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12Ghosts Shredder

Overwrite files, delete even locked files, wipe disk


No. 1 File Remover at Tucows

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What does it do for me?

Overwrite, truncate length to zero, rename, reset file date, and finally delete files and folders. Even if the file is locked!! No trails are left of any compromising or confidential information. Nobody will ever be able to recover these files. Nobody will even find out the previous name or file size. The file can be overwritten several times with random patterns so that even the finest magnetic tracks are mixed up.

Sanitize hard drives, floppies, picture memory cards, flash drives, zip drives, and external drives. Wipe Disk overwrites empty space, even the unused end of files, and removes previously deleted file names. Because it does NOT use low-level file system functions, it works with all file systems, including FAT, FAT32, and NTFS4/5.

You may choose the number of overwrites according to your security ambitions. The higher the number the less the probability that even finest magnetic tracks could be detected. The Department of Defense (DOD 5220.22-M) recommends one character overwrite, one inverse overwrite, and one random overwrite for adequate security. While the NSA requires 7 passes, you may choose up to 99 write overs.

12-Shredder, of course, writes directly to the disk and flushes the file buffers after each overwriting, so that the file is overwritten on disk, not only in cache memory... This is what takes some time if it shreds more than once. (However, if you do the cleaning during shut down started by a shutdown manager like 12-ShutDown, and the computer is set to power off automatically when finished, you leave much sooner!)

After overwriting the file contents, the file size is set to zero to prevent drawing conclusions from the former file size. The file is also renamed, since the name would not be removed from the drive during a normal deletion. All file dates, created, modified, and last accessed, are reset to 1/1/80, the default for empty directory listings. And finally, what is left, is deleted.

  Q: Does 12-Shredder's Wipe Disk extend the live time of disks and flash memory?
  A: No software can extend the life time of hardware. You have fallen for agressive marketing.

  Q: Does it use low-level file system functions?
  A: No. 12-Shredder does not use low-level file system functions. Other wipe programs just write over areas of the disk without having locked the space. This will lead to problems when Windows or other programs create new files at the same time. The information will be lost. The file system may be damaged or Windows may not start any more. This cannot happen with 12-Shredder because we don't use low-level file system functions. This also means that 12-Shredder is independent of the file system, and works with FAT, FAT32, NTFS-4, NTFS-5, and even newer extensions of NTFS or system drivers.


What we don't do

12-Shredder's "Overwrite" and "Wipe Disk" functions are faster than other disk wiping tools because we optimize write access to high speed. We write larger chunks, and we write directly to the disk (with no intermediate buffering or caching, so the I/O does not rely on synchronous operations of the memory manager). We try more deliberately to access even read-only and locked files. And, unlike others, we don't change the file date of any files during disk wiping. Not a big deal, maybe, but it's the fine tracks that other tools leave, and we don't.












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