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Thread: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

  1. #1
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    Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    Just decided to throw this out here if anyone is interested in wiping free space on Linux. It wasn't meant to be a how to, so sorry if it isn't that 'deep'. I was going to put it in cafe, but didn't want it to disappear so easily.

    Bcwipe is a proprietary file wiping program, but it can also wipe free space and file slacks. Since I could not find any easy information about doing that on Linux, this may be a good option if you are interested. It uses Peter Gutmann (automatically I think), DoD, or your own defined number of wipes.

    1a. Download alien converted rpm to your desktop-
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/eob9tj
    http://www.gigasize.com/get.php/1255...pe1.64i386.deb

    1b. Or download the latest rpm-

    http://www.jetico.com/linux/BCWipe-1.6-4.i386.rpm


    Code:
    sudo apt-get install alien (if alien is not already installed)
    cd ~/Desktop
    sudo alien --to-deb -v BCWipe-1.6-4.i386.rpm
    2. Unpackage and install.

    Code:
    cd /Desktop
    sudo dpkg --install bcwipe_1.6-4_i386.deb
    3. To wipe free space on root.

    Code:
    sudo bcwipe -F / (where -F stands for free space)
    
    I believe this automatically uses Gutmann's method, and this may take a LONG time, so you might want to 
    define it to DoD or your own number by entering-
    
    sudo bcwipe -F -md /  (-md stands for DoD)
    sudo bcwipe -F -m3 /  (-m stands for mode (in this case 3 wipes))
    The same rules works for /home or whatever partition you wish to wipe. As in wiping my 10 gig ext3 partition.
    Code:
    bcwipe -F -v -m1 /media/hda7/
    A bit of advice. You may screw up, cancel your wipe, and notice all or a lot of your free space is taken up. Just delete the bcwipe folders that were created (using sudo).
    Code:
    cd /thedirectory
    sudo rm -r bcwipe-wiping_free_space-tImFVa (or whatever name it has)
    Before

    After


    That worked for me when I did this for the first time and Gutmann was taking to long. If you run into the same problem as Ziggy72, try DDM's solution.



    http://www.jetico.com/ for more information or the original rpm. They also have an encryption program if you are interested (of course open source options are better) They also have versions for Windows.

    Also make sure you look at "man bcwipe" first and use at your own risk (in other words I know as little as possible about wiping and this program). This is just what worked for me.
    Last edited by CupofDice; October 25th, 2006 at 06:49 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    Yes..... But......!!

    I installed BCWipe and then used the command

    sudo bcwipe -F /

    The disk whirred away happily so I went to bed and left the program to do its stuff. 10 hours later, the program was still running and the disk was still whirring. So, enough was enough and I stopped the BCWipe program.

    I then did a df -h and found that instead of having about 15Gb of free spece, I now had only 1.9Gb.

    As CupOfDice suggested, I deleted the bcwipe folders that were created (using sudo) but the free space that should have been there wasn't - still only 1.9Gb.

    I then did everything I could think of to get the free space back but, to cut a very long story short, I was unsuccessful and my Ubuntu partition was effectively trashed.

    So I had to restore the partition from a recent backup using Acronis True Image and after 4 hours of solid work I'm now more or less back to where I started, but without BCWipe!

    If you do use BCWipe, be a lot more careful than I was and have a good backup which will allow you to restore everything if necessary. Good luck to those of you who are brave enough to experiment with the program...

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    Ziggy, why didn't you use a program like Kdirstat to find the junk files? BCwipe didn't really bork your system, just used a temp file where you weren't expecting it.

  4. #4
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    DDM - well, if there *was* a temp file, hidden or not, I surely couldn't find it anywhere. It would have to have been about 15Gb to leave me with only about 1.9Gb free and none of the searches I used could find it - and I really did search very diligently for many minutes. I would have thought it should have been in /, but I couldn't find anything that looked like a promising temp file... in any directory... It may be worth noting that the BCWipe web site does not list BCWipe as having been tested with Ubuntu.

  5. #5
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    Following on from yesterday's disaster with BCWipe, I have downloaded and successfully used LinuxWipe Tools which is available at

    http://basicsec.org/LinuxWipeTools.tar.gz

    I've used Wipefree2.sh (because this suits the way my directory structure is set up) and Wipeswap.sh. Both scripts ran without any problems.

    Anybody who wants to use this set of 4 scripts should look at the Readme to view the wipe limitations and so they can use the most appropriate wipe routine for their purpose.

    I was able to work on my pc without any problems until Wipefree2 was nearing the end of its routine when I received some error messages about "not enough disk space" when trying to save files and create folders, but this was expected and explained in the documentation.

    For me, these have proved to be pleasing, trouble-free scripts.

    I'm using Dapper.

  6. #6
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    I have no idea what caused that. I just "sudo -F -v -m1 /" myself and cancelled when it got rid of a 100 mb, then "cd" to the directory, and "sudo rm -r bcwipe-wiping_free_space-tImFVa". I regained the space with no problems. I use ext3. You?

  7. #7
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    Yes - ext3. I have no idea why I got the problem - but nowhere did I find any file called bcwipe-wiping_free_space_xxxxxx. Something got screwed up - why or how - I have no idea...

  8. #8
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    It creates this folder in root (if root is what you are wiping) and I assume it holds all the temporary files that fill up your harddrive and then deletes them (all wiping programs seem to do this). It also seems you have to be in root to delete it.

    Before

    After
    Last edited by CupofDice; October 25th, 2006 at 06:50 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    Ok - I assumed the file was created in root - but it definitely wasn't there after the program had been running for 10 hours. Wipefree2 which I used earlier today created a temporary file of about 15Gb before it was deleted and so I suppose that's about the size of file BCWipe tried to create. However, for whatever reason, BCWipe wasn't able to complete its work and its temporary file (though presumably still there physically) just wasn't visible and able to be deleted. Oh well... water under the bridge...

  10. #10
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    Re: Howto: Wipe free space with Bcwipe

    Just a quick thought... CupOfDice - have you tried to do a

    sudo bcwipe -F /

    and then left the program to finish - however long that might take? I'd be interested to hear of your success, or otherwise. Mine is (or was when I tried the program) a 20Gb ext3 partition with about 5.1Gb used.

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