What is AceErase and what does it do?

AceErase is a secure File Shredder and a PC & Internet History Eraser program in one. It provides a variety of powerful data destruction and file shredding algorithms that meet and exceed Department of Defense strength and standards so you can permanently overwrite the data in your sensitive files rendering that data unrecoverable.

AceErase Pro additionally provides a convenient “Shred Your Tracks” feature that permanently erases your PC and internet activity allowing you to keep your working and internet browsing habits private.

Everyone uses a paper shredder these days to securely destroy sensitive documents before throwing them away. Think of AceErase as a digital shredder for your computer files!

What is included in the FREE Trial Version of AceErase?

The FREE TRIAL version of AceErase File Shredder includes the following…

  • Fully functional Fast (Zero Pattern) Algorithm, limited to one pass.
  • Easy Drag and Drop interface.
  • Per-item progress bars, status indicators, and total progress bar.
  • Fast, multithreaded design.
  • Comprehensive feedback with AceErase® log.
  • Supports USB flash drives (thumb drives, pen drives).
  • Portable: Can run from your USB flash drive. Take it with you anywhere.
  • Built-in Check for Updates tool.
  • Free updates until the next major version release.
  • The Free trial version offers 15 number of uses.
  • Absolutely no spyware, adware, or malware of any kind, ever!

Compare the features between the Professional Version vs. Free Trial Version here…

What file shredding algorithms does AceErase include?

AceErase® Pro includes the following file shredding algorithms…
  • Fast (Zero Pattern) – Overwrites all addressable locations of the file with zeros before deleting. The number of passes is chosen by the user (up to 99 passes).
  • Pseudo Random Data – Overwrites all addressable locations of the file with random characters before deleting. The number of passes is chosen by the user (up to 99 passes).
  • US DOD 5220.22-M (8-306. C) – Overwrites all addressable locations of the file with a single character before deleting. The character is chosen by the user. The number of passes is chosen by user (up to 99 passes).
  • US DOD 5220.22-M (8-306. E) – Overwrites all addressable locations with a character, its complement, then a random character before deleting. The initial character is chosen by the user. This is a 3 pass wipe.
  • Gutmann Method (Most Secure) – Goes far beyond government requirements! The file is overwritten with a special sequence of characters, as designed by Peter Gutmann, before deleting. This is a 35 pass wipe.

For more information see: AceErase File Shredding Algorithms

What are the system requirements?

Operating System:
Windows 8, Windows 7, & Window Vista (32 bit/64 bit), Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000
Memory (RAM):
32+ MB
Hard Drive space:
7+ MB free
CPU Speed:
300+ MHz
Supported Browser:
Internet Explorer 5.01 or later (needed for “Shred Your Tracks” browser items only: internet history, internet temporary files, internet cookies, IE’s address bar history list)

Is it portable? Can AceErase run from my USB flash drive?

Yes! AceErase is compact enough that it can run standalone from a USB flash drive (pen drive, thumb drive). To make it portable, after installing it on your system, just copy the AceErase.exe file (found under your Programs folder) to your flash drive.

When you copy only the executable, you will not be able to access context sensitive help or main help. If you would like to be able to access the help files, just copy over the AceEraseHelp.chm file too (also found under the Programs folder) to the same location where you copied the executable (AceErase.exe) file.

Now you can run AceErase from any Windows® computer with a USB port without having to install it! Take it with you when you use computers at a public place, such as a library, school’s computer lab, office to help protect your privacy.

Does AceErase shred files on USB flash drives?

Yes, AceErase lets you shred files and folders on your USB flash drives. It will even detect and let you shred unused free space on USB flash drives.

Does AceErase shred file tips (cluster tips, file slack)?

Yes, both the free trial and pro versions of AceErase automatically shred the cluster tips of any file shredded.

What is the MD5 number on the download page for?

