Understanding File Shredding and the Wipe Disk Process

June 13, 2018


File shredding, which is also referred to as file wiping or as wipe disk, is a process that involves securely deleting a computer file. Through file shredding, the information that was saved on the file cannot be retrieved by any means.

There are a couple methods you can use to shred a file. One of these methods is to use special file shredder software, while the other method is to write a “secure delete” demand.

If you simply write a “delete” command, the saved information can be retrieved with the right software and computer skills. This is because it is considered a waste of resources to completely delete a file. Therefore, when a file is deleted within an operating system, the space previously occupied by the saved information will simply be marked as a available and the file is removed from the directory. The actual contents, however, remain on the disk. This also makes it possible for files that have been deleted to be restored and recovered. This can easily be accomplished with the “undelete” command.

In order to conduct file shredding, the file must actually be overwritten several times. As such, a file that has undergone defragmentation cannot be completely overwritten. This is because any file that has been moved within the file system cannot be completely removed because it cannot be effectively overwritten multiple times.

If a file has been moved in the file system and you wish to shred it, you can accomplish this by addressing the entire partition. Even with this method, the information may still be retrieved because the hard disk controller might mark sectors as bad, which means the data is not visible to your operating system. In addition, it is unlikely that the desired file is only on the hard disk just once. This is because a file that has been edited will contain several copies, which can be found in any number of sectors and may even be found in a swap file.

When shredding a file for security purposes, it is far safer to shred the entire disk rather than individual files. If the disc has failed and is to be thrown away, however, shredding will be impossible. Therefore, the only option for truly protecting the information is to burn the hard drive or otherwise destroy the disk, such as with acid.

The main reason for wiping a file is to protect confidentiality. For this reason, file shredding is routinely conducted by government agencies such as the United States Department of Defense. According to their specifications, files must be overwritten at least three times. Some researchers, however, believe that this is not a sufficient number of times.

Software used to shred files overwrites the data while also making sure that none of the file information remains in the file system’s metadata. This includes removing files under partial file names, which is an issue since the FAT file system only replaces the first character of a file name when removing a file.


  • Aditya11ttt June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    hello need a small information
    what you see i mean what are the parameter needs to be considers before changing or swiping head on the two harddisk??
    western digital , segate , toshiba , samsung , hitachi , hgst.

  • 1sonyzz June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I have Hitachi 4GB Microdrive world's smallest consumer available hard drive – same size as CF card – same connector

  • Peter June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    It would be interesting to know how much it ended up costing Teresa….

  • zedster911 June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I have had 3 Seagate HDs and all have failed within a very short time

  • hope4Leb June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    i have seagate 1TB fell on the floor and keeps saying damaged disk
    is it possible to repair?

  • xeno neomorph June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    turn the wheel anticlockwise and bring the arm back with a tooth pick there is no damage underneath good try

  • Syrus54 June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    2 weeks to do 76gb?

  • VideoGuy84 June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Very interesting and informative video, I've always wondered how exactly data recovery is preformed, and I guess the answer is it's different with every drive. Do you guys see failure on Seagate drives more than any other brand? In my 20 some years of computing I've had two drives fail on me, both Seagate. One was a black Friday special, failed after a few months…luckily nothing mission critical stored on it, but the other one was my main system drive and had everything on it. I tried all the home remedies (freezing etc.) and even opened it up myself and long story short I only made it worse. Lesson learned…BACKUP!

  • Digitalspectrumvideo June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I have a question. I have a drive I just submitted for data recovery. It never made any noises; it just stopped mounting. The guy said I have damaged platters; likely from a defective drive. This is a 3tb drive; and I only want about 500gb worth of data from it. If one platter is damaged; is there a chance the data I want is unharmed?

  • Raphael Eder June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Useful video! 
    My hard drive makes the weird buzzing sounds and it doesn't get recognised on my computer… The head however is not on the platter.. Also the platter has no scratches on it. Any idea what it could be? Any help would be so much appreciated!

  • Shoaib Belim June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    My dell hdd stopped working suddenly. Earlier, when I connected my hdd, the LED used to light up. But, its not the same now. There is sound kind of sound coming from it. I also tried connecting it to other systems, different ports, different cables, but nothing seems to work. There is some important data which I want to recover. Is there any way that my data could be recovered?
    Please help!!

  • Rick Kardol June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    No wonder companies like this ask between 500 to 1500 to fix.  I mean your equipment costs a lot!  The p roblem is that sometimes the files we want to recover aren't worth that much.  Then again, some people have that necesity.   Still, what happens when the value of the files is not worth that much?

    I mean I lost a hd with videos on it.  I still have it and would want to restore it.  Though I am not placed to pay more than a 100 to get it fixed because of it's content.

    ACSDATA, do you know what I mean?

  • J Danielz June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I don't want to show them? lol  Hard Drive Head Replacement Tools for 50 Cents what you consider proprietary ? were you at all thinking? lol Just like we found this video we can search how to lift hard drive head. YOU MAKE A TUTORIAL AND SAY YOU DONT WANT TO SHOW US? TUTORIAL – of or relating to a tutor or a tutor's "instruction". Thanks for vid over all it was just to much hearing that. 

  • Famil Mangnos June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    help full 

  • Abel Perez June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    thank you

  • Abel Perez June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    My drive from my Hp Touchsmart Tm2 laptop just stopped and wont boot up. It will get to the starting windows logo and restarts.

  • George Kaisar June 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    whats the program named?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *