Sdelete

Another handy tool for Windows users

Most of the programs that people pay good money for can be replaced with excellent free programs or utilities which do the same thing quicker, better and often without bogging down your computer with installations and registry entries.

Sdelete is a good example. When you delete files from your computer they aren’t actually removed. All deleting does is remove its location from the disk’s “index”. Until such time as they’re over-written by another file (which may never happen) they’re on view to the world. Any IT savvy person can retrieve the files easily.

Sdelete is a tiny utility that will easily wipe deleted files: get it here.

After downloading Sdelete.zip you need to right-click on it to unzip it, then copy the file Sdelete.exe to your C:Windowssystem32 directory. Then, to clean up free space on your C: drive, run Sdelete -z from the command line. The -z is a “switch” to tell Sdelete to clean the free space.

But wait, there’s more

A more adventurous example to illustrate the use of various switches. To wipe and zero fill the free space on D: and its subdirectories using 3 passes run this:’

Sdelete -z -p 3 -c -s D

  • -z Cleans free space. Leaves all non-deleted files intact. Don’t leave this out!
  • -p 3 Force 3 passes for extra high security insurance.
  • -c Zero writes free space.
  • -s Recurses. i.e. includes subdirectories of D: and their subdirectories ad infinitum.

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