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Is there a program to truly delete all deleted files?

I am looking for a tool that wipes (overwrites) unlinked files; preferably something that runs as a kind of disk formatter, overwriting the entire unused portion of the harddrive partition while leaving everything else intact.

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marked as duplicate by Sathya, BinaryMisfit Dec 6 '09 at 14:30

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you run Sysinternal's SDelete with the -z argument, it will cleanse free space on the given drive.

sdelete -z c:

This is a good solution if you want to run as a batch file every so often, or if you just prefer a command line tool.

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Thanks for the SDelete tip! However, I am going to omit the -z option for sure! I want to recover (undelete) some important files from free space, but the intact files always clutter up the lists. So what I want is rescue the intact files to a target drive (wanted to move these anyway); secure-erase only the intact files on the source drive; and eventually, tackle the free space for the undeleted files. Thanks to sdelete, the free space will now ONLY contain the deleted files, so all the clutter will be gone when scanning with whatever recovery tool. Just what I needed. – syntaxerror Sep 30 '15 at 9:06

Ccleaner - check the Advanced option, Wipe Free Space.

alt text

Ccleaner is freeware, I recommend using the Portable or Slim version (the default installer will install a browser toolbar).

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It wont install a toolbar unless you tell it to (AFAIK). – Svish Dec 5 '09 at 19:27
it will, unless you tell it not to (by clearing the checkbox, which by default is checked.) – Molly7244 Dec 5 '09 at 19:41
When you install, unless you blindly click next, you will come to a large selection menu. Most of the options I disable. I don't want the Toolbar, or the extra menu options on the Recycle Bin. I do want the Start Menu entries, but not the Desktop Icon. A lot of free utilities do this, and it is an annoyance that likely grabs the unsuspecting or casual user. – Darren Hall Dec 5 '09 at 21:01
sorry, but it's the 'default' setting and that is a BIG minus (indeed the very fact that this browser tool bar is present in the standard installer qualifies Cleaner as adware in my books), hence my recommendation for the Portable or Slim version, which features ALL the options bar the browser tool bar. – Molly7244 Dec 5 '09 at 21:30
As long as I have the choice of unchecking it, I don't care. People who just click on next and ok without reading deserves ad-ware anyways. – Svish Dec 7 '09 at 7:39