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How to Use SDelete

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 1/24/2012

Learn how to optimize your hard-disk and securely delete files using SDelete.

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    Using SDelete to securely delete files that you don’t want to be recovered and to optimize the hard-drive by wiping its free disk space is easy as 1-2-3! There is no special requirement in using SDelete other than running it with administrator account or privileges.

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    How to Securely Delete Files Using SDelete

    There are very simple command line in using SDelete to shred files securely:

    -p passes Specifies number of overwrite passes (default is 1)

    -s Recurse subdirectories

    An example command line to securely delete the entire folder and its sub-directories is as follow:

    sdelete –p 3 –s C:\Users\Donna\AppData\Local\Opera\Opera\profile\cache4

    The above will delete entire contents of Opera browser’s cache, including the sub-folder in cache4. If you will not specify the number of passes, SDelete will use the default 1 pass only.

    Sample Deleted Files in Opera Cache Folder 

    You can add SDelete in Send To or Context Menu in Windows if you will use a script. An example of this scripts is posted in SDelete forums.

    Tip: It’s always recommended to delete files securely and wiping free space in your hard-disk, if you don’t really need them ever again. Secure deletion and wiping the free space will help protect your privacy because the deleted files can no longer be recovered by any local attackers or can help protect your privacy against spyware or adware.

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    How to Wipe Free Disk Space Using SDelete

    Wiping the unused space or free disk space of your hard-disk is important to help optimize the hard-disk. It is also a method to wipe previously deleted files. SDelete can also wipe free disk space using the following command line:

    -c Clean free space

    -p Passes Specifies number of overwrite passes (default is 1)

    -z Zero free space (good for virtual disk optimization)

    An example command to wipe the free disk space of your local dirve (system drive, another partition or hard-drive):

    sdelete –p 3 –z C d:\

    The above will not delete any files but will wipe previously deleted files and unused space in the hard-disk. The said command will wipe the free disk space in Drive C using 3 passes. If you rather use the default pass, you can simply enter the following command: sdelete –z C:

    Tip: It’s recommended in wiping the free disk space after using the secure deletion command. This will allow SDelete to wipe also the previously deleted files. You can also enter a command to secure delete and wipe a free disk space but it’s only applicable to the entered path.

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    Read more articles and reviews!

    Check out the article The Best Free Disk Wipe Tools to find out other privacy cleaning programs is available. If you rather see a reviews on privacy utilities, see CCleaner, Undelete 2009 and Comodo System Cleaner.