FreeDOS help system (hhstndrd 1.0.8 en)[erase]

Command: erase

ERASE deletes one or more files.


ERASE [drive][path]filename [/P] [/V] [/?] drive Specifies the drive letter where the file is, e.g. C: path Specifies the path to where the file is, e.g. \example\ filename Specifies the file(s) to delete. Specify multiple files by using wildcards (*,?). A period may be used to specify all files in the current directory, and is the same as *.*


/P Prompts for confirmation before deleting each file. /V Displays all deleted files. /? Shows the help.


For performance reasons ERASE overwrites the first letter of the filename by a '?'. It does not delete the file itself, but it deallocates the space where the content of the file is written. FreeDOS, as other DOSes, recognizes the renamed file (myfile.txt becomes ?yfile.txt) as deleted, no longer shows it and does not offer access to it. Programs like DEBUG which have sector access are able to read the contents of the file. As long as you do not write on the drive you have a chance to restore the file again with UNDELETE, only the first character of the filename will be lost (_yfile.txt). The only ways to delete the file CONTENTS FOR ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN are to fill the disk completely with other files or by using a wipeout tool. The only way to delete a file NAME FOR ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN is to RENAME (REN) the file first (e.g. "a.") and to delete it later (only correct at 8.3 - not at long filenames!) You can also use DEL instead of ERASE. ERASE is a command internal to and needs no other file in order to work.


erase C:\PROGRAM\test.txt

See also:

debug del deltree rd ren rename rmdir undelete ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Copyright (C) 1998 Jim Hall, updated 2007 by W. Spiegl. This file is derived from the FreeDOS Spec Command HOWTO. See the file H2Cpying for copying conditions.