So your working and had to make a backup copy of the CEO’s outlook data file onto your local computer. After your work on his or her mailbox you delete the backup.  So you think!  We know this isn’t the true and with the many free and paid tools out today a person would attempt to recover data.

There is where CIPHER comes in.

Cipher is a command-line tool (included with Windows) that you can use to manage encrypted data. It can also be used to clean the white space (unused space) on your hard drive.

Let’s get to using this shall we

First open an command prompt as Administrator.

Type cipher /? to list the syntax for the commands.  As you can see there is a lot this little tool can do.  More on this at another time.

So in my case I wanted to wipe all the free space in volume d:\ of my Windows system.  By typing cipher.exe /w:d <press enter> and I am now able to wipe the free space and any trace of my CEO’s backed up mailbox.

Now just sit back and wait until completed and your done.  Simple and effective.

 

Let’s recap

I wanted to delete the free disk space on my computer to remove the ability of data being recovered.

To do this I opened a command prompt (as administrator)
While in the command prompt typed in cipher /w:d (d being my drive)

Ref: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/298009

Update: 07/05/2017  – You could also start off by being sure that all drives were encrypted with something such as bitlocker before moving critical data onto it.