ntfswipe Man page

NTFSWIPE(8) System Manager’s Manual NTFSWIPE(8)


ntfswipe – overwrite unused space on an NTFS volume


ntfswipe [options] device


ntfswipe clears all or part of unused space on an NTFS volume by over‐
writing with zeroes or random bytes.


Below is a summary of all the options that ntfswipe accepts. Nearly
all options have two equivalent names. The short name is preceded by –
and the long name is preceded by –. Any single letter options, that
don’t take an argument, can be combined into a single command, e.g.
-fv is equivalent to -f -v. Long named options can be abbreviated to
any unique prefix of their name.

-a, –all
Wipe all unused space. This may take significant time. If the
option –unused-fast (or -U) is also present, the faster wiping
method is used.

-b, –bytes BYTE-LIST
Define the allowed replacement bytes which are drawn randomly to
overwrite the unused space. BYTE-LIST is a comma-separated list
of values in range 0-255 expressed in octal, decimal or hexadec‐
imal base.

-c, –count NUM
Define the number of times the unused space is to be overwrit‐

-d, –directory
Wipe all the directory indexes, which may contain names of
deleted files.

-f, –force
This will override some sensible defaults, such as not using a
mounted volume. Use this option with caution.

-h, –help
Show a list of options with a brief description of each one.

-i, –info
Display details about unused space, without wiping anything.

-l, –logfile
Overwrite the logfile (update journal).

-m, –mft
Overwrite the unused space in the MFT (main file table, which
contains the file names, and the contents of short files).

-n, –no-action
Executes the wiping process without writing to device.

-p, –pagefile
Overwrite the Windows swap space.

-q, –quiet
Suppress some debug/warning/error messages.

-s, –undel
Overwrite the space which had been allocated to a file which has
been deleted recently and is still undeletable.

-t, –tails
Overwrite the space at the end of files which is unused, but
allocated because the allocations are always done by full clus‐

-u, –unused
Overwrite the space which is currently not allocated to any file
(but may have been used in the past).

-U, –unused-fast
Overwrite the space which is currently not allocated to any
file, trying not to overwrite the space not written to since the
previous wiping.

-v, –verbose
Display more debug/warning/error messages. This option may be
used twice to display even more messages.

-V, –version
Show the version number, copyright and license of ntfswipe.

Wipe out all unused space in an NTFS volume.

ntfswipe -a /dev/sda1

Wipe out all deleted file names from an NTFS volume.

ntfswipe -dms /dev/sda1


There are no known problems with ntfswipe. If you find a bug please
send an email describing the problem to the development team:

ntfswipe was written by Richard Russon, Anton Altaparmakov and Yura
Pakhuchiy. It was ported to ntfs-3g by Erik Larsson.

ntfswipe is part of the ntfs-3g package and is available from:



ntfs-3g(8), ntfsls(8), ntfsprogs(8)

ntfs-3g 2015.3.14AR.1 June 2014 NTFSWIPE(8)

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