How Many Wipes and What Method


New Member
First time using eraser after using paid products for so long. Its easy to navigate around but i would like to know how many passes i should use to be absolutley safe that no trace can be recovered.

I decided to use the pseudorandom method and edited it to 3 passes, i also did the same for free space wiping. Is that sufficient and safe. ? I want it to be fairly quick, i have two 320GB Drives.
Is that enough passes to be unrecoverable ? Or should i chose another method or increase the passes.

Thank you very much.
Hi CJ2

Welcome to the eraser forum !

A single pseudorandom pass with Eraser will defeat all software programs and recovery tools.

The multiple overwrites are only there to protect you against old hardware and very expensive microscopic recovery techniques.

If you are just a normal guy protecting himself from computer theft or hackers then a single pass will be more than enough to protect you.

If you feel that a 3 letter agency is after you even then a single pseudorandom pass is probably enough. If you are extremely paranoid then you could make 2 passes !!
WOW !! Now thats what i call a fast reply :D
Thank you Overwriter.
No im not the paranoid sort so i guess ill set it to 1 pass for freespace and 2 for file wiping. Now... roughly how long will it take for one 320GB disk !! My sys is quite fast.
Thanks again.
CJ2 said:
WOW !! Now thats what i call a fast reply

Welcome to the world of open source software !!! :D

People here help because we want to not because we do it as a job.

Now... roughly how long will it take for one 320GB disk !!

Every system is different. Just try it, perhaps when you go to sleep set Eraser running !

As long as you have relatively modern equipment Eraser is very fast. If you use the single pass it is as fast as formatting the drive less the space taken up by your data. So yeah, pretty fast. :D
Well, it's limited by the speed of the slowest component in your cpu/mobo/harddisk combination. But most modern drives should be able to average 40MB/s sustained, so subtract your file size from disk size, and divide it by the speed of your disk. Usually overnight should be sufficient.

And if you really think some government agency is after you, in the DoD (not implying that they are after you, just that they publish references) handbooks say that the only way to protect your data is through degaussing or incineration... Ahwell :)