New Year’s Eve is almost upon us. Figured I close out 2011 with one final post.
I’m always on the lookout for tips and techniques when it comes to secure-wiping drives and the post was full of great info regarding use of the dcfldd tool.
When it comes to secure drive (whole-disk) wiping, I’ve still tended to rely on two tools in particular for their ease-of-use and convenience.
The first is Microsoft Windows DISKPART command “Clean all” which “specifies that each and every sector on the disk is zeroed, which completely deletes all data contained on the disk.”
The pro is that the command is very simple to remember and use, and when coupled with a WinPE disk, is dead-simple to effectively wipe out most all drives I encounter.
The second one I love is the CLI tool “wipe.exe” as found in the Forensic Acquisition Utilities set by George M. Garner.
The pro about this one is that it actually includes a progress indicator so you have some degree of feedback on how far you’ve wiped.
I always verify my zero-out wipes when done. For that I prefer to use the sector-viewer tool HxD to scan through the post-wiped drive to ensure it all come up clean; Frhed - Free hex editor is another nice alternative.
I also keep a collection of secure file-wipe tools handy as well. These are useful for when I have a personal document with sensitive info that is no longer needed, or at work where I have successfully recovered a customer’s data from a seriously crashed drive and the files were successfully restored; don’t need to keep those around on the workbench PC.
Eraser Portable - PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB, portable and cloud drives is the portable version of that tool. It is very flexible and powerful, though the interface and job/task “scheduling” might be off-putting to less advanced users. Besides handing wiping of files/folders, it also can wipe free-space on a drive.
WipeFile over at Gaijin is a simple and basic file-wipe tool with lots of options. Just launch, set your wipe-preferences, and drag-n-drop your files for wiping. See the related Gaijin tool WipeDisk as well.
File Shredder is a “new-to-me” secure-wipe tool. It is quite small and consists of two files; the main exe and a dll helper. The interface is nice and it also includes wiping of free-space.
ultrashredder is even smaller. Basically just drag-n-drop. While you can set the number of over-writes, you can’t set the pattern.
DPWipe 1.1 by Dirk Paehl is similar to Ultrashredder in the GUI layout, however it does allow selection of the wipe method.
Blowfish Advanced CS. This is an oldie-but-a-goodie which was the very first secure wipe (file and freespace) tool I started using back in my Win98 days. It probably has been passed on by other tools here but I still keep it around for fond-memories.
SDelete is Microsoft Sysinternal’s CLI tool to wipe files as well as zero-out free-space. I like it particularly well for that second task.
Disk Redactor also handles wiping of all free space on a drive very nicely with a helpful GUI interface.
These are all specialized secure-wipe tools and are pretty easy and convenient to use; a few even have options to integrate into the Windows context-menu shell. However if you frequently use an alternative Windows file manager (like I prefer to do), there are more than one which include a hand-dandy “secure-file-wipe” option baked right in!
FreeCommander remains my #1 all-time favorite “multi-pass” tool for Windows file management. it includes a secure wipe action that performs a multi-step wipe of the selected item(s). You can set how many passes you want that routine to run.
Explorer++ also includes a “destroy” option (1 or 3-pass choice) to secure delete selected files/folders.
A43 likewise includes a basic secure-destroy option.
NexusFile has a “shred and delete” feature.
My Commander reminds me in many ways of FreeCommander, and it does have a secure delete action.
Happy New Year!