How to ensure permanent deletion of deleted files in Windows by destroying free space via command prompt: – When you delete files from your windows operating system, it seems that your files have been deleted from your hard disk memory and the space is free for your usage. Yes it is true that the space is available for the usage but the reality is different.
Even though you find that those files have been removed from your hard disk memory, but it remains there until it is overwritten by any other files.
Several solid state devices deploy TRIM and Garbage collector which creates difficulty in the recovery of wiped data. Similarly Windows has an in-built utility tool called Cipher.
Cipher helps you to wipe off the free space from your Hard disk drive so that those file are permanently removed from your hard disk and cannot be recovered.
Cipher works on the basis of three passes. On its very first pass it fills the free space with zero data followed by its second pass which fills it with 0xFF numbers. In the final pass it is filled by random numbers. Cipher works on three phases hence erasing of data using cipher tool takes a lot of time.
You need to close all the applications while running cipher utility tools.
Steps to erase free space safely in Windows using Cipher tool.
. Press Windows + X from your keyboard, a pop-up will open.
. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the pop-up window.
. Now type cipher /w:C command on your command prompt and press Enter.
Since it is a three phase process, it will take some time.
Instead of C , you can write the name of the drive which you want to clear out.