"attempted to access a path that is not on the disk"

Richard5

New Member
Hi, first post and not very computer literate so please bear with me...
I've recently downloaded Eraser 6.07 and have run a clean-up on free disk space several times (which has taken many hours, so must have done something!) but many of the files I'd like to see the back of (previously deleted) still come up on a search (jpeg files), although the task log shows a few minor errors but nothing that looks serious (mostly failure to erase cluster tips, which I though shouldn't matter for a basic clean-up?). I've run the clean from both user accounts, running as administrator.

I've also tried selecting the files that come up in a search individually and right-clicking 'eraser-erase' (having exited the eraser icon at the bottom and selecting 'run as adminstrator' from the eraser icon on the desktop (I found that tip here)), but immediately get the message "attempted to access a path that is not on the disk". The Operating System is Windows XP. Any help with this would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Richard.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
I too have seen this error with earlier versions of Eraser, but not with 6.0.7. Joel, who might recall the particular issue, is unable to post at the moment, so I'm rather on my own ...

Please start by completely uninstalling Eraser 6, and deleting the registry entries and Task List manually; there is information on how to do this in the FAQ. As you are using XP, it might also be worth checking that you have the correct Root Certificates installed (see this thread). Then try to reinstall Eraser. Let us know how you get on.

David
 

Richard5

New Member
Thanks for your reply David. I've tried to do as you said using the links you provided: deleted task list and downloaded november 2009 root certificates update from microsoft, both seemed to work okay, but not at all sure about the registry entires as I couldn't find their location. Anyway, confirming my opening statement about computer literacy above, my OS is Vista not XP, not sure how much a difference this makes. Re-installed Eraser and tried to erase a single file, same message as before. Really sorry for the wrong OS information previously. Could you advise please?

Thanks,

Richard.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
The problem is that it can't be as simple as a bug in the Eraser code, or we'd all see it. So it's one of those awkward things that is a function of your particular setup.

I hesitate to suggest this, as it has other potential consequences, but please could you download and install the latest development build (2154), and see if that works. I'd suggest that, as this is a development build, you should uninstall 6.0.7 and delete its Task List before installing build 2154. If that fails, there is a black box crash recorder you can enable, so that we can (hopefully) look at the crash in more detail.

David
 

Richard5

New Member
I removed the previous version and loaded the latest as suggested (Complete rather than Typical this time). Ran a task to clear unused disk space and after 11 minutes it stopped with the message 'the task was cancelled'. If you can direct me to the black box recorder I'll pass the information from there. Or perhaps you have another suggestion?

Thanks,

Richard.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
There is an option in the Settings window to enable the black box plugin. It does nothing until the program crashes, then produces a crash log which it asks to upload when you re-start Eraser. At that point, please post again, and I'll explain where to go from there.

I think that the problem you had with build 2154 is a known issue; it always crashes when you attempt to wipe free space and cluster tips on a system drive. If I change the task to remove the wiping of cluster tips, that works for me. What I would really like to know is whether you can how erase files normally with Build 2154, that is has it resolved your earlier problem?

David
 

Richard5

New Member
Well, if the file hasn't been deleted so I know its location, 2154 allows me to erase it no problem.

What I was doing before was a search of jpegs on the C drive and noticed that previously deleted files were coming up. I'd then right click on the file in the list and Eraser (this was with the latest stable version) was one of the options in the drop-down list, but when I tried to remove it I got the message in the title of this thread.

If I right click a file in the list with 2154 there is no sign of Eraser in the drop-down menu. If I just put the filename in as a target to erase it just starts, finishes, no messages in the log, file still there when I search again. I can't identify a location for it as I don't know where it is (somewhere in the deleted files ether). So, no, the original problem persists as it is previously deleted files I need to clear up.

However, I'll try an 'unused space' wipe but click the cluster tips option off, you think that should work?

Thanks a lot for your time with this.

