[Dshield] secure erasing

David Vincent david.vincent at mightyoaks.com
Fri Mar 12 17:07:31 GMT 2004

> I'm going to be donating some workstations to a local charity and want
> to erase the hard drives.  I did a little digging and found
> http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser/ .  Has anyone tried this util?  Are
> there any other recommendations?  We're not talking high 
> level security
> items on any of the disks, I'd just like to make sure they're clean.

put those disks in a w2k or xp workstation or server and reformat them with
one partition.  then execute the "cipher /w:[insert drive letter]" command
on 'em.




H:\>cipher /?
Displays or alters the encryption of directories [files] on NTFS partitions.

  CIPHER [/E | /D] [/S:dir] [/A] [/I] [/F] [/Q] [/H] [/K] [pathname [...]]

  CIPHER /W:directory

    /E     Encrypts the specified directories. Directories will be marked
           so that files added afterward will be encrypted.
    /D     Decrypts the specified directories. Directories will be marked
           so that files added afterward will not be encrypted.
    /S     Performs the specified operation on directories in the given
           directory and all subdirectories.
    /A     Operation for files as well as directories. The encrypted file
           could become decrypted when it is modified if the parent
           is not encrypted. It is recommended that you encrypt the file and
           the parent directory.
    /I     Continues performing the specified operation even after errors
           have occurred.  By default, CIPHER stops when an error is
    /F     Forces the encryption operation on all specified objects, even
           those which are already encrypted.  Already-encrypted objects
           are skipped by default.
    /Q     Reports only the most essential information.
    /H     Displays files with the hidden or system attributes.  These
           files are omitted by default.
    /K     Create new file encryption key for the user running CIPHER. If
           option is chosen, all the other options will be ignored.
    /W     Removes data from available unused disk space on the entire
           volume. If this option is chosen, all other options are ignored.
           The directory specified can be anywhere in a local volume. If it
           is a mount point or points to a directory in another volume, the
           data on that volume will be removed.

    dir       A directory path.
    pathname  Specifies a pattern, file or directory.

    Used without parameters, CIPHER displays the encryption state of
    the current directory and any files it contains. You may use multiple
    directory names and wildcards.  You must put spaces between multiple


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