[Windows] Best free secure file erasing program

When you simply delete a file and remove it from your PC’s Recycle Bin, that file is far from being actually deleted and can be quite easily retrieved using software. In fact these files could be recovered using free software; maybe I should make that my next article. Many of us have a great deal of personal and confidential information on our computers and to have such data so easily accessible even after “deletion” is simply unacceptable. Luckily this data can be made virtually destroyed by being overwritten repeatedly. It is true that with advanced enough equipment, the measures carried out by the software reviewed here today could be circumvented. However, if someone is out to get a hold of your confidential information so badly that they would be willing to go to such lengths and expense to purchase such equipment maybe this is not the article for you.

Please bear in mind that the general rule is that the more passes or times a secure eraser overwrites a file, the least likely it is to be recovered. However please note that in many cases one or two passes will suffice. Also, please note that in this article I use the terms ‘file shredding algorithm’ and ‘erasure method’ interchangeably. When I use these terms I am simply referring to the method of overwriting files which was utilized.

With that being said, all of the software reviewed here today securely erase any sensitive files by overwriting such information several times thus making it inaccessible to the average user. I present to you our pick of the best free secure erasers available for Windows.

This review is part of our Best Free Windows Software section. Check out more articles on the best free Windows programs from here.

Table of Contents

Best Free Secure File Eraser

heidi eraser screenshotProgram Name: Heidi’s Eraser

Developer: Heidi Computers

Download Size: 8.0MB

Version Reviewed: 6.1.0.2938

Requires: Windows 95/NT/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8

Pros

  • Can securely erase files and entire drives/partitions and folders
  • Can securely delete (wipe) free space
  • Extremely easy to use — adds an entry in right-click context menu for easy access
  • Is fast (relatively speaking)
  • If a file cannot be deleted immediately, the file is deleted upon reboot
  • Allows users to choose from a variety of erasure methods:
  • Allows users to define custom erasure methods
  • Allows users to schedule erasures
  • Is portable

Cons

  • Is “always on” — starts itself on Windows boot and is set by default to minimize to system tray when you X out the main program window. You can disable the minimize to system tray behavior but there appears to be no setting to disable the start-at-Windows-boot behavior.

Discussion

Eraser is a powerful security tool which offers users the choice of several erasure methods which can be used to safely erase sensitive information.

Eraser offers users twelve different methods for the safe removal of data which are outlined in the table in the table below. Depending on the nature of the data users may feel the need to employ a more or less rigorous method and Eraser gives users more than enough options; even allowing for the creation of custom erasure methods. Simply right click the Default Erasure Methods and PRNGs plugin under Settings and you will be able to specify these custom erasure methods from there. Eraser also allows for the replacement of erased data with files of the user’s choice so as to allow for plausible deniability. The methods utilized are as follows:

Method Name Passes Description
Gutmann Method 35 An overwrite session consists of a lead-in of four random write patterns, followed by patterns 5 to 31 (see rows of table below), executed in a random order, and a lead-out of four more random patterns.
Pseudorandom Data 1 The fastest wiping scheme. Your data is overwritten with random data[1] (if you use a CSPRNG the data is indistinguishable from random noise.)
British HMG IS5 (Baseline) (1 pass) 1 Your data is overwritten with zeroes.
Russian GOST P50739-95 2 GOST P50739-95 wiping scheme calls for a single pass of zeroes followed by a single pass of random data
British HMG IS5 (Enhanced) 3 British HMG IS5 (Enhanced) is a three pass overwriting algorithm: first pass – with zeroes, second pass – with ones and the last pass with random data.
US Army AR380-19 3 AR380-19 is data wiping scheme specified and published by the U.S. Army. AR380-19 is three pass overwriting algorithm: first pass – with random data, second with a random byte and the third pass with the complement of the 2nd pass
US Department of Defense DoD 5220.22-M (E) 3 DoD 5220.22-M (E) is a three pass overwriting algorithm: first pass – with zeroes, second pass – with ones and the last pass – with random data
US Air Force 5020 3 US Air Force 5020 is a three pass overwriting algorithm with the first pass being that of a random byte, followed by two passes of complement data (shifted 8 and 16 bits right respectively)
US Department of Defense DoD 5220.22-M(ECE) 7 DoD 5220.22-M(ECE) is seven pass overwriting algorithm: first, fourth and fifth pass with a random byte, its 8 right-bit shift complement and 16 right-bit shift complement; second and sixth passes with zeroes, and third and seventh pass with random data
Canadian RCMP TSSIT OPS-II 7 RCMP TSSIT OPS-II is a seven pass overwriting algorithm with three alternating patterns of zeroes and ones and the last pass – with a random byte
German VSITR 7 The German standard calls for data to be overwritten with three alternating patterns of zeroes and ones and in the last pass with random data
Schneier’s Algorithm 7 The Bruce Schneier algorithm has seven passes: first pass – with ones, the second pass – with zeroes and then five times with random data

[1]Random Data vs. Random Byte: Random data is continually generated, a random byte is a randomly generated number, and that number is repeated throughout the pass.

