How many times?

J_F

New Member
"Simple" question: how many passes are enough to erase a document?

(I've read someplace that 1 pass was enough to make any document irrecoverable, is it true?)
 

Kythe

Member
J_F said:
"Simple" question: how many passes are enough to erase a document?

(I've read someplace that 1 pass was enough to make any document irrecoverable, is it true?)
Generally this is true, with some caveats. A lot depends upon who you're trying to stop from recovering the information, and how much that information is worth.

For all intents and purposes, most people will be fine with one overwrite pass.

One thing to watch out for, though: make sure the data's not stored somewhere else on the hard drive in the form of deleted temporary files, log files, etc. NTFS can also leave information that's written to a hard drive in a journaling system file for up to several days under normal computer use. I'd recommend doing a full "freespace wipe" every now and then, which will both get rid of deleted temp files and write enough data to the disk to flush the journal file.
 

J_F

New Member
Thank you

Guess that for my needs one pass will be enough . I will follow your other recommendations also
 

nodrick

New Member
Erasing

Just one other point-no mention was made of the paging/swap file.I have disabled mine anyway(XP/SP2),but has its remaing in use any relevance to the original query? Many thanks!
 

Kythe

Member
Re: Erasing

nodrick said:
Just one other point-no mention was made of the paging/swap file.I have disabled mine anyway(XP/SP2),but has its remaing in use any relevance to the original query? Many thanks!
In my opinion, yes. It's relevant in that both the swap file and hibernation file, if any, can contain the contents of files otherwise erased, or for that matter, the contents of memory (e.g. passwords, etc.).

For this reason, I disabled hibernation on my computers and used Eraser's settings to eliminate the paging file on shutdown. Combined with frequent free space wipes, this data leakage can be eliminated.
 

Cyborg_Gold

New Member
How...

How do you change Eraser to only do X passes? I am not currently able to change the number of passes, when I click on the number in any settings menu, it does not allow me to actually change it. Thanks in advance for any help I may recieve.
 

Kythe

Member
Re: How...

Cyborg_Gold said:
How do you change Eraser to only do X passes? I am not currently able to change the number of passes, when I click on the number in any settings menu, it does not allow me to actually change it. Thanks in advance for any help I may recieve.
There are a couple of ways.

First, when you "right click" on a drive in Explorer or under My Computer and select "erase unused space", you should see a dialogue box pop up with an "options" button. Click the options button, and you should be able to select from several eraser "Erase with" options, including a single pass of pseudorandom data (should be option #4).

From there you can also set up your own eraser configuration by clicking "new".

Second, you can do the same under the Eraser configuration manager (available under Eraser's Start Menu item).
 

Cyborg_Gold

New Member
Re: How...

Kythe said:
Cyborg_Gold said:
How do you change Eraser to only do X passes? I am not currently able to change the number of passes, when I click on the number in any settings menu, it does not allow me to actually change it. Thanks in advance for any help I may recieve.
There are a couple of ways.

First, when you "right click" on a drive in Explorer or under My Computer and select "erase unused space", you should see a dialogue box pop up with an "options" button. Click the options button, and you should be able to select from several eraser "Erase with" options, including a single pass of pseudorandom data (should be option #4).

From there you can also set up your own eraser configuration by clicking "new".

Second, you can do the same under the Eraser configuration manager (available under Eraser's Start Menu item).
Right, I can get there, but when I add, I am not able to do more than one pass, it wont let me change the nuber of passes
 

Kythe

Member
Re: How...

Cyborg_Gold said:
Kythe said:
Cyborg_Gold said:
How do you change Eraser to only do X passes? I am not currently able to change the number of passes, when I click on the number in any settings menu, it does not allow me to actually change it. Thanks in advance for any help I may recieve.
There are a couple of ways.

First, when you "right click" on a drive in Explorer or under My Computer and select "erase unused space", you should see a dialogue box pop up with an "options" button. Click the options button, and you should be able to select from several eraser "Erase with" options, including a single pass of pseudorandom data (should be option #4).

From there you can also set up your own eraser configuration by clicking "new".

Second, you can do the same under the Eraser configuration manager (available under Eraser's Start Menu item).
Right, I can get there, but when I add, I am not able to do more than one pass, it wont let me change the nuber of passes
That's interesting...you should just be able to keep clicking the "add" button to add additional passes...
 

Cyborg_Gold

New Member
Re: How...

Kythe said:
Cyborg_Gold said:
Kythe said:
Cyborg_Gold said:
How do you change Eraser to only do X passes? I am not currently able to change the number of passes, when I click on the number in any settings menu, it does not allow me to actually change it. Thanks in advance for any help I may recieve.
There are a couple of ways.

First, when you "right click" on a drive in Explorer or under My Computer and select "erase unused space", you should see a dialogue box pop up with an "options" button. Click the options button, and you should be able to select from several eraser "Erase with" options, including a single pass of pseudorandom data (should be option #4).

From there you can also set up your own eraser configuration by clicking "new".

Second, you can do the same under the Eraser configuration manager (available under Eraser's Start Menu item).
Right, I can get there, but when I add, I am not able to do more than one pass, it wont let me change the nuber of passes
That's interesting...you should just be able to keep clicking the "add" button to add additional passes...
OK, I can add as many passes as I like using that method, but Eraser still does the initial 35 passes, and I cant delete that item... so now all I am doing is making the erase take even longer...
 

Kythe

Member
OK, try this:

When you do a "clear unused space", click on the "options" button.

In the new window that comes up, you should see several options for wiping patterns. Instead of selecting any of them, click the "New" button.

In the new window that now comes up, enter a name for your wiping pattern in the top blank, then click "Add".

This should add a line in the middle text box that says "1 Pattern(00000000)" At this point, you can change the pattern by either manually entering a string of 1's and 0's in the "Byte 1" box below, or select the "Pseudorandom Data" radio button.

Click "Add" to add another pass. You can keep doing this until you have all the passes you want. If you made a mistake, select the line you don't want and click the "Delete" button.

Once you're done, and you've got the passes in the order you want (use the "Move Up" and "Move Down" buttons to adjust them), click the "Save" button on the bottom of the window.

I'm guessing that you've already done this, and are now back at the main screen where it lists "1 Guttman 35" and so on below it. This window doesn't list all the passes that are done when you erase; rather, it lists the options you have for wiping patterns.

For instance: the first line is an optional wiping pattern that does 35 passes. If you select the next option below it, though ("2 US DoD..."), the wipe will do only that pattern, not the "35 pass" pattern first.

Does this make sense? Or have I answered your question?

Kythe
 
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