Erase Deleted Files

How do I permanently erase deleted files?

Erasing files and erasing deleted files (in the recycle bin) does not completely remove the data. It is a common misconception that deleting files will permanently remove it from your hard drive. If you remove a file by using the normal methods in Windows it still leaves the data on the hard drive. To completely erase deleted files you need to be able to access the hard drive.

The best way is to completely erase deleted files on the hard drive with WipeDrive. WipeDrive will completely remove the data by resetting the magnetic fields on the hard drive. This will completely remove any data that is stored. This is an effective way to prevent identity theft, fix a virus infected system, remove sensitive and personal information from the hard drive.

There are some important steps to follow before you completely erase deleted files. Print and follow the checklist below to ensure you have safely erased deleted files. You can use the notes section for reminders or information you need to know before you erase deleted files.

  1. Backup all important information. Backup is a critical part for all computer users.
  2. Gather all of your original program CD's and the license keys for them. If you do not have the keys call the manufacturer before you erase deleted files.
  3. Copy all system drivers. Windows support will help you with this. Your system drives store information about your hardware. For example, you may have a driver that tells the computer how to communicate with the modem. The modem manufacturer could be out of business and accessing a drive may be impossible if the driver is lost, which is the reason why you should back up the driver before beginning.
  4. Create a backup of the Windows Registry. Windows support will help you with this. There may be stored/updated information form programs that you have installed. The Registry also records important information about how your particular setting need to run. Backing up the Registry should be done often.
  5. Create a boot disk if the operating system requires one. This would be helpful if you had an earlier version of windows.
  6. Document all information that is stored on the computer to be sure nothing is needed and for the possibility of recovery.
  7. Backup any security software tools. For example, if your program encrypts your files it is good to back up your program and the encryption keys so you can access your data after you erase deleted files.
  8. Make copies of your downloaded programs. Some software might have been downloaded and not available on CD. Make copies of these programs and their keys. You can contact the vendor for any questions you might have.
  9. Determine what type of file partition you need. The different file partitions types are FAT, FAT32, HPFS, and NTFS File Systems. If this is a home computer you should be fine using a FAT, or FAT32. If your home computer will be part of a network consider the other file system types. You can contact Windows to get suggestions of what would be best for your system depending on what version of Windows you are going to install.