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Re: Off Topic - Hard Drive Cleanup Software

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Ah, no.  Sorry to be so blunt, but initializing or reformating the hard
drive will NOT get ride of those deleted but not completely removed files.

While there are some types of formating that will do this, the "basic"
formating that is done from within Windoze (i.e. "Format..." from the
"File" menu in the Windoze Explorer) or within the Mac OS (i.e. "Erase
Disk..." from the "Special" menu in the Finder in Mac OS 9), etc. will
only erase the file allocation table (i.e. the table of contents) of the
drive.  All the files will remain on the disk just there will be
nothing that "points" to them making it minimumally more difficult to
retrieve them.  But programs like Norton Utilities can still retreieve
those files with relative ease, at least until you start putting new files
on the drive which will overright those old files.

Some "low-level" formats WILL do a better job of what you are thinking.  I
will be honest though...I don't recall if FDISK (the standard Microsoft
low-level formatter) does a "full" job of it or not.

That is why you essentially need something that overrights those files
that no longer has a "pointer" to it.  This can be done in the simplest
terms by just filling up the hard drive with "useless" files but this
requires some effort on your part.  That is where the utilities mentioned
come in...those utilities essentially "wipe information" by writing
useless "junk" to those areas where the files with no "pointers" exist.


Ypsilanti, MI

On Tue, 26 Nov 2002, D.A. wrote:

> Dave
> just format the hard drive
> Dave A.
>   I'm going to switch some computers around between my office and my house.  I want to make sure there are not remnants of financial or client data left on the hard drives to surface down the road, especially if we later donate the computers to others.  Can anyone recommend any software specifically for making sure erased data is truly earsed?  I'd rather do that than have to format the disks and reinstall the software we want to keep.
>   M. David Finley, P.E.
>   2086 SW Main Boulevard - Suite 111
>   Lake City, FL  32025
>   386-752-6400

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