This powerful program allows users to securely move files and folders to various locations, as well as allowing for the secure removal of files, folders, files in the Recycle Bin, secure overwriting of unused disk space as well as the secure erasure of an entire hard drive or partition.

Some of the methods utilized will no doubt take some time to complete and you may not want to sit around waiting for your tasks to be completed. Luckily Eraser allows users to schedule their erasures at any time which bests suits their needs.

To sum up Eraser offers users powerful functionality but in a very straightforward manner and you can have the peace of mind that your data has been safely removed without having to use any particularly sophisticated equipment.

Runner Up

Privazer screenshotProgram Name: Privazer

Developer: Goversoft

Download Size: 4.7MB

Version Reviewed: 1.12

Requires: Windows XP/Vista/7/8

Discussion

Privazer is an advanced security tool which offers users several features from securely erasing files to removing internet histories from web browsers and cleaning your registry.

In addition to allowing users to securely erase files, Privazer allows you to clean traces of internet activity, clean residual traces of old files, clean traces of software use and as a result this allows you to gain free space as well as to keep your PC secure. It allows for the cleaning of office software(Microsoft Office, Open Office, Libre Office), the cleaning of photo/image software histories, the removal of thumbnail caches, auto complete histories in web browsers, Microsoft Games histories –for those of you who play games at work haha–, removal of unnecessary files left over from windows updates and removal of the hibernation feature which takes up a lot of space on one’s hard drive. Privazer also allows for the deletion of traces of programs from your RAM. Users can carry out all of these activities at once in an in-depth scan or select them individually if preferred, thus taking a much shorter amount of time.

Of course Privazer also allows you to securely erase files and folders of your choice and makes use of the following erasure methods:

Method Name

Passes

Description

British HMG IS5, Baseline Standard

1

Overwritten with zeroes with verification

British IS5, Enhanced Standard

3

3 passes overwriting algorithm: 1st pass – with zeroes, 2nd pass – with ones and the last pass with random bytes (last pass is verified).

Russian GOST P50739-95

2

Calls for a single pass of zeroes followed by a single pass of random byte.

German Federal Office for Information Security

3

Non-uniform pattern, its complement.

US Navy NAVSO P-5239-26

3

3 passes overwriting algorithm with last pass verification.

USA DoD 5220.22-M Department of Defense

3

3 passes overwriting algorithm: 1st pass – with zeroes, 2nd pass – with ones and the last pass with random bytes. With all passes verification.

Canada Communications Security Establishment ITSG-06

3

All 1s or 0s, its complement, a pseudo-random pattern

German VSITR

7

Calls for each sector to be overwritten with three alternating patterns of zeroes and ones and in the last pass with character.

Bruce Schneier’s Algorithm

7

7 passes: 1st pass – with ones, 2nd pass – with zeroes and then 5 times with random characters.

Canadian RCMP TSSIT OPS-II

7

7 passes overwriting algorithm with 3 alternating patterns of zeroes and ones and the last pass – with random character (with last pass verification)

Peter Gutmann’s Algorithm

35

35 passes with various algorithms, including all of the other listed methods.

Privazer offers users several additional features — in addition to its secure erasing features – which are quite similar to what one would find with a ‘tune-up’. This is an added bonus. It also offers users many of the same erasure methods which are found in Eraser.

However in terms of its secure eraser functionality, Eraser offers users a far more customizable experience in terms of specifically safely removing sensitive information and this is an article covering the best free secure eraser for Windows after all.

Despite not having erasure options which are as customizable as those of Eraser, Privazer is no doubt a great program which offers additional functionality that users of the program are bound to find useful.

