WinHex is in its core a universal hexadecimal editor, particularly helpful in the realm of computer forensics, data recovery, low-level data processing, and IT security. An advanced tool for everyday and emergency use: inspect and edit all kinds of files, recover deleted files or lost data from hard drives with corrupt file systems or from digital camera cards.
Here are some key features of "WinHex":
· Drive cloning, drive imaging
to produce exact duplicates of disks/drives, e.g. to save the time for a full installation of the operating system and other software for several computers/disks of the same type, or to be able to restore a running installation in case of data loss/screwed up Windows (restoration of a backup). Also for computer forensics specialists, since they need to work on a copy when searching for evidence on the object disk. You can clone directly, or from an image file. Menu: Tools | Disk Tools | Clone Disk
· RAM editor
e.g. for debugging purposes (programming), for examining/manipulating any running program and in particular computer games (cheating). Tools | RAM Editor
· Analyzing files
e.g. to determine the type of data recovered as lost cluster chains by ScanDisk or chkdsk. Examples. Tools | Analyze File
· Wiping confidential files or disks
…so no one (not even computer forensics specialists) will be able to retrieve them. To securely erase a file, use File Manager | Delete Irreversibly. For disk wiping, open the disk with the disk editor and use Edit | Fill Disk Sectors. E.g. fill with zero bytes (hexadecimal value 00) or random bytes. WinHex works in accordance with the standard outlined in DoD 5220.22-M (for details, please see this white paper). Also see X-Ways Security.
· Wiping unused space and slack space
…either to close security leaks, to securely destroy previously existing classified files that have been deleted in the traditional way only, or to minimize the size of your disk backups (like WinHex backups or Norton Ghost backups), since initialized space can be compressed 99%. On NTFS drives, WinHex will even offer to wipe all currently unused $Mft (Master File Table) file records, as they may still contain names and fragments of files previously stored in them. File slack can be found in the unused end of the last cluster allocated to a file, which usually contains traces of previously existing files. Slack space - like everything else - is processed by WinHex very fast. Also see X-Ways Security.