"Eraser" new release
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  1. #1
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    "Eraser" new release

    For those of you who use it, or are interested, there is a new (15 December 2009) stable release that works with recent versions of Windows.

    Basically it provides secure deletion of files and folders, whole disks etc. It also has a "secure move" feature.

    It will also wipe "free space" including alternate data streams and cluster tips

    http://eraser.heidi.ie/download.php

    It is true "freeware", and the source code is available under the GNU Public License"

    I have used it for a number of years (since Win 98 actually ) and can personally recommend it. I know of no publicly available commercial product that is better.
    Last edited by nihil; January 3rd, 2010 at 12:24 PM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  2. #2
    Keeping The Balance CybertecOne's Avatar
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    Thanks Nihil - good post
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius --- and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."
    - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Junior Member xqus's Avatar
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    This seems like a really nice tool. Do you have indication on how well it does the job? This can be really usefull for my unencrypted drive.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi there xqus,

    Eraser has three basic functions:

    1. Wipe a whole drive

    To do this you create a bootable medium (floppy, CD, DVD etc.) You boot from this and overwrite the whole drive. It actually uses "Darick's Boot n' Nuke" to do this.

    2. Wipe selected files and folders

    When it does this, it renames the file to something meaningless with the date 1601 (don't ask; I haven't the faintest idea ) It also overwrites the cluster tips. You can see that there was a file/folder there but you don't know what it was, and you cannot recover anything other than the overwriting data.

    3. Wipe freespace

    This overwrites freespace, cluster tips and ADS.

    CAVEATS:

    1. It will not overwrite valid temporary files. I use CCleaner for this and you can specify multiple pass overwriting in its advanced settings.

    2. It will not overwrite the page/swap file. You need to make the appropriate entry in the Registry for your operating system and it will overwrite the pagefile on shutdown.

    3. It will not overwrite backup files, even if you wipe the parent. You have to select backups manually as well.


    I do not know of any product that will wipe clusters/sectors that are marked as damaged, although they just might contain sensitive data? On the other hand I don't think that finding and reading damaged clusters is within most people's skillset.

    I have conducted numerous tests over the past few years using a variety of data recovery tools and have never managed to recover any of the data that I have wiped

    Hope that helps.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    Junior Member xqus's Avatar
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    Thank you nihil!

    That was most helpfull.
    -xqus
    -"I don't need no stinking spel checkre!"

  6. #6
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi xqus,

    You are very welcome.

    If there is anything specific you would like me to test for you just let me know.

    EDIT:

    I did a bit of research:

    January 1, 1601, is used as the base of file dates[1] by Microsoft Windows.
    January 1, 1601, is used as the base of Active Directory Logon dates[2] by Microsoft Windows.
    ANSI dates are counted from 1601-01-01 and were adopted by the American National Standards Institute for use with COBOL and other computer languages. This epoch is the beginning of the last 400-year cycle by which leap-years are calculated in the Gregorian calendar. The last year of this cycle is the only one divisible by 100 that is a leap-year, which was the year 2000, and which was followed by a new 400-year cycle beginning with 2001. 32-bit versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system count units of one hundred nanoseconds from this epoch. http://www.decimaltime.hynes.net/dates.html
    So that probably explains the 1601 date?

    Last edited by nihil; January 10th, 2010 at 10:20 PM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  7. #7
    Junior Member xqus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    Hi xqus,
    If there is anything specific you would like me to test for you just let me know.
    I think I'm actually going to test it a bit myself, thanks. I have a couple of harddrives that I'm going to throw away. So I think I'll just try Eraser, and see if I'm able to recover anything when I'm done.

    Thanks!
    -xqus
    -"I don't need no stinking spel checkre!"

  8. #8
    Keeping The Balance CybertecOne's Avatar
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    So that probably explains the 1601 date?
    Most likely.... the actual date of a file is the 'base date' plus a numeric value - the 1601 date implies the numeric value is removed, and so the information displayed is the 'base date'.

    Base date = 0 (numeric value)

    So, on a file with the date of January 1, 1601 has a date value of 0.
    January 2, 1601 has a date value of 1
    January 3, 1601 has a date value of 10
    January 4, 1601 has a date value of 11 and so on....

    Correct me anyone


    CTO
    Last edited by CybertecOne; January 11th, 2010 at 10:53 AM.
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius --- and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."
    - Albert Einstein

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