Honorable Mention 1

Secure Eraser screenshotProgram Name: Secure-Eraser

Developer: ASCOMP

Download Size: 4.0MB

Version Reviewed: 4.201

Requires: Windows XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7/8

Discussion

Yet another excellent secure eraser; Secure-Eraser offers 5 familiar file shredding algorithms as well as a system cleaning options which allows for the system cleaning of temporary and user-specific files.

The file shredding algorithms which were examined previously are as follows:

  • Random
  • US DoD 5220.22-M E
  • German Standard
  • US DoD 5220.22-M ECE
  • Peter Gutmann Standard

As expected of a great secure eraser program, Secure-Eraser allows for the deletion of free space and allows for the removal of file names of deleted files out of the selected drive’s Master File Table. Secure-Eraser also allows for the overwriting of ‘slackspace’ of existing files to remove old file fragments. Additionally Secure-Eraser allows for secure drive/partition deletion and for the clearing of the USN Change Journal if it is active; this applies only to NTFS drives only.

One more extra feature is the registry cleaning function.

Secure-Eraser only lacks in functionality in terms of the number of options available for secure erasure methods on comparison to Eraser and Privazer.

Secure-Eraser is no doubt an excellent program and will protect your privacy.

Honorable Mention 2

Hardwipe ScreenshotProgram Name: Hardwipe

Developer: Big Angry Dog

Download Size: 5.7MB

Version Reviewed: 2.1.0

Requires: Windows XP/Vista/7/8

Discussion

Hardwipe is a powerful secure eraser with the ability to safely remove both files and also securely wipe entire drives or overwrite free space.

Hardwipe is capable of making use of 6 different erasure methods or shredding algorithms some of which will by now be familiar to you after examining Eraser and Privazer.

  • Zero Overwrite( 1 pass )
  • Random Overwrite( 1 pass )
  • GOST R 50739-95( 2 pass )
  • DoD 5220.22-M( 3 pass )
  • Schneier( 7 pass )
  • Gutmann( 35 pass )

Hardwipe also makes use of a verification pass and makes sure that users confirm that they do intend to wipe their drives on selecting that option. This powerful program also allows for the adjustment of its error tolerance as well as the speed at which the erasing process is carried out.

Hardwipe offers users less secure erasure options when compared with Eraser and Privazer and also displays unsightly ads within the program.

However, it effectively makes sure that your confidential information is adequately protected.

Honorable Mention 3

File Shredder SceenshotProgram Name: File Shredder

Developer: File Shredder

Download Size: 2.20MB

Version Reviewed: 2.5

Requires: Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows 2000, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows NT, Windows Server 2008

Discussion

File Shredder is a simple to use program which offers users 5 powerful shredding algorithms which effectively allow for the overwriting of sensitive information.

File Shredder is easy to use but offers some advanced functionality through the following 5 shredding algorithms:

  • Simple One Pass
  • Simple Two Pass
  • DoD 5220-22.M
  • Secure erasing algorithm with 7 passes
  • Gutmann Algorithm with 35 passes

File Shredder is quite effective at doing its job as it uses powerful erasure methods. However, it does not offer secure erasure of an entire drive and it is not as customizable as Eraser or Privazer.

Despite lacking some of the functionality of our top two picks, File Shredder is more than capable of protecting your sensitive information.

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48 comments

  1. melen001

    [@davidroper]

    So then, you have been to Puerto Rico…. that’s GREAT. The Fort/Castle you mention is “San Felipe del Morro” in Old San Juan. Nice ocean view and it’s very old like 400 years old. Thanks for you replying and hope to hear from you soon.

  2. davidroper

    [@melen001] Well, thanks for the reply. Glad I have one supporter at least.

    I was in your beautiful country two years ago and got to fit inside the gun turret tower there in the Fort/Castile. I barely fit inside, have lost 40 pounds since then. Great food. Thanks.

  3. melen001

    [@davidroper]

    Hi David

    Hello friend, you are so right. I was thinking of that possibility of making a BIG MISTAKE while using Eraser and that could be disastrous. I wonder just how many of our Dottech friends have had that horrible experience… NOT GOOD… May be for the in-experienced it’s a good idea not to have Eraser on there PC and just install it when needed. And for the newbies, they should just not use it at all. In my case, not that I’m a GEEK, but I use Eraser with caution and verify various times what I’m going to erase so as not to KILL my OS. Anyways, thanks for the tip and I’m sure that many, as I do, appreciate your feed back and suggestions on Eraser usage and the “dangers” of using this kind of software in a incorrect manner.

