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How to Securely Delete Files with "Eraser"

By DominicD
Most people have some data that they would rather not share with others - passwords, personal information, classified documents from work, financial records, and others. At one point, when these data are no longer needed for storage on your computer, we would simply delete these files and make sure they are also deleted from the Recycle Bin.

Your first thought may be that when you 'delete' the file, the data is gone. Well, not really.. When you delete a file, the operating system does not really remove the file from the disk; it only removes the reference of the file from the hard drive. The file remains on the disk until another file is created over it, and even after that. Recovery of these deleted files can easily be made using free and powerful File Recovery tools. “Recuva” is a free and powerful file recovery tool (

“Eraser” is an advanced security tool for Windows which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. Repeated overwriting the location of a deleted file’s contents immediately puts off any File Recovery tool. Eraser performs multiple overwrites to a previous file and performs random patterns of wiping. This basically destroys any traces of the previous files

The best way learn how secure file deletion with “Eraser” works is to perform file recovery with Recuva. The test scenario will show how Eraser is able to securely remove all traces of the file - such that Recuva is not able to recover anything at all.

We start with a new usb flash drive, where we create a new file called “Test.txt”

We delete the newly created text file (and we have made sure that it does not go to the Recycle Bin.

Now, the file is supposedly deleted from the flash drive, and we have confirmed that it does not exist in the Windows Recycle Bin. We run the popular File Recovery Software – Recuva. Suprisingly, Recuva detects that a file _ext.txt still exists!

We choose to recover the text file..

Opening the recovered text file gives the contents of the supposedly deleted file.

At this point, the privacy and confidentiality concerns for securely deleting confidential files should be obvious. Non-tech savvy computer users might not be inquisitive enough to poke around and inspect for deleted files on your computer or flash drive. However, in times of strict security and confidentiality, it is best to implement secure deletion of files.

Download the portable Eraser from:]Eraser
Eraser Portable is a secure file-deletion and data wiping utility. With support for multiple wipes, pattern writing and more, it can be used to securely delete any sensitive data.

With the flash drive still having the recoverable footprints of the previously deleted file.. We run Eraser to securely delete any traces

Eraser takes a few minutes to wipe and thoroughly clean the flash drive. This time is necessary for making multiple wipes and deletions – making sure that any part of the flash drive that might still have remnants of old files are permanently deleted and CANNOT BE RECOVERED.

After completing a secure wipe and deletion with Eraser, we test if indeed the files were securely removed. We run Recuva to try detect and recover any old files.

Even after enabling the deepest file recovery scan of Recuva, no traces or even clues of the test file remains. A successful and secure file deletion!

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