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Wipe all files except OS?


Ulysdad

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I was told I could use CCleaner to effectively wipe a hard drive, but retain Windows. I plan to donate some machines to a charity, but need to ensure the data and programs are removed but want to leave WIN XP on the drive. Is there a way to use CCleaner to do so? If so, I'd appreciate help on the settings. If not, anyone have any suggestions that don't cost an arm and a leg?

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I was told I could use CCleaner to effectively wipe a hard drive, but retain Windows.

CCleaner is not a hard disk wiping tool, it cleans certain parts of Windows, programs, and the registry and that's it.

 

If you wish to wipe the hard disk of all previously deleted files without destroying Windows in the process you'll need something like the free Eraser Portable to wipe the free space - just pop it onto a USB Thumb Drive and use it.

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Welcome to piriform Ulysdad.

 

I was told I could use CCleaner to effectively wipe a hard drive, but retain Windows.

 

Who on earth told you that?

 

No you can't easily delete anything on I presume WinXP or Vista because everything is remembered in the registry. Plus they are normally NTFS and therefore no true DOS. ;)

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Does Eraser only wipe "previously deleted files" -- or will it delete files and then wipe as well?

You need to read the Eraser documentation for a clear answer.

 

When using Recuva after running Eraser to wipe the free space Recuva won't be able to find those files anymore. The only time I've noticed when Eraser can't get rid of them is when they're locked by Windows in the MFT. The only way to really get rid of everything on the disk is with something like DBAN, however that will remove everything on the disk including Windows.

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Welcome to piriform Ulysdad.

 

 

 

Who on earth told you that?

 

No you can't easily delete anything on I presume WinXP or Vista because everything is remembered in the registry. Plus they are normally NTFS and therefore no true DOS. ;)

 

Thanks Keithuk. Someone from a Bank's IT department. Maybe they misunderstood what I was trying to do. I'll try another helpful soul's suggestion of Eraser after I delete the programs and data off manually. Little more work than I hoped for, but beats paying $40 for some utilities I see on the market (especially since I'm trying to donate these and don't really want to incur expenses while trying to be "nice"!)

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  • 2 weeks later...
I was told I could use CCleaner to effectively wipe a hard drive, but retain Windows. I plan to donate some machines to a charity, but need to ensure the data and programs are removed but want to leave WIN XP on the drive. Is there a way to use CCleaner to do so? If so, I'd appreciate help on the settings. If not, anyone have any suggestions that don't cost an arm and a leg?

 

If you want to wipe just the free space on the disk (after CCleaner has deleted the files you want deleted), Windows has a built-in program that can wipe all the free space on the drive:

 

http://idle-administrivia.blogspot.com/200...on-windows.html

 

Just remember to get everything done in CCleaner first, and empty your recycle bin! =)

 

-Idle

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You need to read the Eraser documentation for a clear answer.

 

When using Recuva after running Eraser to wipe the free space Recuva won't be able to find those files anymore. The only time I've noticed when Eraser can't get rid of them is when they're locked by Windows in the MFT. The only way to really get rid of everything on the disk is with something like DBAN, however that will remove everything on the disk including Windows.

My reccomendation would be Active@ KillDisk Hard Drive Eraser.

 

I've been using it for 2 years or so. It dismounts Hard Drives before wiping them and everything gets wiped + MFT, living good files behind.

To wipe the OS drive it lets you create a boot CD and run the program from there.

I do that every 6 months to keep my OS drive fresh.

 

Free version comes with only one pass zeros though :)

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Free version comes with only one pass zeros though :)

I wouldn't personally want to do more than one pass on a daily used computer. Now if I were selling my comp I'd want to do a minimum of three wipes, or to be even more paranoid seven wipes.

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