IMPORTANT: Please note the following important information:
- You must install Cipher.exe by using the installer package instead of copying the new version of Cipher.exe to your computer. The tool relies on additional NTFS functionality that is added as part of the installation process. If you only copy the Cipher.exe file to your computer and then run it, you could destroy data on the drive.
- You must close all programs before you start Cipher.exe.
- Cipher.exe is not a cure-all that makes it safe to store sensitive data in a plain-text format. Although you can use this tool to remove sensitive data from a drive, if best practices are followed, such data would not normally be created on the drive. For additional information about these best practices, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 223316 Best Practices for the Encrypting File System
How to Obtain Cipher.exeCipher.exe is available in Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 or later or the Windows 2000 Security Rollup Package 1 (SRP1) or individually via the links below.
For additional information on SRP1, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Date Time Version Size Filename
May-30-2001 16:25 5.0.2195.3653 36,112 Cipher.exe
May-26-2001 07:48 5.0.2195.3649 512,272 Ntfs.sys
How to Use Cipher.exeTo overwrite the deallocated data:
- Quit all programs.
- Click Start, click Run, and type cmd, and then press ENTER.
- Type cipher
/w:'folder', and then press ENTER, where folder is optional and can be any folder in a local volume that you want to clean. For example, the
cipher /w:c:\test command causes the deallocated space on drive C: to be overwritten. If c:\test is a mount point or points to a folder in another volume, deallocated space on that volume will be cleaned.
Article ID: 298009 - Last Review: Jun 9, 2009 - Revision: 1