In order to securely delete a file, you must delete every copy of that file, everywhere it was stored or sent. Additionally, once a file is stored in the cloud e. There are many ways in which this could occur, but two examples should suffice to convey the possibility. LibreOffice may keep as many records as Microsoft Office, and a user's shell history file may contain commands that include the file's name, even though the file has been securely deleted.
In practice, there may be dozens of programs that behave like this.
How to Eject a Stuck CD or DVD From Your Mac
It's hard to know how to respond to this problem. It is safe to assume that even if a file has been securely deleted, its name will probably continue to exist for some time on your computer.
Searching the disk will tell you if the data is present in plaintext, but it won't tell you if some program has compressed or otherwise coded references to it. Also, be careful that the search itself does not leave a record! The probability that the file's contents may persist is lower, but not impossible. If you want to throw a piece of hardware away or sell it on eBay, you'll want to make sure no one can retrieve your data from it.
So, before selling or recycling a computer, be sure to overwrite its storage media with gibberish first. And even if you're not getting rid of it right away, if you have a computer that has reached the end of its life and is no longer in use, it's also safer to wipe the hard drive before stashing the machine in a corner or a closet. Darik's Boot and Nuke is a tool designed for this purpose, and there are a variety of tutorials on how to use it across the web including here.
Some full-disk encryption software has the ability to destroy the master key , rendering a hard drive's encrypted contents permanently incomprehensible. Since the key is a tiny amount of data and can be destroyed almost instantaneously, this represents a much faster alternative to overwriting with software like Darik's Boot and Nuke, which can be quite time-consuming for larger drives. However, this option is only feasible if the hard drive was always encrypted. If you weren't using full-disk encryption ahead of time, you'll need to overwrite the whole drive before getting rid of it.
There are inexpensive shredders that will chew them up. Unfortunately, due to the way SSDs, USB flash drives, and SD cards work, it is difficult, if not impossible, to securely delete both individual files and free space. As a result, your best bet in terms of protection is to use encryption.
At this point in time, we cannot provide a good general procedure that will definitely remove your data from an SSD. At a high level, wear leveling works as follows. The space on every disk is divided into blocks, kind of like the pages in a book. After you locate the files, click the View tab in File Explorer and check the box next to File name extensions so you can manually change the file extensions. On a Mac, select all the files. Click the Action menu and select Rename. Now type m4a in the Find field and m4b in the Replace with field, then click Rename.
Before you import the files into the Audiobooks section in iTunes or the Books app on your Catalina Mac, you should remove the entry in your Music library so the audiobook won't show up in both places. To do this, select all the imported discs, right-click on one of them, and then select the Delete from Library command.
Then click the button to Delete Song. Next, you need to import the album as an audiobook. PC users will need iTunes for this, while those running Catalina should turn to the Books app.
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Since the files are already on the computer, you will not have to use the physical CDs. In iTunes, move to the Audiobooks section. Select the folder for your audiobook and click Select Folder. Select the folder for your audiobook and click Add. Your audiobook is added to your audiobooks library with the right name, location, and album art all intact.
You can now listen to them via your computer and sync them to your mobile device, even your Apple Watch. Surviving a long and varied career in publishing, advertising, and IT, Lance Whitney now wears a few different technology hats. By day, he's a journalist, software trainer, and sometime Web developer.
By night, he's asleep.
Click Yes, and the import process begins. You receive an alert after the first CD has been imported. Click the eject button in the upper-right corner and swap the first CD with the second one. Repeat until all the CDs are imported into your library. You can then view the entire book in your Music library, either by browsing to it alphabetically by author or by peeking in the Recently Added section. Next, click each imported disc to view the titles for each track.
You may find some tracks have the wrong name, no name, or a name you want to change. Right-click on one of those tracks and click Song Info from the pop-up menu. In the Song field, type the name you wish to give the track. Repeat those steps for any other tracks whose names you want to change. After importing your CD, you might find it has no album art attached to it. If the right cover art is located, you can then perform the same step on the other CDs.
Securely Erasing SSDs, and Why Not To
Depending on the book, iTunes or the Music app may not be able to track down the correct art, so you will need to give it a helping hand. Open your web browser and conduct an image search for the audiobook by title. Find the right image, right-click it, and choose the Save command to save it to your computer. Back in iTunes or the Music app, select all the imported discs for that audiobook. Right-click on any of the discs and select Get Info from the pop-up menu.
Lance Whitney Freelance Writer. PCMag reviews products independently , but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page.