What CMD Prompt is required?


  1. Posts : 165
    Win10 Pro
       #1

    What CMD Prompt is required?


    I will quickly set the scene as an example.

    I have a non-OS 500gb HDD, I have done some house tidying and deleted 300gb of data no longer required.

    The intention is to give the HDD to someone with the remaining data left in tact.

    However I want to make sure the data I have deleted can't be recovered, I want to overwrite the space left by the deletion without harming/overwriting the remaining data.

    There was a CMD prompt that did just this, it wasn't DiskPart/Clean or Clean All, what CMD prompt was it, I can't remember?

    In the days of Win 7, I used it a couple of times.
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  2. Posts : 15,982
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #2

    Hello @Jaylob4,

    Jaylob4 said:
    However I want to make sure the data I have deleted can't be recovered, I want to overwrite the space left by the deletion without harming/overwriting the remaining data.

    There was a CMD prompt that did just this, it wasn't DiskPart/Clean or Clean All, what CMD prompt was it, I can't remember?

    The CMD Prompt option I think you are referring to is cipher /w:x [ Where x is the Drive Letter ] . . .

    > How to Securely Wipe the Free Space on Your Windows PC



    When I have performed this in the past, I have always used CCleaner. There is an option to wipe FREE Space using various degrees of Deletion . . .

    What CMD Prompt is required?-ccwipe.jpg
    What CMD Prompt is required?-ccwipe1.jpg

    I hope this helps.
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  3. Posts : 34,884
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #3

    Here's a bit of a write-up on cipher and more:
    How To Overwrite Free Space Securely in Windows

    cipher /? gives you the options of course.

    There are lots of free tools which include options to securely wipe (multiple overwrites) free space e.g.
    10 Free Tools to Securely Wipe Free Disk Space Preventing Recovery • Raymond.CC
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  4. Posts : 165
    Win10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Paul Black said:
    Hello @Jaylob4,
    The CMD Prompt option I think you are referring to is cipher /w:x [ Where x is the Drive Letter ] . . .
    Good Morning Paul and thankyou.

    The cipher command certainly looks familiar, thank you ever so much.

    I like CCleaner but I'm very respective of it having caused issue on one of our kid's PC in the past, so I avoid using it--which is a bit silly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    dalchina said:
    Here's a bit of a write-up on cipher and more:
    How To Overwrite Free Space Securely in Windows
    cipher /? gives you the options of course.
    There are lots of free tools which include options to securely wipe (multiple overwrites) free space e.g.
    10 Free Tools to Securely Wipe Free Disk Space Preventing Recovery • Raymond.CC
    Good Morning Dalchina,

    Thank you, I will have a good read as clearly there is more then one way of achieving this type of clean.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Can any of the above commands be used on a HDD containing an OS without harming the OS?

    Can any of the above commands be used on a SSD with or without an OS on it?
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  5. Posts : 34,884
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #5

    You are correct in thinking a different approach can and should be taken with a SSD. Multiple pass overwrites for HDDs are required because a HDD is essentially a statistical device, which is why sophisticated tools can detect overwritten data. As you will know, the technology of a SSD is completely different.

    Here's one overview- erasure is covered later in the article:
    https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/secure...ut-destroying/

    Provided the tool you use is appropriate to the technology and you target only the area or partition of the disk you wish to erase, you should be fine.

    A wise person always takes precautions- e.g. create a disk image (so very often recommended here).
    Last edited by dalchina; 02 May 2021 at 05:42.
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  6. Posts : 15,982
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #6

    Hello @Jaylob4,

    Jaylob4 said:
    Good Morning Paul and thank you.

    The cipher command certainly looks familiar, thank you ever so much.

    You are VERY welcome.

    Jaylob4 said:
    [1] Can any of the above commands be used on a HDD containing an OS without harming the OS?
    [2] Can any of the above commands be used on a SSD with or without an OS on it?

    [1] I have NEVER used it on the OS Partition, BUT, if you are going to that, then I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you create a System Image FIRST.

    I have used CCleaner however, without any detrimental effects, but again, create a System Image FIRST.

    [2] I personally would NOT use it on an SSD.

    I hope this helps.
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