Windows 8 file shredder – totally delete a file without being able to recover
When you delete a file on your hard drive, either moving to recycle bin and emptying the trash or deleting with shift+delete, you are not totally deleting it. Why? This is because Windows since it came, never deletes a file totally on a delete. What it does then? It simply removes the link to the file. That’s it. So can it be recovered? Yes, it can be recovered. How? This is because the file sectors on your hard drive still carriy the data of the file you deleted. So to totally delete you need to shred it with a shredder program, to erase those file sectors with some other data or empty data. File sectors always carry some data, and shredder replaces your file data that you shred with ones that match the sector’s initial empty data.
So, that’s shredding. For Windows 8, there is a shredder program in metro UI style that does a fantastic job of file shredding. The program is Shredder8. It is available on the Windows 8 app store. You can use it on any device running Windows 8 – tablet, laptop and desktop. You can as well as shred the file on USB drives and SD cards.
Let’s take a look into this program.
When you first start the program, the initial screen lets you add files or a folder to shred. You can add files by selecting one by one. To add folders, click add directory and start adding them. You can’t add multiple directories in one go like files. Your files and folders gets added to the shred list, like in the image below,
Next step is choosing your shredding method. The methods are Quick, U.S DoD 5220.22-M, British HMG IS5 (Enhanced), Russian GOST P50739-95 and German VSITR.
These methods are shredding algorithms that are commonly used. It is to do with how each methods perform shredding, its file sector over writing methods.
The methods have pass, that is, its stages of shreds or overwriting rounds. The more the pass, more time it takes to shred.
If you can wait longer you can choose the method with more pass.
I would personally go with U.S DoD 5220.22-M if I can wait longer and Russian GOST P50739-95 for a fairly quick purging.
Once picked a method, confirm the deletion and wait. The wait depends on the file/directory size and the method in use. It can take anywhere from 5 minutes to even a day to get the job done.
Next feature is ‘wipe free space’. The free space includes the space available after a regular delete. You can shred it to remove any existing data that can be recovered. This is a must use feature to keep your system clean and void of any recoverable data.
Shredder8 is fairly new app that has got it all for a good shredder and is free. One thing I would like for the program to do is resume the process on accidental shut down of it.