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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

File deleting and security


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yugtun

 
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Ok, I'm brand new to Mac and I'm loving this new world.

Something I don't know is how to securely delete files. In Windows I had a program to securly wipe freespace. It would write over the free space multiple times so nothing could be recovered. It also had the option to "shred" files, delete them by overwriting multiple times.

How does all this work with my new Mac. I have a 15in MacBook Pro running Tiger.

Thanks
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MartinS

 
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Click on the desktop to make sure your're in Finder, then select Finder/Secure Empty Trash.

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yugtun

 
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Thanks for that. What about things that haven't been done that way, i.e. the free space on the hard drive. Is there something in Tiger, or is there some app for Macs that will securely wipe the freespace?
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CrossBones

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yugtun View Post
Thanks for that. What about things that haven't been done that way, i.e. the free space on the hard drive. Is there something in Tiger, or is there some app for Macs that will securely wipe the freespace?
I'd be interested in knowing if there is a relatively easy answer to that question. I'll be watching!
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surfwax95

 
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Disk Utility (Applications>Utilities) will do that and it's on every install of Mac OS X.

Just click the drive you want to work on and click "Erase". Then at the the bottom you'll see "Write 0s to free space". You can do that up to 7 times, I think.

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CrossBones

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfwax95 View Post
Disk Utility (Applications>Utilities) will do that and it's on every install of Mac OS X.

Just click the drive you want to work on and click "Erase". Then at the the bottom you'll see "Write 0s to free space". You can do that up to 7 times, I think.
Hey that is really cool. I can't believe how much I'm learning about my Mac and I've been using a Mac for 14 years. I think sometimes we just get stuck doing the same things over and over and never learn the tricks that are available. Thanks again.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfwax95 View Post
Disk Utility (Applications>Utilities) will do that and it's on every install of Mac OS X.

Just click the drive you want to work on and click "Erase". Then at the the bottom you'll see "Write 0s to free space". You can do that up to 7 times, I think.
Good tip... great to know when deleting sensitive information, like bank account records, CC bill, etc...


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yugtun

 
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Delete duplicate
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yugtun

 
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Thanks for all the help. I went there (applications>disk utility) and after selecting the laptop drive it gives me the tab choice to erase, at the bottom it says "erase free space". It has three choices "write zeros one time" and seven times, and THIRTY FIVE TIMES. With 31 GBs of free space it is estimating 43 minutes for one time. So if you plan on doing it set aside some time.

Thanks again for the help. :cool:
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Yes, it takes time, but if you are very concerned about security it is very valuable. I think the CIA uses a 7 pass system on any HD they dispose of (forget where I read this on a computer security site). The Mac can do a 35 pass erase....

I usually use the regular empty trash, and then do a 1 pass weekly and a 7 pass monthly, and it should do a 35 pass yearly when that happens (Jan 1), as long as I have my crontab set up correctly.

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maz94protege

 
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Yea i love the option just to search is spotlight or finder just for the application and dragging it right to the trash can...No more Start-Control pannel-add/remove programs junk!!

Macs are just easier!!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfwax95 View Post
Disk Utility (Applications>Utilities) will do that and it's on every install of Mac OS X.

Just click the drive you want to work on and click "Erase". Then at the the bottom you'll see "Write 0s to free space". You can do that up to 7 times, I think.
Its even more impressive then 7 times! 35 times!

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CrossBones

 
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Hey I just tried to erase free space and after waiting for an hour I got a message that said "your startup disk is almost full -- you need to delete some files"...I don't understand this.

My HD is capacity is 80GB and available shows at 63+ GB. What's up?...I guess I don't understand what I am doing. Can somebody walk me through this?

My HD shows my Toshiba HD and underneath my hard drive volume...I selected the HD volume. Did I do that wrong?
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MacHeadCase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossBones View Post
Hey I just tried to erase free space and after waiting for an hour I got a message that said "your startup disk is almost full -- you need to delete some files"...I don't understand this.

My HD is capacity is 80GB and available shows at 63+ GB. What's up?...I guess I don't understand what I am doing. Can somebody walk me through this?

My HD shows my Toshiba HD and underneath my hard drive volume...I selected the HD volume. Did I do that wrong?
From what I read the "Erase Free Space" command creates a huge file that takes up all the empty disk space. It seems from posts I've read here that the file(s) should be in your trash. Someone from MacOSXHints recommended using OmniDiskSweeper if you can't spot the file(s) in your trash. And run Disk Utility starting from your CD or DVD that came with your Mac and run "Repair Disk".

I wouldn't use that "Erase Free Space" command at all, unless it was imperative to do so. I've read this happens all the time getting the message your disk is full and it brings hassles.
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MacHeadCase
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Just found something that might be useful. A handy freebie for viewing file sizes, files that are hidden or not, is id-design's WhatSize.
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