Secure erase free space on NAS


New Member
Hi, I'm selling a NAS drive and would like to remove all traces of data prior to shipping.

I've read a few posts about the inconclusive effects of secure erasing data on a network drive, so understand it's probably not going to work.

However, you mention that obscuring unused disk space should work. I have tried this but can't access the network path from the drive drop-down list. Are you suggesting that I must remove the NAS drive (sata) and temporarily connect to the PC? Any other suggestions (ie would writing loads of massive *.avi files to empy space and deleting them have the same effect?). It's a 1 TB WD MyBookWorld device.

With many thanks,

Paul Davey.
As I understand it, Eraser is not designed to work through a network share, because the host machine/filesystem controls access to the physical drive. But the way that erasing free space works is very similar in concept to the method you describe with .avi files, and should work if you can get access to the drive. What might fail is the erasing of the free entries in the MFT; your NAS drive may not be formatted using NTFS or FAT, as many NASs use a cut down version of LInux as their (very basic) OS. I also assume that you will format the drive prior to erasing, and will not use the option to erase cluster tips, which should not be needed for your purpose.

Some NAS drives can be connected to the computer via USB, which may help, and you could also assign a drive letter to your network share. You may also find that WD have a utility for erasing the drive; if there is one, it will work more thoroughly than Eraser, because it will access parts of the drive the file system cannot reach.

I hope this helps.

Hi - thanks for your reply. You have confirmed what I suspected.

I've pretty much discounted taking the drive out - too risky and warranty is void.

With "Secure Erase" I can navigate to the NAS folders and carry out Secure Erase of a folder and this seems to work (files are no longer visible) ... but I'm not convinced it has "really" erased them (for the reasons you mention).

It just seemed strange to be able to navigate to the NAS fo the purpsoe of secure erase and not possible for the simpler task of writing 111111111s to free disk sapce. It's probably just the way the interface has been written to only access physical drives for erasing free disk sapce.

Seems I might be back to writing a whole bunch of large AVI files to the drive instead (after deleting all files).

Thanks again for your input.

Paul Davey.
I think you should be able to run a free space erase using the 6.2 builds. I agree with you that nothing should go wrong with erasing it in this manner, and that most file traces should be unrecoverable afterward. It's just not a guarantee, unlike local system erasures.

Note that 6.2 builds are beta-quality.