    George
    Humacao, Puerto Rico

  4. davidroper

    [@melen001] Whoa there big fella (as John Wayne would say), if you don’t want Eraser to Launch on boot as autorun or anything else, just keep it off your PC until it’s the time to send the poor animal to the vet.

    Install Eraser = Possible accident. No Eraser installed = NO Possible accident.

    That’s the way I think..

  5. melen001

    [@Darcy]

    If you want to stop Heidi’s Eraser from launching when you boot your PC you can us Auto Runs but there is a much easier way to stop Eraser from launching at boot. Just go to “msconfig”. Just go to start menu and type in search window “msconfig”, open the program and you will see the “System Configuration” pop-up, now click on “Startup” and you will see “Eraser”, “The Eraser Project”, and just unclick (clear) the box and then click “apply” and “OK” and close the program. That’s it !. When you boot your PC Eraser will not launch so when you are going to use it just launch it like any other program. When finished go to “Notification task-bar” and you will see a red “icon” for Eraser and just “right click” and the pop-up menu will display “Exit Eraser” so just “click” on it and it’s off just like any other program. Easy and no need to install a 3rd party tool to stop it from loading at boot. Eraser is very simple and easy to use and safe. I basically us it to erase malware and viruses that have been quarantined by “virus removal tools” and that way I know that the malware or virus has been DEFINITELY removed. You can do the same and assure yourself of a complete removal. Hope that this info is of valuable and useful to everyone.

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  7. David Roper

    Just when I had decided on Heid’ erase, I picked up my Popular Mechanics July/Aug issue and turned to page 128 to read that a command line Sdelete will wipe free space and/or files. Then it goes on to say if you delete something, in theory, you can get it back. Whattt? In Theory get it back? Where’s The Fudge?

  8. videodope.net

    FileShredder, and fileshredders from Iobit and TuneUp Utilities DON’T WORK because you can recover a big part of the shredded files very easy with Recuva.

    Weird thing is, if after recovering ‘shredded’ files with Recuva and shredding them again, they become more easy to detect and recover. The more times you shred stuff the faster they can be recovered, so basically those popular fileshredders are completely useless and you really need a program like KillDisk that really wipes everything.

  9. Godel

    [@Louis]

    Thanks for the info on wiping.

    I don’t think you need worry about excessive use on an SSD reducing drive life for normal operation. A number of sources say that even with heavy drive use (20GB to 30GB of writes a day) you should expect to get 5 to 10 years of life out of a drive. Anandtech is one of these sources. Data reads are free, and I’m assuming you have the normal regime of backups.

    A possible exception is if you were using SSDs for professional video editing, in which case for the compensating time and efficiency gains it would be worth doing anyway.

    BTW the best option for total drive erasure is HDDErase which uses a firmware routine in modern drives to erase EVERYthing. In SSDs I believe this amounts to just erasing an internal encryption key rather than writing to every cell.

    The SSD manufacturers may also have software tools to do full erasures on their products. For example Samsung has Samsung SSD Magician which can be downloaded for free. My version covers up to the Samsung 830s but there are probably later editions for newer drives.

  10. David Roper

    [@Louis]
    But Louis, if you wipe the examp drive with a 38 special, you cannot use it again or give it to a school or church.

    If a student can resurect an old exam enoughto get answers after Heidi has helped erase it, give them an A because they already proved they are smart dude or dudette.

    Besides, when I took my final exams in college in Econ, my late professor always told the class, I will give you last year’s exam to study by. This year’s questions will be different and the answers will change even if I use the same exam from last year.

    Boy, I miss him. He was a smart man.
    And I am almost 70.

  11. Louis

    [@Godel] Hi Godel

    Because of my situation re exam papers all over, which needs to be securely wiped everywhere is is placed and deleted, plus the free space for file slack on non-SSD drives, that very question re the feasibility of getting a SSD drive to be used solely for these time of sensitive documents (since it’s expensive and shouldn’t be written too all the time apparently, so shouldn’t be your main drive) :

    The answer, on all the good sources I checked, is the following : Provided you have the later model of SSD that can actually deal with TRIM, and that TRIM is enabled in your Windows 7 + , and (mainly also to deal with the speed of the drive) you don’t use more than 75 % of the SSD’s drive capacity at any time, your data will be securely erased when deleted, from all blocks /pages where the file existed, at the same instant, so there should in theory not be any fileslack problem, as your data was never moved between ‘blocks/pages’ from the start.