Richard.
 

Richard5

New Member
Oh yeah, I'll run it with cluster tips as well so you can view the crash log.
 

netherstar

New Member
This may be completely out in left field, but that error message sounds familiar. You say that when you find deleted files you right click them to try and shred them again. What happens when you left click? Do the files open normally?
I ask because I was once using "someone else's" file shredder and occasionally it would shred the file but leave the icon in the folder. When I tried to open the file or shred it again I would get something similar to the error in the name of this post.
 

Richard5

New Member
@nether star: thanks for the input, the files won't open, 'cannot find location or has been deleted' or some such, but there is a preview of the file available so they're certainly around somewhere!

@DavidHB: Ran the unused space wipe last night without cluster tips, ran with a warning (System Restore or Volume Shadow Copies enabled - something to do with that MS download as it didn't appear before? Does it need to be dealt with? Claims to be a security issue), gobbled up space (will view thread on that later), completed without errors, but files still come up in a jpeg search. What next?

I've also run it with cluster tips and the crash box enabled. How much am I giving away if I send it to you?!

Thanks again,

Richard.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
I don't know why the problem occurs in 6.0.7 (I thought it had been fixed), but if Build 2154 is working - with the limitations outlined above - I hope that makes it sufficiently usable for day to day use, at leastuntil a new stable release is issued.

Please note that If you revert from a 6.1 build to 6.0.7, you need to follow the advice in the sticky at the head of this forum before you do so.

David
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Richard5 said:
I've also run it with cluster tips and the crash box enabled. How much am I giving away if I send it to you?
You don't send it to me (thank goodness!), but to the Heidi server used by the Eraser programming team. There is a lengthy explanation that pops up when Eraser ask to send the error report; at that point you can cancel the transmission (untick all the reports and press OK).

David
 

Richard5

New Member
Unfortunately neither version will clean my unused disk space properly and so the items I previously deleted remain on the machine, the removal of which was my reason for downloading it in the first place. So, yes I can use it for removing any future files as long as I erase them rather than delete them, but the problem deleted files remain, which is a little frustrating.

Two final questions: I've been using the default erasure method, do you think that using one of the other methods would make any difference to the files/areas accessed? Would you recommend any other software that might overcome my presumably ropey system to access all of the unused space?
 

DavidHB

Active Member
To remove previously deleted files, obviously, you wipe the free space on the drive. With build 2154, that works (or it does for me), but I have to disable the wiping of cluster tips on a system drive. Also, if you have UAC enabled (I don't), you may need to run Eraser 'elevated' (that is, as Administrator); the trick here is to exit Eraser (right-click on the little icon in the system tray, then select that option) before running elevated. If you do these things and still find that you can recover previously deleted files, please describe the problem step by step, and I'll try to figure out whether this is a known problem or not.

If you are saying that you are trying to erase files directly and this is not happening, again, a step by step description is what I need. In this case there are 3 methods of erasing files - creating a task in the Eraser window, sending the files to the Recycle Bin and then erasing the contents of that, and using the context menu of the file(s)/folder concerned. If you can try all 3 methods to establish which do/don't work for you (all of them work for me), again we can narrow down the possibilities.

The issue for me here is that there is no point in my raising a ticket in Trac if the bug is already known, or if the problem is not actually an Eraser bug. So I need to be as clear as possible about what is going on. As you will know, Eraser is developed and supported by volunteers (and so is free to download); if we can all contribute in our own ways to this voluntary effort, we get a better product.

David
 

Richard5

New Member
If you read back through I think you'll see I've tried to decribe all these outcomes before, sorry if I'm not being clear enough, I'll summarise what I've done. I suppose one of the problems here is that the problem keeps changing, depending on which version used (my original post concerned 6.0.7), and which method of erasing is used. Here goes...

