Is One Pass Sufficient?


I've used programs in the past that automatically overwrites the free space on a hard drive, I believe, 7 times in order to make any deleted files unrecoverable. Is that the way BleachBit works? Is using it once to overwrite the free space on a hard drive sufficient or should I use it more than once to ensure the process is done thoroughly?

I apologize if this question has already been answered. Thanks for your patience.

The short answer is yes. Using multiple passes is some combination of outdated information, urban legend, marketing hype, and a time waster. A longer answer is in the documentation: Shred files and wipe disks

Andrew, lead developer

I had emptied my recycle bin then used BleachBit to shred all traces of the deleted files on my empty hard drive space. Besides taking some time to do, I had no problems streaming programs from Hulu and Netflix while I was waiting. I hardly had any interference with the operation of my computer while the process was functioning. It was so easy, this is why I'm wondering about the effectiveness of the product.

After reading the information on the link you provided I am left feeling as though any company will say most anything to promote their products. That leaves me wondering about YOU GUYS and what YOU SAY about YOUR product.

The biggest thing you have going for you, as far as I am concerned, is how it was said that Hillary Clinton's server and devices were wiped so clean with BleachBit NOT EVEN GOD could retrieve those deleted files. Now, that is some powerful advertisement that goes FAR BEYOND any information you may provide in a link. After all, most companies will say whatever they feel they need to in order to promote their products; IF they feel they can get away with it.

I truly appreciate that unwitting independent endorsement for BleachBit. There was a hell of a lot at stake for Hillary if any of those deleted files were recovered from her server. That BleachBit was used instead of other such products making similar claims is quite encouraging and comforting.

I am sharing this in this post for a reason. I would appreciate your take on what I have just stated.

NOTE: I also appreciate your CAPTCHA option. Lately, I am finding CAPTCHA type options so difficult to read I have to go through six of seven different ones before I can read what they say so that I can type the information into the provided space. That can be frustrating as hell. Facebook is using insane CAPTCHA options most of which are barely legible. I appreciate being able to check a box and being done with it.

The BleachBit documentation is a better representation of the effectiveness and limitations of the wiping process than Trey Gowdy's remarks on Fox News, and the primary purpose of the article is to highlight the connection to an important political story.

While I still believe that one pass is enough, it depends very much how that one pass is applied. For example, if a person were to forget to delete some confidential information from a not-deleted file before wiping the free space, then that information would be recoverable. Back to your point, yes, BleachBit is easy to use, but it is easy also to misuse. BleachBit will not magically guess which data should be deleted. Given how much information is on any computer, it is easy to forget to delete something, so that is why physical destruction is more foolproof. There is a dilemma between convenience (e.g., wiping free space) and foolproof effectiveness (e.g., physical destruction).

I believe the FBI has thoroughly searched Clinton's server, and no more information will be found there. Maybe it will be found from third party sources, such as explained in my How to Wipe An Exchange Server article.

Andrew, lead developer

Okay, the main reason for my above posts was I intended to decide whether or not I would donate for your product by the way you responded. YOU PASSED THE TEST!!! Yes, I will make a donation. I feel I can trust your product well enough. Seems Hillary Clinton is good for something after all. Ha!

From what I have studied, if Hillary gets elected she just may go down as first American president to be impeached so quickly it was practically unbelievable. The Republicans intend to go on the warpath against her!! Then, I would imagine, our country will be run by that used car salesman looking Cain guy. I believe the Bible says he murdered his brother Abel, but I could be mistaken.

A Trump presidency may do America a big favor, but it won't be doing Mr. Trump any big favors. With his wealth, Mr. Trump should be retiring in style and traveling the world with his beautiful wife; dancing their nights away in luxury.

Ha! Good to know I did something right today. :)

Andrew, lead developer

Well, I just made my donation. I won't say how much, but I will say it was less that a million-bucks. Ha!

I was bedridden much of last year and still have not fully recovered. While bedridden one of the only creative outlets I had was creating animation videos using the CrazyTalk Animator Pro program. Here's one of my favorite videos that I created



Looks like you and me might have something in common:

Also known as Alex.

Moderator for BleachBit and a maintainer for Winapp2.

Check out my open-source group on Steam:

Windows 10 x64 (switching to ReactOS in the future).