    However, even with the freespace/file-slack issue seemingly out of the way, I’m not convinced that traces of the data couldn’t still remain in those blocks/pages where it was stored all the time before deleted all at once.

    So until I get a definitive answer on that part, I will still wipe those files with the US Army 380 method.

    But I will no longer bother with the wiping of free space/file-slack (which is progress, since that is usually a large piece of disk real estate, and can be a pain in the butt to wipe regularly).

    I’m checking prices on that stuff right now, since it’s definitely a step forward in file wiping security, to use an SSD, even if it’s a smaller one, used just for specific, absolutely no one may find it files (like exam papers)

  12. David Roper

    [@Tom]

    I don’t care if a finder of my data sees filenames. I worry about them getting my bank account number and SoSec number and stuff like that. The FAT table is useless if seen.

    and yes, if someone could rename all the files in the FAT table to gibberish then recovering them would be useless if reborn.

    Right?

  13. Sputnik

    [@Tom]

    Are you meaning that you are crypting a file before deleting it the normal way, making the possibly recoverable file totally indecipherable ?

    If it is what you are meaning, at first sight it seems to be a very good way to proceed…

  14. Tom

    Yes, Eraser is a so-called “mature” product. However if you spent time on their forums, you’ll know that Heidi does not always erase thoroughly, leaving behind recoverable filenames, and even files in some cases. Personally I can’t trust it, and I haven’t found anything I have ful faith in. Presently I use Axcrypt, but it doesn’t like folders.

  15. Darcy

    If someone is concerned about a program, like Heidi’s Eraser, starting itself with Windows, check out a small program called “autoruns.exe.” It has a small footprint and lets you configure the startup programs, then keeps them from undoing that configuration.

  16. Godel

    Anything more than a single pass is probably unnecessary with today’s modern hard drives, due to the data being so tightly packed in and the magnetic domains being vertically aligned on the disk. But hey, knock yourselves out.

    Certainly the Gutmann 35 pass method is unnecessary, because Mr Gutmann said so around 1996-7. It was designed to cover a bunch of old and obsolete drive types which no longer exist. Anyone still using the Gutmann method should have “I Are Stupid” tattooed on their foreheads.

    But I haven’t seen anyone address the question of secure file erasure on SSDs. Is it even possible in the short term due to the SSD’s firmware redistributing writes all over the disk for wear leveling, or in the longer term is it necessary at all due to Trim and garbage collection?

  17. Louis

    [@Sputnik] Thanks for the explanation, it makes sense what you wrote. I teach tax law etc at the Management School of a University, and constantly need to be super-aware of where-ever I’ve put an exam paper (MS Word / PDF), and deleted it — it follows me all over, even if I try to limit it, on my main machine at my home, then working on it on my netbook when away, transporting it on my usb flashdrive, using it on my office PC (who knows how many people has access to it after hours) etc.

    One copy lifted with software file recovery by someone not even very knowledgeable, after I’ve shredded it, and that thing is out there, and I’m toast !

    So I constantly shred everything with the DOD 3x alternate data stream shredder, and the same weekly with the free space wiper (since it takes a long time).

    I’m a little worried about the time lapse between the time I properly shred a file, and say until up to a week later shredding all the free space on the drive.

    I guess in theory someone may still retrieve such a shredded file from the free space in the interim time until the free space is also wiped.

    If this be true, I need to change to a different, but practical measure to ensure these files can never be retrieved.

    Although, to guard against losing my usb flash drive, with existing or deleted exam files on it, I always encrypt it before putting it on the usb flashdisk when transporting it, and always copy the encrypted file to a pc before working on the exam papers (i.e. never open or store an exam Word/PDF file directly on the usb flash).

    But for the rest, it’s hard to find a system that completely ensures that shredded file can never be lifted from a non-flash traditional hard disk….

  18. RealBull

    [@David Roper]
    LOL… I think I’ll try that coaster idea with my ole 40 GB HD.
    Anyway here are some other digital file shredders that are pretty good:

    Hardwipe (portable)
    File Shredder
    Freeraser (portable)

    I use Freeraser on my USB stick. It’s easy to use.

  19. David Roper

    [@RealBull]

    Not only fire, but I have taken them aopart and used the silver platters as Coffee coasters… After drilling several holes in them with a drill press. Stick some LOCKTITE glue over/in the holes overnight and it makes little slipproof feet. Fun, no cost (much) and very interesting for conversation.