I ran 2154 to wipe unused space last night, with cluster tips clicked off, as you said, and running as administrator, task log said all is well (bar the warning noted below) but when I search the computer the files are listed (though unopenable) and with a preview available, so it hasn't done what I needed. I can't really give a step-by-step account beyond that as no errors are reported. For unused space wipes 6.0.7 & 2154 give no error messages but the files remain in the form described above.

When trying to delete them singly when they come up in the search (not accessible but lurking somewhere), 6.0.7 gives the message in the OP.

For single file deletions the problem is I don't have a location - they've been deleted (and recycle bin emptied) - so they won't go in the recycle bin, or open. For method one it means I can't browse for the file to get either version to erase it; for method two, I can't send them to recycle as they can't be found; for method three, not sure what the 'context menu' is, but they only show up in a search of the computer and again the lack of a known location seems to stop me from doing anything with them. All this applies to 6.0.7 and 2154.

If I'd had Eraser before I deleted this stuff I'd be fine now, I could just erase them instead of deleting (I've tried this with current files and both versions do it fine), my problem is exclusively with its ability to clean my unused space, so that the files I naievly thought were gone will really be gone. I'm wondering if it would be an idea to recover the files (recommend anything for that? Recuva?), then erase them?

I totally appreciate the work you're doing and hope a solution to this problem will be generally useful, although as you pointed out earlier it may a peculiarity of my machine's set-up.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Thanks, Richard. I may have been obtuse before, but I think I do understand the problem better now. Better, that is, but not 100%. The problems point less to a bug in Eraser (though that is always a possibility) than to issues that have arisen from the way the NTFS file system works.

Richard5 said:
I ran 2154 to wipe unused space last night, with cluster tips clicked off, as you said, and running as administrator, task log said all is well (bar the warning noted below) but when I search the computer the files are listed (though unopenable) and with a preview available, so it hasn't done what I needed. I can't really give a step-by-step account beyond that as no errors are reported. For unused space wipes 6.0.7 & 2154 give no error messages but the files remain in the form described above.
Assuming that the search was the usual Windows/Explorer search, what seems to have happened is that Eraser has wiped the file data, but not the shadow copy or possibly the MFT entry. The MFT entry should have been deleted by Eraser, but, in the circumstances you describe, may not have been. The NTFS file system squirrels data away in all sorts of unexpected places; while, if Eraser gets a free run at a file, it will usually handle the whole of the NTFS data structure, wiping free space is dependent of course on whether the space is actually marked as free. It is also dependent on the NTFS file structure being in good health, and it might be worth running a disk check to make sure that is the case. I also believe (though only on the basis of anecdotal evidence) that wipe free space works better when the drive is not fragmented.

Richard5 said:
If I'd had Eraser before I deleted this stuff I'd be fine now, I could just erase them instead of deleting (I've tried this with current files and both versions do it fine), my problem is exclusively with its ability to clean my unused space, so that the files I naievly thought were gone will really be gone. I'm wondering if it would be an idea to recover the files (recommend anything for that? Recuva?), then erase them?
Recuva is more than a file recovery program, and as such it is an excellent complement to Eraser (it too is free). When you have run an Eraser wipe, scanning the disk with Recuva enables to to find out what has been left behind, which is usually quite a lot, though rarely much of importance. Recuva then has a feature that allows you to wipe the files that it finds (single pass only). It cannot wipe everything; for example it cannot wipe files that are protected or which are wholly contained within their MFT entry (yes, that happens quite a lot; MFT entries are surprisingly large). Having Eraser do the grunt work of a wipe and then using Recuva for a further clean up is quite effective in my experience.

Summary: run a disk check, then defrag if that would be generally useful. Download and run Recuva, and see what it finds. Wipe as much of that as you can. Then, to be really thorough, run the Eraser wipe and the Recuva process again (don't use the Recuva deep scan, unless you are happy for the process to take ages). That may just fix the issue for you.

Hope this helps now.

