Difference 'Erase unused space' and WIN-built-in 'cipher'?


As you know Windows (at least Win7) already provides a built-in prgm/method to wipe free space on the hard disc.
If one would like to erase free space on partition C: the command is:

cipher /W:C

Is there any difference in result between HeidiErasers erase unused space function and WIN-built-in method?

Does HeidiEraser erase something what built-in cipher does not?

Re: Difference 'Erase unused space' and WIN-built-in 'cipher

I haven't used cipher. But the documentation suggests that, though it is no doubt effective at what it does, it represents only a small sub-set of Eraser's capabilities. Here are some of the differences:
  • cipher is a command line utility, which makes it both more difficult for non-technical users, and more prone to user error (not good in an erasing program!);
  • it is really, as its name suggests, a utility for dealing with encrypted drives; its erasing capabilities are secondary;
  • it erases files, folders and free space, but not (I think) cluster tips;
  • I have not been able to discover whether it erases file table entries and shadow copies as well as the original data;
  • it offers no user choice of erasing method.
As Eraser is free and open source, I see no particular reason to use cipher in preference to Eraser. It might be easier to use for simple erasing from a batch file, though the Eraser command line options are really better suited to that task also.