  20. Sputnik

    [@Louis]

    Hi Louis !

    Don’t be afraid, I didn’t perceive any offence from your first comment.

    The Eraser I am talking about is also Heidi’s Eraser.

    Concerning the file-slack issue, from my comprehension it is not connected at all with the Volume Shadow Copy.

    The question is about the fact that the space on the hard disk is divided into clusters. When a file is created, all its contents will be recorded into the number of clusters necessary to absorb all of it.

    But the fact is that if the data belonging to this new created file don’t fill up all the space of each cluster (or the space of the last cluster), the rest of the cluster will still contain information pertaining a former file which has been suppressed only by the regular way, i.e. which has not been securely wiped.

    It is that remaining information which is deleted when a file-slack deletion is performed.

    So, in fact, a file-slack wipe out means that each of the clusters which has contained some information pertaining to the securely wipe out file will be entirely wipe out, even the space in each cluster (or maybe just the last cluster) which was not suppose to contain any information about the deleted file.

    Pardon me if the explanations are not clear enough to you, because my mother tongue is french, not english…

  21. Louis

    [@Sputnik] Perhaps indirectly, as you got me thinking about it, so it wasn’t meant as criticism at all, more like saying something about it in general :-) Sorry for any offence taken.

    Yes, you’re right about moving it to the recycle bin and then securely shredding it — I didn’t consider that, in fact, I wasn’t aware of those settings you mentioned, which does seem to make it a proper shredder, that can be used to compare with others.

    My main concern with any file / folder shredder is the algorythm they use to wipe the files, and how many passes they make, and whether they use different data to overwrite with each pass..

    Recently I read an (old) article (has to be verified by another source), but according to that piece Gutmann himself said that no software shredder can completely erase data, his own algorythm included (which takes forever with 35 passes) if specialised hardware equipment is used to lift data off the electro-magnetic field, or something to that effect (frankly, it’s over my head, beyond my knowledge how that works). That probably only applies if you’re a drug smuggler or something equally bad.

    I think a basic 3 pass DoD Standard algorythm overwriting the file with alternate data would suffice to be secure enough for most people’s purpose — I doubt any file recovery software would be able to resurrect that file, and it’s still quite fast (That’s what I currently use with CyberScrub, but I know that’s an option in opensource software as well)..

    Still, I think to compare apples with apples, we should exclude those software whose sole purpose is to wipe your whole disk clean, without distinguishing between files and folders (the type you may want to run before donatng your old pc to somewhere, or taking the hammer to it).

    The Eraser I mentioned, is Heidi’s Eraser — there may be others now with the same name ?

    Lastly, the issue of file-slack on free space (I think created if Volume Shadow Copy is active on one’s system), would make it necessary to also wipe all the ‘free space’ on your hard drive, to avoid a situation where a shadow copy of your file exist somewhere else on your hard drive than the one you just shredded. At least, that’s what I think, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this issue.

  22. Sputnik

    [@Louis]

    I suppose that your last comment was addressed to me…

    We may say that CCleaner may securely wipe files and folders if you first delete them to the Recycle Bin and thereafter clean the Recycle Bin with CCleaner.

    In the CCleaner’s settings you may define a secure file deletion and the choice to wipe Alternate Data Streams and also Cluster Tips and MFT Free Space.

    But I would agree with you that it is not an as direct process as to use a cleaner which is cleaning directly on a file or a folder base…

  23. Louis

    [@Louis] To mention : CCleaner is not a secure file specific eraser/wiper.

    I also assumed we are comparing software that can securely wipe selected folders and files and their remaining fileslack, and not the considerable number of “whole disk in one go” wipers

  24. Louis

    There doesn’t seem to be too many software that would meet the minimum requirements to be crowned as the / a winner :

    These (inter alia) would probably be the following, plus any anyone would like to add :

    * Must have at least algorythms for DOD 3/7 pass ;
    Schneier / Gutmann
    * MUST be able to wipe file-slack on “free space”

    Of the open source options that I could track down, I could only found Eraser meeting these requirements (I believe it does wipe file-slack as well, if that is what they mean when stating it “Erases residue from deleted files” as well).

    I’ve been using Cyberscrub, but this is a commercial program I got from a free give-away promotion long ago — yet it’s extremely thorough, with very solid features. I’ll always stick with CyberScrub, but if I ever lose the installation file or use of the program somehow, I would go for opensource Eraser as my second choice.