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Jarnorth

Does wiping free space delete everything?

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Hi,

 

Does wiping free space totally delete everything or does it leave some files alone? I remember reading on the page that the process doesn't affect certain files due to how Windows stores the file data. Could someone give me some insight? 

 

Cheers 

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It only wipes free (as in not occupied with files) space. So it writes files over all already deleted files, but any files that exist (ones you can see in windows) are untouched.

 

 

However it is the consensus of most ccleaner users here, and backed up by the science of both harddrives (hdd) and Solid-State (ssd), that you should only wipe free space sparingly (usually we only suggest it if you are going to sell or trash a drive).

 

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Hi, 

 

Thank you for your quick response. I was just a little confused by the message left on the product page. Apart from the limitations as detailed, will it completely erase the files during the drive wipe? The message is as follows: 

 

Wipe Free Disk Space limitations

CCleaner can't wipe every deleted file from your free disk space. There are some limitations, because of the way Windows stores some files.  Here are some examples:

  • The file has been overwritten by another file (so no need to overwrite this again)
  • The file had been overwritten by another file before you ran CCleaner, but the second file has now been deleted as well.          
  • The file was created almost exactly when you ran CCleaner.                                                       

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In my experience NO it does not wipe everything.

Please see my recent post http://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showtopic=43646

 

I ran CCleaner Driver Wiper from the tools menu and selected a multi-pass option.

I then used recuvva to see if any files could be recovered, on 'normal scan' it couldn't find any files but on 'deep scan' it found a few thousand files a significant number of which could (and were) fully recovered.

 

I do not understand why this program can therefore claim to wipe a drive.

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Well, you found 51 files, not thousands. Half of these look like a/v files, which could be created any time. The remaining few files from the deep scan may well have come from cache flushing or volume syncing. The one pic shown is a Piriform webpage which has possibly just been referenced. I don't know for certainty how cache flushing works, nor do I know how CC works, so this is why I have to use so many could be's and maybe's.

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I think the point I'm making is that 'Drive wiper' claims to remove deleted files and yet when you use recuvva it finds deleted files so what am I missing?

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I thought I'd explained my theory, as best as I can. My point is that a pc (of whatever type) is a dynamic thing, in that there are many operations going off which we either don't know about or can't control, to wit the a/v updates and the cache and pagefile flushing. Drive 'wiping' fills the drive with duff files and then deletes them, so at only one miniscule point in time will a disk be fully overwritten. A fraction of a second later the files begin to be deleted and space is available for any new activity. A bit like laying a new concrete floor in your garage and you have a dog.

 

Perhaps if you wiped one of your secondary non-system drives you would see a more stable result.

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are we criticising CC for not doing its job well enough or do we praise Recuva for doing an outstanding job? :)

 

and if CC did wipe the drive to our satisfaction and Recuva could not get something back, would we then be having this discussion in the Recuva thread with a title "Why can't Recuva find files I want resurrected?"

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Having another look at Tinx's screenshots (from his linked thread) I can't see the file with the large random name that CC uses to overwrite the deleted files when it does the wfs. It would normally be the first in the list of deleted files - or the only file found if you have Show Securely Overwritten Files unchecked. This leads me to think that there has been activity on that disk since the wfs that has overwritten this file.

 

The best plan for Timx is, as I suggested, to run wfs on a non-system disk which has no activity against it.

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I was just wondering as I feel there will come a day when I need a file wiped. (E.g. My resume/CV and/or form containing my bank details) I hope CC can provide the sufficient wiping capability as I need to feel secure those files will be gone and non-recoverable. 

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unlikely that an entire file will be 100% irrecoverable without physical destruction of the storage medium.

CC and those sort of programs can take it to a level beyond the reach of mere mortals, but with the right software, patience and persistence, it's amazing what can be pieced together.

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