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Windows 7: HOw to secure-delete [zero] just one partition of several?

25 Feb 2013   #1
zapp22

Windows XP Pro SP3, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Windows XP Home SP3
 
 
HOw to secure-delete [zero] just one partition of several?

guys
I do not know how to go about this except for a sorta second-string option:
I have a netbook I need to prep for sale. has a 160gb sata carved into three partitions: system, plus two 'ordinary' partitions, one with windows on it. What I'd like to do is simply secure-erase the data in the two large partitions, leave the sys partition, boot to it, and clean-install the OS.
How do I go about that, making sure the data is all zero-overwritten so unrecoverable?

the poor way would be to go ahead and nix the two partition tables, build a new one for the fresh install, and as soon as it is done and coherent, use something like CCleaner's "wipe free space" tool to wipe the free space, which would zero everything not current if I understand it correctly [a big if... obviously there would be a lot of recoverable data on the drive at that point but marked as available]

any suggestions would be gladly received! thanks
z


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Feb 2013   #2
Thorsen

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

I think this is the easiest third party tool: http://eraser.heidi.ie/

I have used it to do exactly what you are requesting.

otherwise, going into the command prompt with admin rights and format/zero'ing the partions would be the simplest. This would not address your OS partition though. Eraser can erase all free space on any drive. and with different options than just zero'ing out the data.
wipe free space if "zeroing" is actually writing over the blank space with zeros. this makes data unrecoverable.


Steps for format with zeroing:

How To Use the Format Command to Write Zeros to a Hard Drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #3
Thorsen

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

Also detailed instructions on how to use Eraser: Information Technology Unit::ITU::Announcement

For your OS Drive, I would clear out all temp files, programs, recent document lists, before doing the erase.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Feb 2013   #4
zapp22

Windows XP Pro SP3, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Windows XP Home SP3
 
 

did not know eraser could be so selective.
in the past I used Eraser on previous x64 win7 ulti, and it bombed badly. could not uninstall and pieces of it I suppose stayed with me 'til I killed that drive and setup a new one. was that just my bad luck or does it have some obscure dependency on something I had not installed?

i may just go the command prompt way, slaving the drive to my lab mule. I did not know how to do that either. you guys are great
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #5
AddRAM

Windows 7 Professional x64 Service Pack 1
 
 

Nice sig Thor, make it yourself ?

Ccleaner also works.

http://www.piriform.com/promo/cclean...FYqf4AodjQQAZg
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #6
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

CCleaner (CCleaner - PC Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download) has an option to clear free space or a whole drive in a secure manner with multiple passes. It takes a long time, but running that procedure from another disk will make the data very hard to access.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2013   #7
Thorsen

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zapp22 View Post
did not know eraser could be so selective.
in the past I used Eraser on previous x64 win7 ulti, and it bombed badly. could not uninstall and pieces of it I suppose stayed with me 'til I killed that drive and setup a new one. was that just my bad luck or does it have some obscure dependency on something I had not installed?

i may just go the command prompt way, slaving the drive to my lab mule. I did not know how to do that either. you guys are great
Hmmm. I have never had a problem with Eraser... thank you for the feedback though. the command prompt way is the easiest to get the results for the blank partitions... if you are worried worried about data security, i am not sure how secure zeroing is as it only writes zeros over all the data. security experts in the past have said that this is not enough for complete data destruction and suggest multiple passes with different patterns as Eraser offers. I am not sure what CCleaner uses for this. I think most of those concerns though are a little over-hyped as the data density has increased, multiple writes aren't as necessary. not sure. I know I read about this a few years ago.... here is just one of many docs on this subject: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut00...ecure_del.html

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post

Thanks, AddRAM. I did not make this fine sig. I think Arc did.... I have had it a while, but would have to look. The GFX Team at SF are awesome no?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2013   #8
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zapp22 View Post
What I'd like to do is simply secure-erase the data in the two large partitions,
Just delete the data as normal, and then use the cipher command to overwrite the free space created during the earlier deletion. Easy.

Cipher Command - Overwrite Deleted Data in Windows
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 HOw to secure-delete [zero] just one partition of several?




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