We need to delete various files (without deleting the whole disk) on Windows 8.1 What is the best tool for the job? We tried using Cipher.exe /w but noticed it was very slow. Is sdelete that much better? A GUI we are open too, maybe even prefer as it's easier to add files and folders from different locations. To confirm, WE CANNOT USE SOMETHING LIKE DBAN TO NUKE WHOLE DISK! Something open source is preferred as its easier to trust.

3 Answers 3


I recommend Eraser. To quote:

Eraser is an advanced security tool for Windows which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. Eraser is currently supported under Windows XP (with Service Pack 3), Windows Server 2003 (with Service Pack 2), Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7,8 ,10 and Windows Server 2012.

Eraser is Free software and its source code is released under GNU General Public License.

I have been using it for a few years. Its easy to use, and you can select preferred algorithms for overwriting disk


I agree with the suggestion of Eraser, and would add CCleaner as an alternative. Both are very good in the free versions, and it is worth considering upgrading to the pro version, depending on your circumstances.

I would also suggest that in addition to using secure delete, use the wipe free space and secure empty trash options to be as sure as possible that the files are gone.


One that I've used in the past and had very good use with is called Active@ ERASER. It allows you to choose not only individual files but also entire folders providing a lot of methods of purging the data. It can be run within Windows or can be loaded from an external USB Stick bypassing Windows completely. It is also US Department of Defense 5220.22 M compliant.

Active@ ERASER (commercial w/ a demo)

Active@ ERASER is a quality software package which includes various components required to keep your system secure from undesired data recovery. You can be sure that once you wipe a disk with Active@ ERASER full-featured commercial version, sensitive information is destroyed forever.


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