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Deleting photos from Compact Flash Card

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by thedudeabides317, Feb 18, 2007.

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  1. thedudeabides317

    thedudeabides317 Thread Starter

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    Hi

    What freeware would you recommend to permanently delete photographs from Compact Flash Cards.

    Many thanks
     
  2. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    formating the card in the camera they were taken with...

    If you are really concerned toss the card in the fireplace... ;)
     
  3. slipe

    slipe

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    If you want to make sure nobody can recover the files after you remove them just overwrite the card with new images. The easiest way to do that is to put the camera in a slow continuous mode and hold the shutter until the camera shows it is out of memory. Or fill it with movies. Format the card after refilling and even the NSA would have problems trying to recover the original images.
     
  4. Anchoret

    Anchoret

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    Here's the skinny.

    Apparently there's no known way of really making this 100% secure with Flash Memory.

    For my purposes, I would just multiple-overwrite the file when the card was in a USB card reader with a typical program as mentioned in the article.
     
  5. erick295

    erick295

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    Flash memory may retain physical fragments of data more effectively than other types of storage devices, but unless you are the CIA, that is not of any interest to you. Flash storage works like any other media. Formatting the card in the camera will not erase the data on it, and filling it full of new photos would be a spectacular waste of time and camera life. Any data destruction software will work. I don't know of any that are free, however -- you're dipping into the world of the paranoid consumer, which means there are hordes of people out there trying to make money off of you. Search around on Google and you will probably find something.
     
  6. slipe

    slipe

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    Any data destruction software involves overwriting the memory. If the memory contains data that might be subjected to highly sophisticated recovery attempts the software uses multiple writes that leave no spaces and uses both random and specific overwrites.

    Memory cards have limited writes. Few people ever wear them out as they are generally in the 500 write range and good devices don’t always overwrite the same sectors with partial writes. If you do a seven pass government wipe every time you use the card you could eventually wear the card out.

    A simple full overwrite with images will defeat any attack except from specialists. And the labor would be sufficient that the residual would have to be highly worthwhile. I don’t think a local data recovery service could recover photos that have been overwritten. If you just want to make sure your wife doesn’t see the photos from the bunny farm during your last hunting trip an overwrite is probably 100%.

    The fastest way for me to overwrite a card is to just hold the shutter down on my camera. It will fill a 1 Gig card in around 3 minutes. Many people have movie modes that will fill a 1 Gig card in just over 8 minutes and you don’t have to hold the shutter. You would want to lock the mirror on a DSLR, but otherwise wear and tear on a digital camera is a non-factor.

    Norton Utilities has a sophisticated data wipe if you have it on your computer. There is freeware that will do it: http://www.softplatz.com/Soft/Utilities/File-Disk/Free-Disk-Wipe.html But just refilling the card with photos will suffice for most purposes and is a lot faster than a wipe.
     
  7. overclockxp

    overclockxp

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    I registered just to answer this very question.

    I've used a program called CardWiper many times. It permanently deletes the files and even can test your card for errors. Very handy because if a card of mine had one bad sector I'd throw it in the trash (or send it in for warranty replacement).

    linky dinky:
    http://www.photorescue.net/downloadcardwiper.htm

    Thanks for the link for the free wiper program slipe. It would be nice to get rid of norton utilities all together.
     
  8. erick295

    erick295

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    No offense slipe, but you're pointing out that data wiping software "wears out" $20 memory cards, then suggesting that someone adds a hundred or more cycles to their camera to do the same task. Flash memory lasts through many more than 500 rewrites before failing... the number is closer to 100,000, possibly more if you have a higher quality card. When cards fail, it is almost invariably for a reason other than overuse. From "wear and tear" alone, most cards will outlast their users. But, that aside, I'd much rather buy a new card than a new camera :)
     
  9. slipe

    slipe

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    Hi Eric.

    I wish I could get the performance and size I need with a $20 card. They are getting pretty cheap though.

    I’m not sure I’m following your point. I’ve never worn out a card but I’ve never worn out a camera either. Are you saying the camera will wear out if you put it in movie mode and let it fill the card?

    I wouldn’t download wipe software to make sure some photos on my card couldn’t be recovered. I would probably put the camera in movie mode, start it and put it aside until the card was full. After a format nobody is going to be able to see the original photos.

    I just put one of my cameras in movie mode and put my ear to the camera. I couldn’t hear anything. There weren’t gears turning that could wear out. Even the regular shutter is silent unless you have the shutter sound turned on. Digital cameras don’t seem to be prone to wear from taking photos. Most of the stuff that breaks is probably the result of carrying them around.

    Maybe if the photos could convict me of treason and I thought the FBI might send the card to the NSA for analysis I would bother with a full wipe. But ordinary folks aren’t going to be able to recover photos that have been overwritten. I read an article about that in Scientific American and it isn’t easy.

    I did a full wipe of a hard drive in a computer I was giving to charity. But hard drives are more difficult than a memory card to completely overwrite.
     
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