In cryptography, MD5 (Message-Digest algorithm 5) is a widely used, secure cryptographic hash function with a 128-bit hash value. As an Internet standard (RFC 1321), MD5 has been employed in a wide variety of security applications, and is commonly used to check the integrity of files. This digital signature is like a fingerprint for a file; changing just one single byte in the file will result in a different MD5 hash.

We provide the MD5 hash of our AceErase setup file for those users who wish to check the integrity of the file after downloading. By simply comparing the MD5 hash of the file you have downloaded with the one from our website you can determine whether or not the file is exactly the same.

To generate and check the MD5 signature of a file after download you can use the free program MD5Checker, found at http://getmd5checker.com/ or you may download it from CNET’s Download.com here . Or you may use any other MD5 generator/checker. There are many to choose from, just Google “MD5 checkers” or “MD5 generators”.

MD5 Hashes for all AceErase Releases:

Below is a list of all AceErase versions and their corresponding MD5 number. We recommend that you check the file integrity after downloading (especially if you downloaded AceErase from an external website) to make sure the file has not been tampered with.

Professional Versions

AceErase Pro v1.50.0081 – MD5: 3197ACD807FFA2CE8AED9957F49390BC
AceErase Pro v1.51.0000 – MD5: EC25E7F3ADCE2DAFB91D97E44FB1CFEB
AceErase Pro v2.00.0000 – MD5: E26D429BDFFEE4152331B2E3445E8601

Free Trial Versions

AceErase Trial v1.50.0081 – MD5: E5B751A21A734F32C2BA07F101F24E9B
AceErase Trial v1.51.0000 – MD5: 151F4009F203F66217C511BE3C50C5A4
AceErase Trial v2.00.0000 – MD5: 6441BE8403EF7FA9D089E6F3E8B87E31

What are directory junctions and how can they be so dangerous?

A directory junction is a junction point that redirects a reference from one directory to another directory on the same machine. In the Unix world it is known as a symbolic link or symlink. Juntion points were introduced in Windows 2000 and later operating systems with NTFS 3.0.

What makes a directory junction so dangerous? An attacker can set a directory junction to trap an unsuspecting user into potentially deleting his entire operating system, or other equally important directory or folder. How? If a user (or program ran by the user) issues a destructive recursive command, such as RMDIR /S (to remove directory recursively including sub folders) and that directory contains a directory junction to another directory, for example your c:/windows/system32 directory, you will unknowingly destroy your entire system folder!

If you use a file shredder, internet history eraser, or any other type of program that makes destructive recursive calls then you should make sure you know if that program can detect and avoid directory junctions.

AceErase automatically detects and avoids traversing through directory junctions. Shred safely with AceErase!

Does AceErase detect and avoid directory junctions?

Yes, AceErase automatically detects and avoids traversing through directory junctions.

We use secure coding techniques and believe that it is the responsibility of every application that makes destructive changes recursively through a directory structure to recognize directory junctions and avoid traversing through them.

Please read our other FAQ article “What are directory junctions and how can they be so dangerous?” to learn why directory junctions can potentially harm your system when using file shredders that don’t detect or avoid them.

How Do I Use AceErase Command Line Options?

AceErase® Command Line Options (Advanced)

AceErase now provides Command Line Options for the "Shred Your Tracks" feature. You can use these command line options in combination with the Windows® Task Scheduler to schedule automatic shredding of your computer and internet history.

Read "How do I Schedule AceErase to Run Automatically?" for more information.

Important Note! Command line options should only be used by advanced computer users!

Windows® Vista®, Windows® 7, or Windows® 8+ Users Only:
In order to bypass the User Account Control (UAC) confirmation dialog that is displayed by Windows® when shredding certain items that require administrator privileges (such as Cookies, Temporary Internet Files, and Internet History) you must run the command prompt using "Run as Administrator".

Please use caution when shredding any files or folders on your computer. Once an item is shredded it will be permanently unrecoverable. The shred process can not be reversed!

