Eraser - Secure File Removal

Eraser is used to permanently delete sensitive data. It can also clean a digital storage device of all recoverable data.

Installing Eraser

  • Read the brief Hands-on Guide Introduction
  • Click the Eraser icon below and Open or Run the installer. If necessary, save the installer first, then find it and double click it
  • If you saved the installer to your computer, you may delete it after installation

Eraser:

Installing Eraser

  • Read the brief Hands-on Guide Introduction
  • Click the Eraser icon below and 'Open' or 'Run' the installer. If necessary, save the installer first, then find it and double click it
  • Read the 'Installation instructions' in the next section before you continue
  • If you saved the installer to your computer, you may delete it after installation

Eraser:

Homepage
www.heidi.ie/eraser

Computer Requirements

  • All Windows Versions

Version used in this guide

  • 5.86a
    Note: Although you may find newer versions of Eraser on the developers' website, they are not included here, as they require the installation of the .Net Framework on your Microsoft Windows. Downloading the .Net Framework may take a very long for users with low bandwith

License

  • Free and Open-Source Software

Required Reading

Level: 1: Beginner, 2: Average, 3: Intermediate, 4: Experienced, 5: Advanced

Time required to start using this tool: 20 minutes

What you will get in return:

  • The ability to permanently delete unwanted files from your computer
  • The ability to delete all recoverable files that are currently invisible on your computer

GNU Linux, Mac OS and other Microsoft Windows Compatible Programs:

On the GNU/Linux, the secure-delete package can be used from the terminal to both securely delete files and folders, or wipe free space on the disk. Secure-delete can also be integrated with a graphical file manager.

On the Mac OS you can use the Finder menu Secure Empty Trash... item to permanently get rid of files and folders. You may also use the Mac OS generic program Disk Utility to securely erase entire disk or a free space on internal or external disks.

On Microsoft Windows apart from Eraser described in this chapter one can also use CCleaner to securely delete files and folders from Recycle Bin. CCleaner can also wipe free space on the disk. Another recommended tool that can be used to securely delete files is Freeraser.

We would also like to recommend the following multiplatform tool: DBAN - Darik's Boot And Nuke. It is a package which you burn onto a CD and start your computer from. DBAN allows you securely delete the whole content of any hard disk that it detects, which makes it the ideal utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

1.1 Things you should know about this tool before you start

Eraser is used to permanently delete or wipe sensitive data from your computer. It does this by writing over the data you want to delete. You can select files or folders to be wiped in this way. Eraser will also delete copies of files that may exist in your computer without your knowledge. This includes files you have previously deleted using the standard Windows deletion method, and copies of documents you have worked on in the past.

  • Deleting files with Eraser can be performed on demand or scheduled to run at a specified times.
  • If you schedule Eraser to run at a certain time, then your computer must be switched on at the specified time or the wipe will not happen.
  • Once you have deleted a file using Eraser, it cannot be recovered using a file recovery program.
  • For greater security, you should set Eraser to overwrite files selected for deletion between 3 and 7 times.
  • Eraser can be used to wipe the free space off your computer. This refers to permanently wiping all past traces of work that may not have been properly deleted and could, in theory, be recoverable.