PrivaZer, Deep System Cleaner that removes traces
I first thought that PrivaZer was just another system cleaner like CCleaner or the myriads of alternatives that are available: boy was I wrong. First thing that I liked was the option to run the program as a portable application or install it.
When you then start the program you are asked what you want to do and which device you want to scan.
Besides the option to scan for every trace on the device, you can also perform scans for specific traces. This includes Internet traces, software use, the USB history or Registry traces.
If you are not sure what to select, I suggest you go all-in and select the in-depth scan to see what the program turns up with after the scan. Note that it takes the longest to complete.
You are then presented with a list of locations that you can scan on the selected drive. If you went with the in-depth scan option, you should see all locations selected. You can still uncheck items before you start the scan. When you look through the list you will notice several items that are not really covered by the majority of cleaning applications. This includes traces in the MFT, in free space, the USN Journal or the system memory.
The scan time depends largely on the storage device that you have selected. A scan on a connected 120 Gigabyte Solid State Drive took 1:28 minutes to complete.
The program then gives you the option to look at the traces that it has found before you click on the clean button to remove them from the system. These traces usually open in a new window, and display detailed information.
You can for instance click on website traces under Internet browsing to see which websites were visited in the past on the computer. One issue that you may encounter is that there is no way to select only some of the traces of a location for cleanup, it is always everything or nothing.
Once you are done going through the traces and selecting the locations that you want to cleanup up you should click on cleanup options first. If you do not, Privazer will select the most appropriate option for you. If you choose for yourself, you can select between secure deletions of files, RAM cleanup, or free disk space cleanup operations here.
Once you have clicked on the clean button, you are taken to a new window where the process is displayed in real-time. You will also receiveÂ a warning that the first run may take one, two or even more hours, and that consecutive runs will be much faster. The program details the files and Registry objects cleaned, and displays the free space gain as well in the window.
Besides what has already been mentioned, you can use the program to delete files, folders or the Recycle Bin securely, and to schedule regular cleanups. This is all handled from the main program window where you make your initial selections.
PrivaZer offers features that other cleanup programs do not offer. That alone should be reason enough to have a copy of it - portable or not - on your computer systems at all times.
Especially the option to clean specific traces, e.g. Internet activities, and options to clean locations that other programs do not support are what sets the program apart. All in all a great program that you should definitely try out if you are interested in privacy and security related topics.
“One issue that you may encounter is that there is no way to select only some of the traces of a location for cleanup, it is always everything or nothing.”
That is incorrect. Clicking on “Traces >”, for example, will pop up another window with detailed results and checkboxes.
I’m sorry but I do not have checkboxes there, only in the main window.
Martin, could you elaborate more on ‘traces’ of what? And how this is more thorough then CCleaner?
I am an weekly user of CCleaner w/ the CCEnhancer addon. I also religiously delete my usnjrnl w/ a simple .bat file. I am unclear what PrivaZer finds / cleans.
The MFT and Memory features look intriguing from the pic but I am skeptical of RAM optimizers because they are historically, nonsense that adds crapware and usually f-up a system.
It is not optimizing the RAM. Think of it as cleaning information from unused memory, just like you can clean traces from hard drive space that is currently not occupied with files. MFT is the Master File Table and it too can reveal information. I just read that CCleaner’s free space wiper is also supporting cleaning the MFT, but have not tried that.
Not a bad program, although the first security scan takes quite a long time!
However, after running the program, CCleaner still finds traces, ie Browser cache, history, etc that PrivaZer left behind, so obviously, no software is perfect, but this one is pretty good!
I’ll stick with CCleaner as it does what it’s suppose to do.
Thanks for a great review, Martin!
I think this is worth getting for the MFT optimizer if nothing else. It seems to remove old/obsolete entries. Other than that, I found this got stuff that CCleaner (enhanced) left behind, so either way ya go there will be some stuff that the other guy missed.
Scan was done in a reasonable amount of time while multi-tasking, about a half hour with my cruddy dual core. Mind you, I ran it *right after* CCleaner, and it found a ton of stuff. I disabled it from cleaning cookies (I have certain ones I keep, and it wanted to wipe all), and something else, I forget.
And the best part: It still boots just fine, lol. Good to have in the toolkit, or as a supplement to your cleaning ritual.
*Also, thanks so much for the Superantispyware pro key!
As I stated above, PrivaZer is pretty good and considering that no software is perfect, it’s a handy tool to have.
I ran CCleaner After and it found traces left behind by PrivaZer, so I guess it proves my point. :)
One thing I recommend is to uncheck the Registry cleaner, as based on experience, such cleaners can delete entries in error, which everybody knows, can incapacitate your system!
Best to leave the Registry alone, or if you are an experienced user, manually delete any obsolete entries, very carefully!!
As for SuperAntiSpyware, I won a license last year and the program has proven to be invaluable., a lifesaver on many occasions when my AV misses some garbage!
Gotta love Martin’s giveaways! :)
love it. thnks bro.
Looks exciting. I’d suggest not forgetting the basics : ghost copy of system drive before cleaning …
Doesn’t work for me. I get the install screen which than closes with a web page that the app doen’t support my language (Windows 7 English), with request for email address for notifications about language support.
Ditto. It’s a shame we don’t speak any English, it’d be nice if we could use this terrific piece of software… Don’t you just love it when computer programs think they’re smarter than the user?
The program identify Win7 English as not English.
Somehow its an insult to English speaking foreigners running the OS in their mother language.
Wonder will their translated versions be ‘region-locked’ as well :P
Strange, wonder why they are region-locking their application.
What’s the correct way to pronounce PrivaZer? It’s an odd name if you ask me.. but thanks for the write up, i’m going to try it out on Windows 7 Enterprise.
Ran PrivaZer on XP Pro. Seemed to do a pretty decent job.
BUT… On system reboot Comodo Firewall was disabled and would no longer auto start at Windows boot. Had to completely reinstall Firewall to get it to run again at start-up.
Disabling a Firewall from running is more than a little fishy in my book.
Be careful with this program…
I had the same issue with Comodo and some other 3rd party/OS apps when using the first-ever version of Privazer on Windows 7; I am afraid of trying the latest release! Note: as to why Privazer might be location-locking to English only: since Bush II, according to Federation of American Scientists (fas.org) and other such lists, from time to time computer cryptography and disk erasing apps are classed by USA Feds as “munitions”, usually further as importable but not exportable; on this one, only USA Feds or somebody like Bruce Schneier might be able to show truth.
The first full scan did take a bit of time but I really like this app.
Installed PrivaZer Cleaner on W7 Dell & XP Toshiba.
Ran the Cleaner several times but when rescanned, MOST OF THE TRACES ARE STILL PRESENT? Same thing when running CCLEANER.
What’s the score here?
I ran it on HP Compaq nx9005 with XP SP3. I left everything checked and it was a 40 min. job in total. I was exited about the anticipated speed improvement, however I had to restore the system twice as the computer became completely useless and the most recent system restore didn’t fix it. The computer intitially started fine after a restart and everything seemed to work fine (except the Windows desktop settings – all the XP wallpapers were gone), but it took ages before the computer reacted on any of my commands. Luckily after the two system restores the program was no longer on it otherwise I would instantly bin it.
Privazer contains Virus. I have checked it one virustotal website.
I’ve been using and donating Privazer (on Win 7 and W10) for years now. As a paranoid, i inspect behavior of every update myself and check on security forums and blogs for weeks before installing. I am not aware of any known malicious activity of any release for the past 4-5 years. You must have run into a false positive which happens from time to time.