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  1. #1
    File/free space shredder
    weemax's Avatar
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    File/free space shredder
    Hi guys, I was wondering if there were any decent file/free space shredders for the mac - preferably (though I cant see it) free?

    Thanks!
    Imac 21.5" 3.06GHz * 16GB iPhone 4 OS5 * No apple knowledge

  2. #2
    File/free space shredder
    scathe's Avatar
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    I consider such things a waste of time but good luck finding what you need

  3. #3
    File/free space shredder

    Member Since
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    MBPU 13" (Late '09); 2.53GHz 4GB; OSX 10.6.3
    I am not sure which OS you are using, but in OS X Snow Leopard (and possibly others) such a tool is built in already!

    In your Applications folder, locate the folder named Utilities, and then find the App "Disk Utility".

    You can find the option to shred free space in the Erase tab. It allows you to select a few different speed/safety options (see attached images).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    File/free space shredder
    scathe's Avatar
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    hold it Kaham, Disk utility erases whole partitions on a disk, not just a specified file

  5. #5
    File/free space shredder

    Member Since
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    MBPU 13" (Late '09); 2.53GHz 4GB; OSX 10.6.3
    Quote Originally Posted by scathe View Post
    hold it Kaham, Disk utility erases whole partitions on a disk, not just a specified file
    Im not talking about the "Erase" (entire disk) option... the free space option only erases free space. Its not called "Erase free space" for nothing? To quote the tooltip: "Write over unused space to prevent the recovery of deleted files"

    To avoid confusion: On the right hand side, the button is labeled "Erase"... DO NOT PRESS. Lefthand side reads "Erase Free Space"... free file shredder.

  6. #6
    File/free space shredder
    weemax's Avatar
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    Cheers Kaham! Had a look at it about 10 minutes ago & the "erase free space" is grayed out. Any ideas why? I will have a better look at it tomorrow as im tucked up for the night now lol

    Why do you think its a waste of time scathe?
    Imac 21.5" 3.06GHz * 16GB iPhone 4 OS5 * No apple knowledge

  7. #7
    File/free space shredder
    scathe's Avatar
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    Nice feature good one Kaham .. I will have to check it out to know what it really is I always imagined that free space meant unpartitioned, might be the reason why it's even grayed out ... could just be grayed out simply because you don't have the drive selected at the right level

    @weemax
    just don't find it necessary to "shred" files, eventually you will write over the sectors on the hard drive and the files will become unrecoverable ... but if you have some sensitive data you might be more comfortable knowing you did a little more

    on bigger drives it's just a hassle watching that progress bar until you can use the computer properly again

    I've tried data recovery a few times, only one time I was ever successful was when I deleted some of my own files and stopped using the computer right away to avoid data loss ... sure, it depends on how much the drive is being used though

  8. #8
    File/free space shredder

    Member Since
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    MBPU 13" (Late '09); 2.53GHz 4GB; OSX 10.6.3
    Quote Originally Posted by scathe View Post
    Nice feature good one Kaham .. I will have to check it out to know what it really is I always imagined that free space meant unpartitioned, might be the reason why it's even grayed out ...
    Hmm, that could be true, but if that would be the case it should be greyed out for me as well. I only have one partition covering my full internal drive.

    Next to that, the tooltip wouldnt make as much sense then, right? (Or is that me misinterpreting it due to my English or computerknowledge?)

    Anyway, I have just pressed the zero-out option... I'll get back to you with results in about 1:30hrs (yes it takes that long for the simplest algorithm to erase my free space... Im very confident that this has to be whatever is left of my HDD (approx 150-160 Gigs free)

    EDIT: Another piece of evidence that indicates that this feature indeed does erase the free gigs on your HDD: read the text in the screenshot i posted, just above the dropdown where you select the volume. It reads: "To precent the recovery of previously deleted files without erasing the volume, select a volume in the list on the left and click Erase Free Space."

    That unfortunately does not explain why this option is greyed out for you though. How is your harddisk usage?

  9. #9
    File/free space shredder

    Member Since
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    Ok, so running it takes longer than expected, and this was only the zero-out data, not even the 7 or 35 passes.

    I am not sure on the results... following the process, I would say data is erased, but when I look at the restore results from MacKeeper, some data seems to be left. The oddity is though, that these results are nothing I have ever deleted (it only comes up with .plist, .tiff, .xmls and .jpegs with filesizes somewhere between a few bytes and approx 2Kb). Files that used to come up in these results (MP3 files, for instance) are nowhere to be found anymore.

    Are these small files false hits or something, caused by the zeroing out? (See screenshot)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    File/free space shredder
    rman's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by weemax View Post
    Hi guys, I was wondering if there were any decent file/free space shredders for the mac - preferably (though I cant see it) free?

    Thanks!
    Did you try OSX Secure Empty trash, if you are not looking to wipe the whole disk?
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!

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