Evaluation of Data Erasing Tools

  • Hazza Al-Tenaiji

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Long ago, many users thought that electronic data stored inside physical media (such as hard disk) can be deleted simply by using the delete function provided by the operation system (OS). While the fact is that any that removal of data leaves something called 'Data Remanence'. Data remanence is the data left over after a file has been removed or erased by the normal system deletion function. The deletion function of the OS usually deletes only the pointer to the data location inside the physical media. The OS tells itself that that location is empty and can be used to store new data. These data remnants raise serious concerns about the disclosure of sensitive information , especially for military and enterprise environments because they have a lot of storage media which contains sensitive information. Upon releasing these media to uncontrolled environment (i.e. third parties)m it is important to make sure that they have been 100% erased and secure. In this project, an experiment will be conducted on a range of data erasing tools to determine their effectiveness, they are. These tools are widely available ; they are free, shareware, or commercial tools. The project experiment will test each tool against vendor claims. A complete comparison between the tools also will be provided using criteria such as performance, satisfied claims, usability, functionality and more. During the experiment, a command line utility will be used to output each tools CPU time and memory usage and store them in log file (text file). Furthermore a forensics tool kit (FTK or Encase) will be used to analyze and organized using detailed tables to be written in the report.
Date of AwardOct 2010
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorAndrew Jones (Supervisor)


  • Data Erasing Tools; Data Remanence; Operation System (OS).

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