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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Using Cipher to Erase Disk Unused or Free Space


Deleting a file does not erase the actual data of the file. Until that space is overwritten by a new file or data (randomly), it can be restored easily using special, easily-obtainable software. Therefore, after deleting files, you need to run such a program to ensure that the data of those files is also gone.

For example, you would want to run this command when you sell the drive or otherwise physically dispose of the drive. You might also want to use it if you deleted some sensitive data, and there was a risk that someone may gain physical access to the drive (such as with a laptop).

Open "My Computer" from your desktop and note the desired drive letter
OPTIONAL: Delete any files from that drive that are no longer needed.
Click the Windows Start button and select "Run..."
In the "Run dialog", type cmd and then press OK.
A command prompt window will be opened.
Type cipher /w:D:\ (You can substitute the desired drive letter for D)
Press Enter and wait for the operation to complete.

To cancel the operation, press Ctrl+C. All the commands are case-insensitive.

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