‘Delete All Data’ leaves sensitive data in Windows 10 and 11 21H2 – Update

original post 02-23-2022, 14:54 –

Dutch MVP Program Rudy Ohms He discovered a serious flaw in Windows’ built-in disk cleanup tools, as described on his blog Call4Cloud† If the option to delete all data is used, for example to resell a system, the personal data will be left. The problem occurs with local and remote control scans, on Windows 10 and 11 versions 21H2.

In most cases, the folder named Windows.old remains on the emptied drive, despite the warning that all data, personal settings, and work data will be deleted. In addition, Bitlocker encryption is disabled, which means that all data is stored unencrypted. The same goes for OneDrive files that are chosen to always keep them local.

Ooms has created a PowerShell script that can solve this problem. If the script is executed before resetting the device, the personal data cannot be found. A ticket has also been opened with Microsoft, so the bug can be officially fixed.

In case you want to do a reset or update soon, you can also delete Windows.old files manually afterwards. It is then recommended that you use a tool to ensure that the data cannot be found on the disk.

Update 02-25-2022, 19:33 –

Microsoft has confirmed that folders containing files data redistribution (Application-specific data) from OneDrive or OneDrive Business, among others, is not always properly removed during a system reset – which may or may not be done remotely. The developer is currently working on a fix, pending, users will be able to sign out of OneDrive or unlink their account before resetting the system. Anyone can already perform the reset Follow these steps (link) To delete the remaining data.

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Winton Frazier

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