Usage:

           AceErase.exe [ -auto [stealth][shutdown][nolog][noconfirm] ]  [ -help ]

          (Note: parameters in '[ ]' are optional. Do not type the '[ ]'s.)

'-auto' switch (example: AceErase -auto ):
AceErase runs automatically and begins shredding un-interrupted using the current options and Shred Your Tracks settings. No messages, warnings, or confirmation dialogs are displayed during shredding. The AceErase application is displayed during shredding and closes automatically when done.

Optional arguments for the '-auto' switch (order does not matter):

  • 'stealth' (example: AceErase -auto stealth ):

    Hide the AceErase application window during shredding and don't display any messages, warnings, or confirmation messages while shredding is in progress. (Similar to using '-auto' alone, but 'stealth' hides the AceErase application window.) If used in conjunction with 'shutdown' it will also shutdown the system immediately after shredding is done, forcing all open applications to close and will NOT warn the user or allow the user time to cancel the system shutdown operation.

    Note: an initial confirmation message showing current options and settings will be displayed before shredding is started when using this 'stealth' option. To force shredding to start immediately with no initial confirmation use the 'noconfirm' option together with 'stealth' (example: aceerase -auto stealth noconfirm )

  • 'shutdown' (example: AceErase -auto shutdown ) :

    Perform a system shutdown of Windows when done shredding. If used WITHOUT the 'stealth' option, it displays a 'System shutting down' warning message and gives the user 60 seconds to cancel the shutdown. If used WITH the 'stealth' option, it will shutdown the system immediately after shredding is done, forcing all open applications to close and will NOT warn the user or allow the user to cancel the shutdown.

  • 'nolog' (example: AceErase -auto nolog ):

    Do not log anything to the AceErase log. This setting bypasses any "log level" settings selected under the Options dialog.

  • 'noconfirm' (example: AceErase -auto noconfirm ):

    Don't display the initial confirmation message listing the current AceErase settings/options before starting to shred. This is useful when you want to use command line options to schedule an automatic shredding operation using current settings.

'-help' switch: (example: AceErase -help ):
Display help on using the command line options.

Example Usage Scenarios
AceErase.exe -auto

- Display a confirmation message listing the current settings BEFORE starting the shredding process, run AceErase automatically using the current settings, do not display any warnings or confirmation messages AFTER the shredding process has begun, show the application while running and close the application when done.

AceErase.exe -auto noconfirm

- DO NOT display a confirmation message listing the current settings BEFORE starting the shredding process, run AceErase automatically using the current settings, do not display any warnings or confirmation messages AFTER the shredding process has begun, show the application window while running and close the application when done.

AceErase.exe -auto stealth

- Display an initial confirmation message listing the current settings BEFORE starting the shredding process, run AceErase automatically using the current settings, do not display any warnings or confirmation messages AFTER the shredding process has begun, run AceErase in stealth mode (hide the application window).

AceErase.exe -auto stealth shutdown

- Display an initial confirmation message listing the current settings BEFORE starting the shredding process, run AceErase automatically using the current settings, do not display any warnings or confirmation messages AFTER the shredding process has begun, run AceErase in stealth mode (HIDE the application window), shutdown the computer automatically when done, canceling the shutdown is not possible!

AceErase.exe -auto shutdown

- Display an initial confirmation message listing the current settings BEFORE starting the shredding process, run AceErase automatically using the current settings, do not display any warnings or confirmation messages AFTER the shredding process has begun, SHOW the application window while running, shutdown the computer when done but give the user a chance to cancel the shutdown (60 seconds).

AceErase.exe -auto stealth nolog shutdown

- Display an initial confirmation message listing the current settings BEFORE starting the shredding process, run AceErase automatically using the current settings, do not display any warnings or confirmation messages AFTER the shredding process has begun, HIDE the application window while running (stealth mode), DO NOT log anything to the AceErase log (even if errors occur), shutdown the computer automatically when done, canceling shutdown is not possible!

