Drive wiper

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  1. coolnewyorker's Avatar
    Posts : 114
    W10 Home( 64-bit)
       #1

    Drive wiper


    CCleaner has an option: Drive wiper. Apparently it erases or clears contents of free space in drive C:. I am itching to run it but I have no clue what it accomplishes. Free space has junk files?
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  2. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,506
    trying to install win10
       #2

    erases or clears contents of free space
    It is to prevent deleted files being recovered.
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  3. pepanee's Avatar
    Posts : 1,525
    Windows 10 Professional
       #3

    When you delete a file, Windows makes that file "disappear" from letting you see that it is there anymore.
    (For example, you open a folder and you select a file that you don't want, and you delete it from this folder and delete it from the Recycle Bin as well. But guess what, the file still most likely 100% still exists on your hard drive.)

    The reason why the file still technically exists on your drive is pretty much just like what the post above mine says. Suppose that you accidentally "permanently deleted" a file that you need, then it is possible to recover that file.

    BUT Over time, with the amount of different files coming in to your computer, that probability of 100% will start to go down, since files will get written onto that part of that drive [since Windows says that this file is a file you don't want to show up anymore.] (Sorry if this is starting to sound confusing, I'm sure someone can write this better).

    So wiping a drive means that you will clear out all of that "empty space" (which most likely has data that is no longer listed in Windows, which is no longer being used, still sitting there). It is completely safe to wipe your drive; this will NOT delete ANY files listed in your computer.

    I hope my post helps you understand the term. I'm sure there's many YouTube videos that go more in depth and explain it better than me.

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  4. Posts : 197
    W10
       #4

    I don't think you want to use it on SSD's. Just run trim and the files will be unrecoverable.
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  5. coolnewyorker's Avatar
    Posts : 114
    W10 Home( 64-bit)
    Thread Starter
       #5

    I am not clear about free space containing recoverable deleted files. Does this mean a brand new PC has empty or emptiest free space? Conversely, a 5-yr. old (bought used)device has free space loaded with deleted files? Is the amount of contents in free space a contributory factor in function efficiency? Because I did a Complex Overwrite run (35 passes)on my very old very slow HP (W7) and it seems faster after the drive wipe.
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  6. FreeBooter's Avatar
    Posts : 4,426
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #6

    The Cipher.exe that's included with Windows includes the ability to overwrite data that has been deleted so that it can't be recovered or accessed.

    How to Use Cipher Command to Overwrite Deleted Data in Windows
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  7. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 10,058
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1466
       #7

    I agree with FreeBooter.

    And there are some additional remarks on cipher.exe use in
    Cipher Program - Need to understand what I just did - TenForums

    Best of luck,
    Denis
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  8. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 3,510
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #8

    coolnewyorker said:
    I am not clear about free space containing recoverable deleted files. Does this mean a brand new PC has empty or emptiest free space? Conversely, a 5-yr. old (bought used)device has free space loaded with deleted files? Is the amount of contents in free space a contributory factor in function efficiency? Because I did a Complex Overwrite run (35 passes)on my very old very slow HP (W7) and it seems faster after the drive wipe.
    A HDD or SSD is divided in small storage parts called clusters, normally 4KB in size (also known as allocation unit size). Cluster size represents the smallest amount of disk space that can be used to hold a file.
    Files aren't necessary stored on a cluster sequence. They are stored on a sequence of available clusters.
    So you can have a file using one cluster and another file using the next cluster, so files may be fragmented over the drive.
    On the allocation table you have the file name and the address (in sequence) of the clusters used by the file so it can be read to rebuild the data.
    When you delete a file, the data isn't deleted. The allocation table is set to allow the file clusters addresses to be used by another file.
    Until the clusters are re written, the old file can be retrieved.
    Programs like CCleaner can write 0 or 1 to those available clusters so data can't be retrieved.
    Cleaning the clusters don't make the drive (HDD or SSD) faster. On a HDD, de fragmenting does. On a SSD it makes no difference.
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  9. coolnewyorker's Avatar
    Posts : 114
    W10 Home( 64-bit)
    Thread Starter
       #9

    I was indeed just curious having bumped into CCleaner's Tools' option of Drive Wiper in my other PC which I acquired used 6 years ago (W7). Without a clue what it is used for, I test drove the limited option (one pass). Having noticed no immediate bad effect, I ran the most complex overwrite option (35 passes) and again it seemed safe to do and consequently, I think the old device is running faster.

    Before applying it on my newer HP (1 yr. old, W10) I am now more than curious. I would like to know exactly what "wiping" drive C:'s free space accomplishes other than preventing recovery of deleted files., presuming it is harmless to execute. Is it something that more knowledgeable users do routinely, like defragmenting or disc cleanup?
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  10. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 3,510
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #10

    coolnewyorker said:
    I was indeed just curious having bumped into CCleaner's Tools' option of Drive Wiper in my other PC which I acquired used 6 years ago (W7). Without a clue what it is used for, I test drove the limited option (one pass). Having noticed no immediate bad effect, I ran the most complex overwrite option (35 passes) and again it seemed safe to do and consequently, I think the old device is running faster.

    Before applying it on my newer HP (1 yr. old, W10) I am now more than curious. I would like to know exactly what "wiping" drive C:'s free space accomplishes other than preventing recovery of deleted files., presuming it is harmless to execute. Is it something that more knowledgeable users do routinely, like defragmenting or disc cleanup?
    Did you read my previous post?
    Wiping empty drive space writes 1 o 0 to the available clusters to destroy the data that were on it.
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