Tech

The Windows data wipe tool does not fully clean the drive, leaving important information behind

As many of our readers will know, using the Windows data wipe tool performs, in theory, a complete wipe of all data, files, and settings on the drive. This achieves, in theory, that there are no remains that may end up endangering the safety of the user, or the company.

If you’re wondering why it’s important to use the Windows erase tool, don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you wondering. Imagine, for example, that you want to sell a storage unit that you will no longer need, or an entire piece of equipment. By using this tool, the storage drive should be totally cleanwhich means that the person who buys the equipment, or your storage unit, will not be able to find any piece of personal information from the previous user, that is, from you.

I imagine that now you will have everything clearer, and you will understand better Why is a problem that the Windows data wipe tool does not perform its function correctly. This problem has been discovered by Rudy Ooms, recognized by Microsoft as an MVP, who carried out tests using Windows updates 21H1 and 21H2, and discovered that with the latter, said tool not only did not work correctly, since it left traces of information, but also what’s more removed the protection that BitLocker offered.

A temporary, and unofficial, solution to the problem of Windows data deletion

Ooms created a script in PowerShell to address this issue until Microsoft can fix it with the release of an official patch, and it can be downloaded via their blog. Personally I am not surprised since, as we have said, he was recognized as an MVP by Microsoft.

Returning to the subject of the Windows data erase tool, it is curious to see all the talk about the importance of data protection strategies, mainly focused on making backup copies in different media and formats, but the little importance we give to the definitive and reliable elimination of this data.

We might think that a simple formatting is enough, but the truth is that this is not enough. If we really want to erase all the data that a storage unit contains, the ideal is use tools that have been specifically designed for this. In extreme cases, when we talk about companies or government entities, the physical destruction of the drive It is an option that is contemplated on more than one occasion.

Obviously, for a normal user it is not necessary to go to the physical destruction of the drive. It would be better not to give it up and give it a second life thinking of a specific use. We can also use the Windows data deletion tool, as long as we know that it will work correctly, or third-party tools, as we have already told you.

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