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Using the command line tool cipher.exe built into Windows 7, can it be used to securely wipe a USB attached drive?

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migrated from serverfault.com Jan 14 '11 at 1:17

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Try sdelete instead? technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897443 –  Zoredache Jan 14 '11 at 1:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, but it may be slow compared to other tools that do the same job.

cipher /w:X

Substitute the drive letter X for your flash drive.

Remember this only overwrites free space, so delete all files first.

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Most free-space wipe tools I've seen, including sdelete and cipher /w work the same way: they create a really big file and fill it with random data (which they most likely obtain using CryptGenRandom). I don't see why would cipher be slower than others. –  grawity Jan 14 '11 at 12:31
@ grawity, I did use the word "may"....somacon.com/p253.php –  Moab Jan 14 '11 at 15:31
cipher /w:X: with double point at the end for drive X! –  user185570 Jan 9 '13 at 6:58

You can also use sdelete from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897443

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