When you delete a file, it doesn’t actually go away–even after you’ve emptied the Recycle Bin. The actual bits remain written on the drive until some other disk activity writes over them. Even when you format a drive, the files are still there for those who want and know how to read them.
If you want to truly and securely delete a file, or the contents of an entire drive, you need software that will overwrite the space where the file(s) once sat. Fortunately, several free programs can do this.
First, we recommend Eraser, which integrates with Windows Explorer. Once it’s installed, you can just right-click a file or folder and select Eraser. There’s even an option to erase the file the next time you boot–handy if Windows won’t let you erase it now.
Another option: Delete the files the conventional way, empty the recycle bin, then use CCleaner to overwrite your drive’s free space. This extremely useful tool can do all sorts of Windows scrubbing chores. You’ll find CCleaner’s Drive Wiper tool in the Tools tab.
Both of these programs offer various wiping techniques that overwrite the drive space multiple times. The implication, of course, is that overwriting a file 35 times is more secure than overwriting it only once.
Something else to think about: If you have sensitive files that you’ll eventually want to securely delete, you should encrypt them now.
- Top 20 Free Disk Tools for SysAdmins (gfi.com)
- 15 System Tools You Don’t Have To Install on Windows Anymore (howtogeek.com)
- Data Security – Erasing it Part Two (securityspread.com)
If you are upgrading from one old computer to other or When you or one of your employees gets a new company computer, you might need to transfer a large amount of data from your old computer to the new computer. The fastest and easiest way to transfer from PC to PC is to use the company’s local area network as the transfer medium. With both computers connected to the network, you can map the hard drive of one computer as a hard drive on the other computer and then drag and drop files between computers using Windows explorer.
Access the old computer and look up the computer’s IP address. Click “Start” and select “Control Panel.” Click “Network and Sharing Center.” Select “Change Adapter Settings” from the menu on the left.
Locate the icon with blue-colored screens that does not have a red “X” next to it. For example, choose “Local Area Connection.” Right-click the icon and choose “Status.” Click “Details…” and record the number on the line labeled “IPV4 Address.” An example would be “192.168.1.100.” Click “Close” on the Details window and “Close” on the Status window.
Determine the drive on the old computer that has files you want to transfer to the new computer.
Access the new computer. Click “Start” and select “Computer.” Choose “Map network drive” from the menu. Choose a drive letter in the Drive box.
Enter the address of the old computer in the box labeled “Folder.” Type two backslashes, the IPV4 address of the old computer, another backslash, the old computer drive letter and a dollar sign. For example, type “\\192.168.1.100\c$” (without the quotes). Click to remove the check mark from the box labeled “Reconnect at logon.” Click “Finish” to initiate the connection to the old PC.
Enter a username and password that has administrative rights to the old computer when the system prompts you to sign in. Click “OK” to complete the drive mapping and open a window with the contents of old computer drive “C:.”
Click “Start” and select “Computer” on the new computer to open a second Windows Explorer window. Position the two windows so you can easily drag files back and forth between them. Locate the files you want to transfer. Drag the files from one window to the other to copy them from one PC to the other.
Make sure you always open ALL THE FILES you just transfer before deleting any from the original destination to avoid any data loss. As per a recent study 40 – 50% of all backups are not fully recoverable and up to 60% of all backups fail in general.
Disasters that threaten a business can happen anywhere at any time. But no matter how it is caused, a loss of data, or access to data for any kind of extended period, inevitably means a loss of revenue, a loss of productivity, a loss of reputation, and increased costs.
When in doubt contact Stellar Phoenix Solutions.