AceErase.exe -auto stealth nolog shutdown noconfirm

- DO NOT display an initial confirmation listing the current settings BEFORE starting the shredding process, run AceErase automatically using the current settings, DO NOT display any warnings or confirmations AFTER the shredding process has begun, HIDE the application window while running (stealth mode), DO NOT log anything to the AceErase log (even if errors occur), shutdown the computer automatically when done, canceling shutdown is will not possible!
Please be careful with this setting! This is the most covert setting, be sure you know what you are doing!

How do I Schedule AceErase to Run Automatically?

If you use AceErase on a regular basis to Shred Your Tracks, you can now use AceErase's new Command Line Options together with the Windows Task Scheduler Wizard to create a task that runs AceErase for you automatically according to a schedule you choose.

For example, if you use AceErase every week to shred your temporary internet files, cookies, internet history, and address bar history, here are step-by-step instructions how you can schedule these tasks to run automatically.

Note: you must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps. If you aren't logged on as an administrator, you can only change settings that apply to your own user account.

  • Step 1. Open Task Scheduler:

    - On Windows XP: Go to Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks > Add Scheduled Task
    - On Windows Vista or Windows 7+: Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler

    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  • Step 2. Click the Action menu, and then click Create Basic Task.
  • Step 3. Type a name for the task and an optional description, and then click Next.

  • Step 4. Select Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or One time, and then click Next.

  • Step 5. Specify the schedule you want to use, and then click Next.
  • Step 6. To schedule AceErase to start automatically, click Start a program, and then click Next.
  • Step 7. Click Browse to find the AceErase program. Add the arguments "-auto noconfirm" in the Add arguments box, and then click Next.

    Note: "-auto" will run AceErase using the current Options and Shred Your Tracks settings, and "noconfirm" will bypass the initial confirmation message presented by AceErase, allowing the program to run uninterrupted. You may also use any other Command Line Options you wish here.

  • Step 8. [Windows Vista/ Windows 7+ only] Place a checkmark in the box titled "Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish", then click Finish.

  • Step 9. [Windows Vista/Windows 7+ only] At the Properties dialog, make sure to place a checkmark in the box titled "Run with highest privileges", in order to bypass any Windows Vista or Windows 7 User Account Control (UAC) confirmation messages. This will allow AceErase to run uninterrupted. Click OK.

  • Step 10. Open AceErase and set the Options and Shred Your Tracks settings you want to use. AceErase will use the current settings whenever it runs as scheduled.


    Important Note! If you change AceErase Options or Shred Your Tracks settings in the future, AceErase will use those new settings when it runs via the Windows Scheduler. So please make sure to check your AceErase settings when you schedule AceErase to run automatically.

I'm getting 'Access Denied' trying to wipe unused disk space on Windows 8+, 7, or Vista.

If you are seeing an “Access Denied” message when trying to shred unused disk space on Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8+, here’s how you can fix it…

On Windows 8+, Windows 7, and Windows Vista operating systems, Microsoft has introduced a new technology and security infrastructure called User Account Control (UAC). It aims to improve the security of Microsoft Windows by limiting application software to standard user privileges until an administrator authorizes an increase or elevation. In essence, even though you may be logged on as an administrator user, you are actually running with lower privileges than a full fledged administrator.

If you are seeing an “Access Denied” error when trying to shred the unused free disk space on your hard drive, the solution is to tell Windows directly to run AceErase ‘As an administrator’. The way to do that is simple, just right-click on the AceErase shortcut on your desktop and select “Run As Administrator”. You will then see a User Account Control dialog asking “Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?” with AceErase File Shredder and History Eraser listed as the Program Name. Click Yes. This will give AceErase the full privileges needed to perform the shred unused free space operation.

If you have any questions not answered here, please contact support. Thank you.