I have CCleaner and Recuva, the free versions. When I try to wipe my free
space in CCleaner using the seven wipes, it doesn’t work. Then I Recuva and many
files, pictures, etc. turn up. Is there any way I can permanently wipe my free
space outside of a total reinstall? Can files be put into the Recycle Bin in a
standalone hard disk and then format the hard disk? Thanks for any help that
you can provide.
In this excerpt from
Answercast #32, I look at cleaning up free space with CCleaner and how
Recycle Bins work on hard drives.
Wiping free space
So, a couple of comments on this:
- CCleaner does wipe the free space.
What I’m concerned about is that, perhaps, the files you’re seeing come back when you run Recuva weren’t really deleted:
Maybe they were in the Recycle Bin;
Maybe they were temporary files;
Maybe they were internet browser cache files.
So make sure that you’ve also run CCleaner’s Clean – which goes out and deletes all of these other files first, before you run its wiping utility.
For the record, seven wipes is way overkill:
One wipe will do.
Three wipes if you’re paranoid.
Seven wipes is, in my opinion, a waste of time.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t get CCleaner’s wipe to work, there is another utility called SDelete.
There is an article on my site about Secure Deletion. SDelete is a command line tool that will effectively do the same thing. It has options to tell it to wipe the free space on the hard drive. It will override all of the free space on the hard drive – any number of times (again I’ll say one or two is plenty).
- That should give you the same result that CCleaner did.
Files not deleted
If it does give you the same result that CCleaner did, I’m going to stick with my original assertion that the files that Recuva is recovering for you weren’t really deleted in the first place. So double-check that.
Double-check how you are using CCleaner.
Consider using SDelete as an alternative free space wiper.
Move the Recycle Bin
Now, as to your other question, “Can files be put into a Recycle Bin on a standalone hard disk?”
Unfortunately not. The Recycle Bin is actually a per hard disk thing.
- If you have multiple hard disks on your system, you will find that each hard disk has its own Recycle Bin folder.
There are several reasons for this. Ultimately (if theoretically) you were able to have a Recycle Bin on a separate drive, deleting a file would actually be copying it from the original file to the Recycle Bin drive. That just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Not only would it be slow, but the original file would still be kind of recoverable on the original drive. That just doesn’t make sense.
How Recycle Bin works:
What you find is that each Recycle Bin, on each drive, is simply a place where the system can move the directory entry for the file without having to copy it when you delete it. So that’s not gonna be an approach.
But I really do think that CCleaner should be working properly for you. If it doesn’t SDelete’s a good alternative.
Next from Answercast 32 – Are Clippy and Rover and the Kitty Cat ever coming back?