Fastest way to a complete wipe


New Member

What is the fastest way to a complete wipe? I had a hard drive and I manually deleted everything. Then I ran Eraser in Pseudorandom mode over the available free space. When i recovered data from the drive, there was still 12GB of data in the Recycle bin that could be recovered. Now I am running Eraser to erase the Recycle bin. The whole thing is taking forever. So I would like to know how I can make sure everything is permanently deleted, removed and unrecoverable once and for all, what Eraser settings should I use?

thanks, roger
Nothing is that fast, just because of the time it takes to wipe the free space on the drive. And you can't, of course, use Eraser to wipe the drive/OS on which it is running.

For a non system drive, I suggest that you
  • use Eraser to erase explicitly (rather than delete) everything that Windows allows it to touch; use an erasing method with 1-3 passes rather than the 35 pass Gutmann method (which was probably your problem with the Recycle Bin);
  • quick format the drive, to get rid of any residual system files;
  • use Eraser again to wipe the free space, which is now all the space
I hope this helps.


"use Eraser to erase explicitly (rather than delete) everything that Windows allows it to touch"
Which method is this? The only options for erasure i have are
- a file,
- a folder,
- unused disk space
- recycle bin

I dont see an option to erase everything on the drive, whether it is deleted or not so I figured i needed to manually delete everything in Windows first and then use the "unused disk space" option or am i not understanding the terms correctly?
No, there isn't that facility at the moment; I think Joel has it in mind to add the feature.

I would erase all the folders/files you can first, maybe doing a few folders at a time so the system does not choke, and you can break off if you want to do other things. Erasing is better than just deleting, because it deals with shadow copies and the like, and so makes sure that your own data is dealt with. There will be some files you cannot touch, which is why I suggested a format. The drive should be pretty secure at that point, but a free space wipe will make sure.

If you want to check your work, use a file recovery utility such as Recuva to search the drive for recoverable files. If it finds nothing that causes you concern (it won't necessarily find nothing at all), the job's done.