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The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Erase free space!

"Secure Empty Trash" is a great feature for confidential data, but if you erased a file and forgot to do it, it is still possible to truly erase it. In "Disk Utility", under "Erase", there is a feature called "Erase Free Space...". It will actually overwrite all the free space on your hard drive. You can choose "Zero Out", "7-Pass" or "35-Pass". Zero Out is usually fine, but if you want to make the data even harder to recover, 7-Pass is also a good option. 35-Pass takes just way too much time!

10 Comments:

Blogger AJH said...

Great tip. I'm trying it out now.

October 26, 2008 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger Max Weaver said...

I'd love to know how to remove files from an SD memory card without having to empty the trash each time.

If you don't empty the trash then the card keeps filling up even though you thought you'd deleted the contents.

Anyone know of a fix or work around for this really annoying bug/feature of Mac OS X?

October 26, 2008 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

"Anyone know of a fix or work around for this really annoying bug/feature of Mac OS X?"

I am in the habit of right clicking the file, choosing Move to Trash. Then hitting Shift/Command/Delete to Empty Trash. Hope that helps.

October 27, 2008 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Vincent said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 27, 2008 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

In response to Shawn:

I suggest always securely deleting your files.

You can set it up automatically:

With Finder as your active app:

1. Open Finder Preferences
2. Click "Advanced" tab
3. Check the box "Empty Trash securely"

This particular tip for erasing free space is useful when files are deleted in other ways, but not something you need to do if you have been securely deleting your files all along.

October 28, 2008 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

@ Brian

I usually do "Secure Empty Trash" when it is on my local disc. But does that feature also work on an external disc/flash drive? If so, that would be really nice. I think I tried it before at some point and it was not an option. But... that was some time ago.

Thanks for the tip!

October 29, 2008 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger John said...

I need to undo this process because there is no space left on my MacIntosh HD. How can I remedy this?

September 8, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger lost puppy said...

My hard drive is full as well! How do you remedy this? Delete the temp file? Where is it?

November 21, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger juan001 said...

same thing happened to me, so i just quit the application, how can i get my space back? can you please help me??

January 23, 2012 at 5:14 AM  
Blogger juan001 said...

same thing happened to me, so i just quit the application, how can i get my space back? can you please help me??

January 23, 2012 at 5:15 AM  

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