Overwrite a single file that has already been deleted?


New Member
I've been using Puran File Recovery to make sure that the files actually are deleted, and either Puran is an extremely good file recovery program, or Eraser isn't doing what I want it to.

At first, I recovered the file I wanted to overwrite and told Eraser to do a 7-pass DoD algorithm on it. Puran found the file no problem. Upon recovering the file again, I noticed that Puran still picked up the file as recoverable even though it had already been recovered.

I then ran a 7-pass DoD algorithm on all the unused disk space on my HDD (with cluster tips checked), and after about 2 full days, the completion bar seemed to freeze at 90-95% complete, so I stopped the task. I deleted what appeared to be all of the overwritting files (a whole bunch of randomly named files in a randomly named folder than took up ~734 GB), and upon running Puran again to check, it not only found all of the files before I ran the 7-pass DoD algorithm, but it found four thousand more (most, if not all of which I assumed to be the overwritting files).

To breakdown exactly what I'm doing in the program step-by-step:
  • Right-click in Erase Schedule and left-click on 'New Task'
  • Leave Task Name blank, and select 'Run Manually'
  • Click 'Add' button'
  • Select the DoD erasure method that is right below the 35-pass Gutmann algorithm
  • Select 'Unused Disk Space'
  • Make sure that 'Erase Cluster Tips' is checked
  • Hit 'Ok'
  • Hit 'Ok'
  • Right-click on the new task in the Task Schedule, and left-click on 'Start Task'
  • Wait until task completes (or in the actual case, when it appeared to freeze, whereby I manually ended it and deleted the overwritting files)
  • Open Puran File Recovery to assure that the files are gone.
Few things to note:

1. The 000's of files it recovers after a wipe are the random data files eraser creates during erase.
2. Files which seem to be recovered should be full of random data.

What happens if you
1. Erase a file with known data e.g 'aaaaaaaaa' in a txt file can you recover it?
2. Create and delete a file then empty the recycle bin and then run a freespace wipe. Can you recover the file?

Also make sure the recovery app is not creating a shadow recycle bin in which case it is bypassing eraser by storing the files itself.