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  • Freeware Spotlight — Eraser

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Freeware Spotlight — Eraser

    This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  mn– 7 months, 1 week ago.

    • Author
    • #1875070 Reply

      Tracey Capen
      AskWoody MVP

      BEST UTILITIES By Deanna McElveen When you run a computer repair/IT business such as ours, you’re always looking for software to make your job easier.
      [See the full post at: Freeware Spotlight — Eraser]

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1875077 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      This utility is not required for SSDs that have TRIM working correctly, because TRIM automatically erases unused file space.

      To check if TRIM is working run TrimCheck (twice), or install a demo of Hard Disk Sentinel.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1875084 Reply

        AskWoody MVP

        Which data recovery software did you use to confirm this, Paul?

        • #1875528 Reply

          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          I’ve not tested this, I’m relying on the SSD/TRIM mechanism.

          As @mn pointed out, it may not happen immediately so there is a window where files could be recovered. If you want to be absolutely certain then using the erase utility provided by the disk manufacturer.

          cheers, Paul

      • #1875125 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        Actually, ATA TRIM does not directly erase data. On typical NAND devices where cells need to be erased before any write, it marks the data as erasable, and there may be an implementation-dependent delay before that actually gets done. On devices that don’t absolutely require erase before write (likely Optane, some others), it’s expected that no erase would occur unless separately requested.

        What TRIM always does is put blocks back into the allocation queue and lose references to them. Trimmed blocks from a SSD cannot be reaccessed with ATA commands, but may or may not be reachable with hardware-dependent methods – as in bring a microscope and… or there might be backdoors in the device firmware.

        If you have an ATA-connected RAID device with spinning disks or some such it’s anyone’s guess if the block contents can be reaccessed later.

        It’s pretty much analogous to SCSI UNMAP – in both it’s hardware-dependent whether an actual erase will happen, some models are known to write zeroes on UNMAP and others are known not to.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1875097 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      This utility is not required for SSDs that have TRIM working correctly, because TRIM automatically erases unused file space.

      To check if TRIM is working run TrimCheck (twice), or install a demo of Hard Disk Sentinel.

      cheers, Paul

      Open CMD (admin) and run : fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
      result of zero (0), then it means that TRIM is enabled.
      If the result = 1, TRIM disabled, to enable run : fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0
      To disable TRIM run : fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 1

      • #1875206 Reply

        AskWoody MVP

        The fsutil query has no bearing on whether TRIM is active and functioning on the SSD, it’s a call to the System to verify whether it’s enabled in Windows. A ‘bad’ 3rd party ATA driver (including some of those those ‘updated’ by MS/Windows Update) can still prevent TRIM calls reaching the SSD and prevent the SSD firmware from being updated.

    • #1875130 Reply

      Da Boss

      FWIW, I have been using Privazer for a few years on Win7/8.1 and it never misses a beat.
      I run it offline after using sensitive websites, docs etc..usually once a week.
      The Portable Download Version works a treat and has SO much more within. This also has a facility (choice of 3 methods of cleaning prior to running) to wipe freespace on the system but have not used it on our SSD’s for obvious reasons. Should be good for hard-drives!

      As a precaution, I also have a firewall ruleset on the portable program 😉

      Note: I use the the manual cleanup method and I ensure that the registry cleaning option is UNTICKED and the ‘do not clean registry’ box is TICKED as we all know what regcleaners can potentially do..


      Invoking a manual TRIM (on SSD’s) afterwards boosts the OS responsiveness really well.
      (I have no affiliation with privazer etc.. other than being a long-time satisfied user)

      Win7 Pro x64 | Win8.1 Pro x64 | Linux Hybrids x86/x64 | Win7 Pro x86 | W10 never again
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1875183 Reply


        ? says:

        privazeer portable has been working for me since v1 as part of my clean-up routine after windows patching. i use it in advanced mode with everything ticked except >System>old windows files, because that re-runs the built in windows disk clean-up + DISM which i run first after patching day (guess i won’t be doing that anymore patching win7 that is)…

      • #1875228 Reply

        AskWoody Plus

        I just tried the “regular” Privazer as opposed to the portable version. It works quite nicely.

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸Win7Pro • SP1 • x64 • InUse
        online▸Win10Pro • 1909.18363.657 • x64 • i5-9400 • RAM8GB • HDD • CanonMG3620 • Firefox74.0b7 • Windows{Defender/SystemImage/RescueDisk/Firewall}
    • #1875247 Reply

      rc primak

      For SSDs, you should not go beyond the Trim option (which in Windows is part of Optimizing under Disk Tools). But if you have a real need to securely erase everything on an SSD, there are ways to do this. Many are manufacturer specific or paid software.

      How to Securely Erase Your SSD Without Destroying It 

      How to Secure Erase SSD Data 

      These steps would only be taken if you are getting rid of the PC or the drive. Normally, Trim gets the job done well enough, though it does not actually overwrite the data. Neither does format.

      Remember, there are risks in these methods, and the SSD may become incapable of being formatted by the user.

      -- rc primak

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1875551 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        But if you have a real need to securely erase everything on an SSD, there are ways to do this.

        Oh and do note that the drive controller needs to support the secure erase functionality too. It’s common for USB/SATA adapters to not support the entire feature set.

        It’s also possible to find motherboards that don’t support this, or have extra hurdles in the way. On some laptops you apparently may need to do a suspend-to-ram and resume before erase.

        ( with instructions for Linux command line and known potential issues)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1876605 Reply


      Eraser needs admin access to run if you have standard users setup.

      If my file is inside an encrypted folder, I un-encrypt the file first before I run Eraser on them.

      • #1876749 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        Hum. You know, decrypting a file means you save a clear copy.

        Deleting without decrypting might well be safer than first saving a clear copy and then erasing that. Especially if you’re on something that might optimize an overwrite to go into different on-disk blocks than the original data. (SSD, hardware RAID, …)

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