Hi I just installed eraser and want to ensure that all my previously deleted items will be permanently deleted. How do I do that? Basically I emtied my deleted items so it appears empty. But I want to ensure i can erase them permanently
One of the points made in the FAQ topic to which Joel referred is that you can use a file recovery program (for example, Recuva) to test whether your deleted files are in fact recoverable. That way, you can test your free space erase. You will probably find that a surprising amount of stuff is recoverable. But not, usually, your deleted files. If you have a problem, come back , and we shall advise further.
I ran Eraser on one particular hard drive 2 different times 2 different type settings (DoD and one other), on 2 different days. I then downloaded WinUnDelete and ran it on that same drive and found a plethora of files that were still in good condition to recover. I am not trying to knock your program but in a nut shell...'what's up with that'? :?:
Eraser erases all the space that Windows marks as free. Particularly if your drive is formatted as NTFS and has shadow copies enabled (which are the defaults on recent versions of the OS), there will however be copies of old files squirrelled away in space not marked as free. Often these are are not user files, and so will not contain sensitive data, but that is not always the case. This 'safety feature' is in my opinion a significant security hole in Windows, not least because most users are unaware of it.
The precautions that users can take are as follows:
whenever possible, erase (rather than delete) sensitive files directly, if necessary by moving them to the Recycle Bin and then erasing that;
keep sensitive data on a separate hard drive or partition, on which System Restore and Shadow copies are disabled (or use an encrypted pseudo-drive for such data); non system drives are a lot easier to clean than system drives;
use a file recovery program (as you have done) to check what files are recoverable; it is a good idea to use a recovery utility (such as Recuva) that can overwrite the recoverable files it finds, so as to put them beyond recovery.