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WinTrezur Tutorials

Wiping files and system history with WinTrezur

WinTrezur [Security / Wipe / System History] may not be up to date to your OS version. Use some other free tool for better results. Most programs leak data, and they cannot be safely wiped. Use a combination of disk encryption and WinTrezur for extra safety.

WinTrezur offers file shredder tools to safely wipe files and folders, recycle bin, and common system history locations as part of [Security / Wipe] menu. This tutorial contains some Windows tips and tweaks you should consider to safely used these WinTrezur features. As the system, the browsers, and other programs you may use, change often you may need to customize on your own what you want to wipe time after time, by adding custom wipe units.


[Wipe tools]

Windows operating system versions, such as Windows 7, store a lot of data about your files even without you knowing of. If you want to use the WinTrezur file shredder tools safely, we recommend you disable 'Volume Shadow Copy' Windows feature. We will speak here about Windows 7, but same may apply to other Windows versions. You may need administrator user rights to make some of these changes.

Volume Shadow Copy

Windows stores by default a history of file changes to support data recovery. Wiping (safely deleting) a file in Windows 7, deletes by default only the changes of the latest version. Most of file's data remains still in hard-disk. Disabling 'Volume Shadow Copy' means that your file data will exist only once - as explicit copies done by you. Windows will not create its own implicit copies of your data.

The 'Volume Shadow Copy' feature manages all data versioning and backups in Windows, so disabling 'Volume Shadow Copy' has as a drawback that it also disables 'Windows System Restore' and backup features. You should disable 'Volume Shadow Copy' only if you want to be really safe with regard to your data. Once a Windows system is fully installed there is not much need for 'Windows System Restore', so disabling it saves disk space, and its safer as Windows will not make automatic backup copies of your files.


[Open Services in Windows 7]

To disable 'Volume Shadow Copy' follow these steps. At start menu box, type services, and click and open the services link that will show. In services list, find 'Volume Shadow Copy' service (vssvc.exe) and right click to open its properties. Then 'Stop' it and then set its 'Startup type' to 'Disabled'. On the 'Recovery' tab select 'Take No Action' for all recovery types.

Disabling 'Volume Shadow Copy' is required in order for WinTrezur file shredder to work properly. If you do not disable 'Volume Shadow Copy', than we cannot warranty that all data are deleted. You can also choose to enable 'Volume Shadow Copy' temporary and disable it again, when you need it (e.g., when some software installation needs to create a restore point) following same steps as above.

Recent Files and Programs

Windows keeps a list of recent opened files and accessed programs. You may turn some of these features off, by right-clicking on some free place on desktop task bar and selecting 'Properties'.


[Recent Files and Privacy]

By default, WinTrezur [Security / Wipe / System History] tool clears the 'Windows - Recent Documents'. This action clears recent opened files, programs, and jump lists' data, and leaves the Windows start menu empty, unless you have pinned some of your favorite programs there. If you do not want this WinTrezur functionality, uncheck this option.

Web Browser History

WinTrezur [Security / Wipe / System History] tool clears history of common web browsers. However, because of the way web browsers manage their history and caches, traces could still be left in the system. If your favorite browser supports private browsing mode, we recommend you use that mode, as it is safer and leaves less traces. Not all web browsers implement the private browsing mode safely, so you have to experiment a bit.

Web browsers offer also to clear their previous history, for non-private browsing mode. Such web browser build-in options are in general not safe. Use WinTrezur's [Security / Wipe / System History] to clear existing browsers' history first.

Windows Explorer Icon Cache

To enable fast image thumbnails, Windows Explorer caches copies of them. In Windows 7, the cached images are all in one location C:\Users\ [user] \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\. WinTrezur's [Security / Wipe / System History] tool cleans this folder on demand. However, to be sure you may want to disable this Windows Explorer feature.


[Open gpedit in Windows 7]

To disable 'Windows Explorer Icon Cache' follow these steps. At start menu box, type gpedit.msc. Then once it opens go to User Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Explorer. Find in the list that shows an option called 'Turn off caching of thumbnails ...', right click to edit it and set its properties to 'Enabled'. To clear existing thumbnails, you wipe manually C:\Users\ [user] \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\ folder data, or use WinTrezur's [Security / Wipe / System History] tool.

Deleting Files at Next Startup

When WinTrezur file shredder cannot delete some file fully because it is in use, you will be prompted to schedule that such files are deleted at the next system startup. At next system startup, after you login, WinTrezur will try again deleting the files that failed last time.


[Deleting files as next startup]

Most of the time, WinTrezur is able to overwrite file data, and even rename the file, even if it has no rights to delete it. However, at some cases WinTrezur may not have permissions at all to access some files and you may need to run WinTrezur as administrator user.

WinTrezur Tutorials

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