How Good is Acronis' File Shredder

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by rugmankc, Jun 26, 2008.

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  1. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    I may need to send my laptop in for repair. I have Windows Back-Ups and Linux Back-Ups with the bootable CD, all on an external USB drive. Is Acronis' File Shredder good enough to securely delete any of my important data files, so I can turn in the laptop and be safe from anyone accessing sensitive data. Or, should I delete all programs and files other than those needed to repair the computer. The only repair needed will be to the wiring harness to the screen, or a new screen.

    Below are some questions my son had about any secure delete software I will use. Any comments on them, and if File Shredder is not up to the task what is a good secure delete program to address me and my son's concerns.


    "Does it allow you to configure how many passes it will use?
    Some of those can also overwrite the free space on the drive. It should help to wipe out any files that are deleted. After a file is deleted, the contents can still be on the disk."

    "I think we'd want to make sure the stuff in your temp folder is securely deleted too. Often there are files in that folder that could be sensitive. For example, an application might write a temporary copy of a spreadsheet to temp while you're working on it. If it does that, you wouldn't want that to stay around."


    One example of my concern with Acronis is that I tried to see if I could delete a specific Excel database and didn't see how. Or, just delete my outlook PST files, emails, contacts etc. My son may be able to figure that out, he hasn't looked at the program yet.


    Thanks,


    Ken
     
  2. nemesisdb

    nemesisdb Registered Member

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    I can't answer all your questions but I'll do the best I can.

    If the problem is not related to the drive, you are usually allowed (if not encouraged) to remove it prior to sending your laptop in for service. It's certainly worth checking.

    I can't answer how many times acronis over-writes a file. I can assure you, however, that a single over-write is sufficient to prevent recovery unless someone takes apart your drive, removes the platters, places them under an electron microsope, and spends a lot of time and money. If you feel that people want your data *that* badly, I would simply not send in the drive. One over-write is sufficient to stop any software-based recovery of the files.

    As for file selection, with Acronis TI-11 Home, I launch the program, click disk utilities and then click "file shredder." You can drill down from there. You can select folders as well (for instance temp folder). The system clean up utility claims to automate cleaning of your temp files and some system traces -- it's unclear if this data is over-writen in all circumstances though.

    A final thought is to consider using whole disk encryption. Some laptop drives can do this at the drive level itself (with is relatively seamless). Free utilities such as true crypt also offer full system drive encryption (for windows). If you go this route, unless an attacker has your password, they can't access any data on your drive. It has the advantage of automatically encrypting all activity (including temp files and traces). There is a performance hit though -- and you should definitely backup your data in case you lose the password or corruption occurs.

    Hope this helped some.
     
  3. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Try DBan Eraser.
     
  4. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    Thanks nemesisdb and DwnNdrty,

    I'll look into your suggestions.

    I would drop it off at a Sony Authorized Sevice Store, but they may send it out.

    Guy I talked to said they may need to get past my logon password to facilitate repair. Hmmm?

    I like the idea of taking the drive out and the encryption software. Also, will check out DBan Eraser.


    Ken
     
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Is the nature of the repair such that they can do it without a hard drive? Or are you willing to buy a small drive to put into the laptop - you can always use it afterwards for external storage.
     
  6. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    DwnNdrty,

    Not sure at this time. I guess they might need access to the drive to confirm all repairs went OK. Maybe part of their diagnostics. How much would I have to put on the small drive, and can I do that by installing the boot manager and enough software from my back up images to meet their repair requirements? My son can definitely handle that.

    My specific problem was a screen fading and going black on occasion. Wasn't sure what was happening until I moved the screen during a blackout. It came back on and would come on and off as I wiggled the screen, hence my belief it was a connection or screen problem seconded by the tech I talked to at the Sony Repair Store.

    Problem is now it hasn't done it for several days even if I wiggle the screen. Warranty runs out 15 July. So, I am preparing for a quick trip to the repair center if needed before that date. I don't want to take it there if they can't duplicate the problem. Especially after all the prepare work to secure the laptop. Also, don't want to come to the 16th and have another blackout. Whoa is me. o_O


    Thanks for all the advice,


    Ken
     
  7. nemesisdb

    nemesisdb Registered Member

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    What kind of laptop? I know for a fact that Dell's don't need it as a matter of policy. Check to see if it will boot and complete it's power on self test without the hard drive installed. Nearly any computer will. I assume any diagnostics they use are CD bootable.

    edit: saw your reply. sorry i'm blind :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  8. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    nemesisdb,

    Thanks for the input. That would be a simple solution if it works and Sony is OK with it. All my computer data is in my signature.


    Ken
     
  9. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    If you do buy another drive, just put the bare OS on it. Even a free Linux OS would do. When the problem showed, did you try connecting an external monitor to see if the problem showed on it too?
     
  10. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    No, but I can hook it up to one if the problem resurrects itself. I can't believe a problem like that would just go away, or that it would software related.

    Thanks,

    Ken
     
  11. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    Just thought of something:

    Can't take out the HD and install another for the sending to Sony without voiding the warranty. I think??

    I can ask them that before, and if I need to take it in.


    Ken
     
  12. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Don't forget that the page file can contain visible data that otherwise might be encrypted or locked.

     
  13. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    Thanks shieber,

    I forgot that. Also, ATI doesn't back up the page.sys files.


    Ken
     
  14. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Since the screen came back on simply by moving it then it is probably a bad connection to either the inverter or to the lcd itself. The brand of laptop I use, Averatec, had that problem a lot.

    Most laptop vendors would let you change the hard drive without voiding the warranty - tell them you want to change to a larger faster drive. :cool:
     
  15. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    Not a bad idea. I could get a second drive and have two. One as a back up for this kind of situation.


    Ken
     
  16. rugmankc

    rugmankc Registered Member

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    CyberScrub has good ratings for my needs.

    Any have experience with this program and Acronis.




    Thanks,

    Ken
     
  17. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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