I downloaded Ccleaner and it gives me a option to "wipe free space" from my hard drive. What exactly does it wipe from the hard drive?
Answer by EnvoyOfTheEnd · Jan 19, 2012 at 05:23 AM
The file system that is used by windows and other operating systems consists not only of the files themselves, but also of an index that identifies where the portions of that file are on the drive.
When a file is deleted, by default only the index or the record of its location is removed so the system will recognise it as free space. However that will leave the contents present and potentially recoverable.
Wiping free space does exactly that, and clears the contents of any space that the system designates as free or unused and thus making recovery of deleted files more difficult, though not in many cases impossible.
If for security or privacy purposes then there are better and more thorough tools than CCleaner.