David
 

Joel

Active Member
Richard5 said:
I've recently downloaded Eraser 6.07 and have run a clean-up on free disk space several times (which has taken many hours, so must have done something!) but many of the files I'd like to see the back of (previously deleted) still come up on a search (jpeg files), although the task log shows a few minor errors but nothing that looks serious (mostly failure to erase cluster tips, which I though shouldn't matter for a basic clean-up?). I've run the clean from both user accounts, running as administrator.
If you are running Windows Search (not the little puppy in the XP Search Companion) the files are actually indexed in a database. Erasing the file doesn't erase the index, which can be a privacy compromise. If so, you are encouraged to disable the search functionality.

Richard5 said:
@nether star: thanks for the input, the files won't open, 'cannot find location or has been deleted' or some such, but there is a preview of the file available so they're certainly around somewhere.
It's most definitely a ghost entry. Refresh the folder.

DavidHB said:
Thanks, Richard. I may have been obtuse before, but I think I do understand the problem better now. Better, that is, but not 100%. The problems point less to a bug in Eraser (though that is always a possibility) than to issues that have arisen from the way the NTFS file system works.

Assuming that the search was the usual Windows/Explorer search, what seems to have happened is that Eraser has wiped the file data, but not the shadow copy or possibly the MFT entry. The MFT entry should have been deleted by Eraser, but, in the circumstances you describe, may not have been. The NTFS file system squirrels data away in all sorts of unexpected places; while, if Eraser gets a free run at a file, it will usually handle the whole of the NTFS data structure, wiping free space is dependent of course on whether the space is actually marked as free. It is also dependent on the NTFS file structure being in good health, and it might be worth running a disk check to make sure that is the case. I also believe (though only on the basis of anecdotal evidence) that wipe free space works better when the drive is not fragmented.
Sounds more like a case of the Search index.

You can try deleting the entire index (It's in File Indexing options) and doing another free space erase. The files should no longer appear.
 

Richard5

New Member
Thanks David and Joel for the replies. I've done all the defragging and CCleaner bit and my computer is really bothered, running slow, low disk space, etc. and the problem files stubbornly remain. So I uninstalled Eraser, CCleaner, and Recuva for the moment.

The good news is I switched off the file indexing and the problem file doesn't come up in a general jpeg search, but only one (deleted!) jpeg does. Weird. Anyway, I found a location where ALL the pictures I've saved are automatically (it seems) copied: Appdata/Local/Microsoft/Windows Photo Gallery/Original Images. Is this normal? P*ssed me off.

Given that I know I can access the problem file location now it should be a simple case of Erasing it (since my original problem appeared to be with unused space erasure). The bad news is, having downloaded/uninstalled various versions of Eraser, despite following the usual guide (deleting the task list before installing) the bugger won't download for me anymore - long message about some Internet/Temp files..../Eraser1893 is not a valid Win32 application.

If you can be ar*ed to help again it'd be great, but I'd fully understand if you've given up on me, pretty sure there's nothing to be tweaked in Eraser to solve it, probably me that needs tweaking.

Cheers,

Richard.
 

Joel

Active Member
Richard5 said:
The good news is I switched off the file indexing and the problem file doesn't come up in a general jpeg search, but only one (deleted!) jpeg does. Weird. Anyway, I found a location where ALL the pictures I've saved are automatically (it seems) copied: Appdata/Local/Microsoft/Windows Photo Gallery/Original Images. Is this normal? P*ssed me off.
Yes. It's a Feature from the Photo Gallery.

Richard5 said:
Given that I know I can access the problem file location now it should be a simple case of Erasing it (since my original problem appeared to be with unused space erasure). The bad news is, having downloaded/uninstalled various versions of Eraser, despite following the usual guide (deleting the task list before installing) the bugger won't download for me anymore - long message about some Internet/Temp files..../Eraser1893 is not a valid Win32 application.
Clear your cache and re-download.
 
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