Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Edit

I guess I should clarify that that the goal is not to securely wipe data or wipe traces of activity. The goal is to defragment folders. It’s easier to understand what I want for those who are familiar with FAT* structures and how it works.

I have seen plenty of apps that wipe free space on a disk (usually by creating a file that is as big as the remaining space) or defragment a file (usually by using the MoveFile API to copy it to a new contiguous area).

What I have not seen however is a program that wipes the deleted directory entries. That is, when a file is deleted, its information (name, dates, etc.) remain in the directory, but are simply marked as empty. That leaves all kinds of information in a directory entry, and also wastes space since (at least on FAT drives), the directory may be using several clusters. For example, if a directory once had a lot of files, it will be expanded to use another cluster which could be anywhere on the disk. This means that the directory is fragmented, and may be using more clusters than needed, possibly with 100’s of unused (ie, “deleted file”) entries between active files.

Does anyone know of a program that can defragment/consolidate directories (ie, wipe unused entries, and move active entries together)?

(I would really rather not have to resort to writing my own yet again.)
Thanks a lot.

EDIT Sorry, I should have said, Windows and/or DOS, for FAT*/NTFS.

share|improve this question
    
I ended up writing a batch file that does the trick (for the most part). The problem is that I can’t control where Windows puts files or folders and it often ends up putting them somewhere stupid, but the batch-file usually works a treat. I’ll clean it up, comment it, and pack it (I had to write a couple of programs for it to use) for public use. –  Synetech Aug 9 '13 at 1:47
add comment

3 Answers

Eraser is probably the best of it's kind. It has the ability to wipe individual files, whole directories and free space. This latter includes directory entries, cluster tips, MFT and alternate data streams.

share|improve this answer
add comment

If you can find early edition from fdrlab, Undelete Plus, version 2.8.2.0 or earlier, it has "Clean Drive" that deletes Directory entries, nice program, newer editions dropped that feature

share|improve this answer
add comment

tl;dr version -- No, I don't know of a specific utility that meets your requirements.

You don't specify the OS and filesystem. Nor do you really elaborate on what you're trying to accomplish.

I've done some testing of secure delete programs under Unix-like filesystems, and none address the specific issue you bring up. At least one ("sfill" from thc.org) will securely get rid of directory entries by flooding the inode entry with randomly-named files, and that works but grows the inodes to their maximum size and essentially wastes disk space (though the info is securely removed).

My opinion is one that I've read elsewhere: If you're that worried about information leaking to the point that mere file names will be an issue, then the only reasonably safe solution is to use whole-disk encryption rather than using after-the-fact methods to remove data.

If your issue is simply one of filesystem usage efficiency, as opposed to security of data, then the old backup/reformat/restore method would work well in many cases.

share|improve this answer
    
You don't specify the OS and filesystem. Nor do you really elaborate on what you're trying to accomplish. As a matter of fact, I did. If you're that worried about information leaking… It has nothing to do with security. f your issue is simply one of filesystem usage efficiency, as opposed to security of data, then the old backup/reformat/restore method would work well in many cases. Sure, and you could clean your house by moving too, but that’s equally absurd. –  Synetech Aug 9 '13 at 1:45
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.