it will prove that point. Files 'erased' from the Recycle Bin with Eraser are not recoverable, at least not by simple undelete utilities like Recuva and Recover My Files. Will CCleaner ever be able to accomplish this - as so many of us believed it has been doing all along ?

 

 

Hmm, now this made me uninstall CCleaner and use a combo of tracks eraser pro and tuneup utilities.

And after trying to recover files after those 2 apps, it was impossible.

No more CCleaner in this house! Too bad, since I have used it since the beginning:(

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Guys...look what you're running... VISTA!!!

 

It is filled with problems....everyone knows it...so don't go blaming Mr. G for not getting it to work right. Vista users seem to be having a 50/50 shot with it working. You're pretty lucky to have have it at least delete stuff without having to use the "right click and 'run as administrator' " problem.

 

If you want CCleaner to work, give it time... I'm lucky...it has worked great on both my XP and 2000Pro machines flawlessly. If not, then you by all means are allowed to use another program. No one is holding the proverbially "gun to your head" to use this specific program.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

AJ

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The recycle bin in Vista is located under a folder called x:\$Recycle.Bin while in previous OSes, it is under x:\Recycler...

 

I believe there will be a fix for this issue in the next release of CCleaner!

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IF indeed CCleaner does not do what it is ADVERTISED to do, e.g. WIPE files instead of merely deleting them in ALL Windows systems, then THAT is what should be stated, and that is my main complaint here. IF CCleaner does not do the full job under Vista, then stop infering that it does. I refer to popular download sites such as 'majorgeeks' and others that clearly state that CCleaner runs on WINALL.

 

And while we are on the subject, before the latest version of CCleaner was released this past summer, many people, myself included, volunteered to be beta testers. I have no clue how many, if any, were chosen, or whether or not any of them are running Vista. Not to mention their experience levels in testing alpha and beta level software. It would seem to me that if these issues had been caught and recognized before the latest version release, it would have been the prudent thing to do to not say CCleaner runs on 'winall' until the issues are resolved on all windows platforms.

 

What 'htome' wrote is encouraging - that the issue may be with the naming convention of Recycle Bin under Vista and that it may well be fixed in the next release. This certainly makes a world of sense. Other folders under Vista indeed seem to be wiped properly.

 

And to those of you who just can't help badmouthing Microsoft given the slightest chance, you too have options. They are called Apple and Unix, just to name a couple. If you had ANY clue how much pains and effort we go through at Microsoft to put out a quality, yet unbelievably complex product, there is no doubt you would think twice before airing such comments.

 

All of this aside, even without secure deletion working properly under Vista, it's still a FANTASTIC utility and I use it constantly.

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So is CCleaner just emptying the Recycle Bin in the same way the built in 'Disk Cleanup' program does? Or does it actually try and delete the files from the %windrive%\RECYCLER\ folder?

 

@Shodan816: Have you tried going as high as the 7 pass wipe to see if that has any different effect?

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I have the exact same problem as the original poster, using 7 passes on Win XP. ALL the deleted files are recoverable. If I use secure deletion in Tune Up Utilities then the files are gone for good.

 

I have found a little utility called Eraser which clears the free space, this works well and found in excess of 17,000 deleted files on my C: drive. But is this not what CCleaner should be doing?

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I just thought I would mention a couple other freeware programs that have secure wiping features for anyone interested.

 

AnalogX SuperShredder - I've been using this for years, you simply right click on a file, and use "Send to" and choose SuperShredder. It has customizable shredding techniques to use as high as 35 passes on a file (Gutmann) and other random data you can add yourself.

AxCrypt - Neat tool to encrypt and decrypt files with a similar right click function like SuperShredder, and will also wipe files.

 

Spybot S&D used to have a file wipe/secure delete tool built into it, but I've just noticed that they removed it in 1.5.

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I wouldn't get too hung up on Gutmann and his 35 passes. His paper was delivered getting on for twelve years ago and applied to what is now obsolete disk technology. Gutmann later stated that his theory had been overtaken by events and "A good scrubbing with random data will do about as well as can be expected".

 

One overwrite will give you as good a deletion as anything else. If you hold the advance plans for the USA's invasion of Iran on your disk you shouldn't be messing about with CC.

 

Rgds.

 

(To any goverment agencies scanning the internet, that was a joke.)

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I wouldn't get too hung up on Gutmann and his 35 passes. His paper was delivered getting on for twelve years ago and applied to what is now obsolete disk technology. Gutmann later stated that his theory had been overtaken by events and "A good scrubbing with random data will do about as well as can be expected".

 

One overwrite will give you as good a deletion as anything else. If you hold the advance plans for the USA's invasion of Iran on your disk you shouldn't be messing about with CC.

 

Rgds.

 

(To any goverment agencies scanning the internet, that was a joke.)

 

Very true about the Gutman passes, but still CCleaner should deliver as it say it will.

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Very true about the Gutman passes, but still CCleaner should deliver as it say it will.

I agree entirely, but nattering about Gutmann is more interesting. I can't understand why such a myth has been swallowed wholesale for so many years by countless users (and developers, Piriform!) when a few minutes on Wikipedia would bring some sense to it all.

 

But back to the subject. CCleaner V2.02.527 on XP seems to have cured the 'not overwriting temp int files' problem I reported earlier in this thread. I have as yet to test this extensively but it looks good so far - thanks Piriform. (I like the new Recuva display as well.) I can't add to the Recycler problem as I rarely use it.

 

Rgds.

 

PS I'm sure Piriform know all about Gutmann, but have to include it as a sop to the masses.

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Just downloaded and installed the latest version - 2.03.532 - and tested secure deletion of the Recycle Bin in Vista. Preliminary tests say 'YES ! ! !' Finally, I can find no trace of a test file that I wiped from the Recycle Bin with CCleaner.

 

THANK YOU ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Well done ! ! !

 

Shodan

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Mission accomplished!!! ;)

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