If you followed my posts on un-deleting files, you now know that when you delete a file, you can often recover it. A reader asked in email
“So can you delete files forever, by formatting?”
No, and let me show you why. I’ll “Quick format” & “also “Format” a USB stick, and demonstrate that you can still recover files. Then I’ll show you what I do to wipe a disk clean.
it makes no difference, you can still recover files.
So how I do it, aka how to sanitise a disk.
Well as it turns out, I wrote about it in, “Deleting files so they can’t be recovered”, and that is to use a product like Eraser. For a whole hard disk, I’d use one of these.
But if I’m working on a system where I can’t install Eraser? I use
- Format the drive
- Use the Cipher command with a /W: switch.
Cipherto wipe the unused space on the drive)