Securely Deleting Files
The trouble with deleting files is that, as operating systems have become ever more helpful, it is usually possible to undelete, or recover, a file – but what if you wanted to ensure a file could not be undeleted or recovered?
Whilst working through some of the useful utilities contained on Microsoft TechNet I happened upon SDelete by Mark Russinovich. Currently up to version 1.51, the 47 KB download of SDelete provides a utility to “overwrite a deleted file’s on-disk data using techniques that are shown to make disk data unrecoverable”. There is one caveat to SDelete in that it “…securely deletes file data, but not file names located in free disk space.” – you can read more about this in the TechNet article.
There are a few command line options which can be used with SDelete, including recursive subdirectories, cleanse free space, and setting the number of overwrite passes.
Head over to the Microsoft TechNet site to download SDelete.
To see how you can incorporate this utility to produce a simple file shredder head over to Steve Lippert’s article A simple file shredder for Windows.