May 31st, 2008, 02:05 PM
Yes, that is what they are intended to do prior to reinstalling an OS. However, they boot from media and overwrite the whole drive.
Many of those hard drive-manufacturer applications only write over the drive once with ones and zeros.
My comment on MS applications (cipher) is that they run from within Windows, so Windows must be loaded and booted. That means it has created a page file, log files, temporary files and God knows what. Those are not classed as "unused" and are not overwritten.
My methodology would be:
1. Run CCleaner (3 passes)
2. Tweak the Registry to empty the page file on shutdown.
3. Reboot from a CD and run a utility like eraser to wipe the unused space (which will now include the page file you just emptied )
The real problem with Windows is getting rid of stuff that it is using, like the index and page files. CCleaner submits a job to do some of this on next bootup, but does not clear the page file.
If I am recycling/redeploying I just use Darik's Boot & Nuke (dban) launched from removable media. This wipes everything, including BillyWindoze Actually, you need to do that because it could be illegal to dispose of a machine with one of your corporate licenced copies of Windows on it. Certainly selling it to a third party would be.
For simple repair/re-installations I only overwrite once, and prefer to use the HDD manufacturer's software, as that generally checks for drive problems at the same time............. no point reinstalling onto a borked drive?
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