"Done, with errors" Sort of like the program...

pristine2

New Member
Whenever I try to use eraser anywhere in my local settings folder (user/apdata/local) on Window 7, it doesn't work.

These are not protected system files, and lockhunter says no processes are using them. Local settings is, of course, where a huge amount of sensitive data accumulates.

The eraser log states the frustrating and hugely unenlightening "value does not fall within the expected range." What is that supposed to mean to a user?

Don't mean to sound frustrated, but the eraser program of three years ago was for more stable, and far more effective, at least for me.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
This has been reported before, but I don't think Joel has got to the bottom of the cause. So far, the only possible fix that seems to have worked for one user is to uninstall Eraser 6.0.7, and download and install a recent development builds (as I write, the most recent is 6.1.0.2250).

The new build will make a bit of a song and dance about saying that your old task list is incompatible, but otherwise, if my experience is anything to go by, you will find that it is at least as stable as 6.0.7, and it has a number of useful new features. Please let us know whether installing it fixes the problem. If it doesn't, it is probably better in any case to work with the newer build (which has debugging code built in) to find a fix.

As regards your general point, Eraser 6 (which is a complete re-write) works better under Windows 7 and Vista than Eraser 5. The rewrite was required more than anything by changes to the Windows Security model which (unnecessarily in my view) make Eraser's job very much harder than it was under XP.

David
 

Joel

Active Member
The error message has been puzzling me too. Instead of 6.1 David recommends, I suggest a 6.0 nightly. If that still yields the same error, then use 6.2 and enable the BlackBox crash reporting component. Collect an error report and submit it, please.
 

pristine2

New Member
Joel said:
The error message has been puzzling me too. Instead of 6.1 David recommends, I suggest a 6.0 nightly. If that still yields the same error, then use 6.2 and enable the BlackBox crash reporting component. Collect an error report and submit it, please.
Thanks, and I understand the difficulties, but I am de-Erasing my system until the program has gone through a few corrective iterations. Perpetual beta doesn't appeal, and I can't spare any more than the several hours I've already expended "troubleshooting" Eraser based on a memory of how good the program once was.

I don't know how much I can trust free alternatives like Fileshredder to extinguish data -- but at least they purport to remove the files. Using Fileshredder, the deleted files disappear and, at first blush anyway, are irretrievable once wiped. There are no such refinements as cluster tip control, context menus or progress summaries & logs (actually the summaries had disappeared from Eraser anyway), and no more forums like this. But at least it *works.*

Just for the record, I've triple verified that I have full ownership/permissions of the files Eraser refuses to delete, and that they are not read-only or being used by any other process. I can use the Windows delete feature to move them into the recycle bin, or a number of programs like Fileshredder to make them vanish. Erasure, by contrast, quietly refuses to the job asked, offering only cryptic explanations in language that appears to be deliberately obfuscating.

Best,
Richard
 

DavidHB

Active Member
pristine2 said:
I am de-Erasing my system until the program has gone through a few corrective iterations. Perpetual beta doesn't appeal, and I can't spare any more than the several hours I've already expended "troubleshooting" Eraser based on a memory of how good the program once was.
With respect, this is precisely what you should not do, if you ever want Joel to fix the problems. Open source projects are entirely dependent on user feedback, and in this sense are often more likely to be in 'perpetual beta' than commercial offerings. Eraser 6 is well beyond the stage at which things just don't work; the errors we are now seeing are all installation- or system-dependent. If Joel doesn't get the error on his system, he needs to work with someone who does.

Incidentally, if you went back a few years on this forum, you'd get the same sort of complaints about Eraser 5 as you are now making about Eraser 6. Eraser 5 was good for you (no doubt running on XP), but it wasn't good for everyone. Likewise, you have issues with Eraser 6, but it's fine for me.

David
 

pristine2

New Member
Ok, I'll put it another way. I gave it my best shot, and I've been defeated. I'm all for open source, but my time is limited, and this problem is so central as to render the program useless. There does not seem to be a solution, and I don't have any programming skills to offer.

Ciao
 

DavidHB

Active Member
But if you didn't even try the newer build, as recommended by Joel, isn't that cutting off your nose to spite your face?

David
 

pristine2

New Member
DavidHB said:
But if you didn't even try the newer build, as recommended by Joel, isn't that cutting off your nose to spite your face?

David
Huh? I uninstalled 6.0.7, then tried two of the "nightly builds", then re-installed 6.0.7, described as "stable," when the problem failed to disappear. As far as I can see I'm out of options. One has to put a time limit on these things.
 

Joel

Active Member
I think at this juncture I should give my 2 cents' worth.

Eraser's code bears the signature of 3 people: Sami Tolvanen, the original founder who designed the initial Eraser, Garrett Trant, who took over from Sami after he finished school and didn't have time to maintain code, and myself who took the liberty to rewrite Eraser from scratch. Along the way, we've also had many contributors: Overwriter who did a splendid job answering support questions, Dennis van Lith who helped with the design, Chris Wagers who did testing and David who's helping with the forums today. We've had many other people who contributed in a very small (but not insignificant) way through questions, pointing out bugs and helping to see them get fixed. If you were you compare this to commercial software houses, we run a very tight ship, especially considering that we are doing this without cost to the user AND that we are doing this in our spare time. In other words, Eraser is striving for excellence against the odds. In my opinion, biased as it may be, Eraser 6 has done a very good job thus far but this would not have been possible without the effort and feedback from the community. As much as I cannot implement features and bugfixes as fast as I wish to, to the fullest of my capabilities and circumstances allowing, I try. Having said that, the OSS development cycle is not possible without input. Commercial software companies rely on hired beta testers who are paid for their feedback. Eraser doesn't have this luxury.

All software are in "perpetual beta." It's simply a matter of terminology: problems are always found in code, without exception. The main thing which differentiates so-called "stable" software and "beta" software to most users is the amount of time for a problem to be recognised, and thereon the amount of time it takes to be fixed (I would like to point out that one school of thought among software engineers, myself included, think of "alpha", "beta", "RC" and "stable" differently). Even the very operating system you run is not devoid of bugs. An extreme example: blue screens of death are usually cryptic, except to the driver engineer. Users have no idea what's going on except that their work is gone. Would one consider Windows to be beta software then? I do not think so. So why is there a distinction between that and software which runs atop the Windows platform, or any other platform for that matter? I would therefore conclude there is no such thing as a software perfected. The closest a program comes to perfection is when it is retired from active maintenance, ironically as bugs are no longer being found by developers and users alike -- the death sentence. One may be quick to point that Eraser 5 has been retired -- would you say it's perfection? I don't think so: it doesn't deal with changes in Windows as well as it should be. The code has aged significantly, and features just don't scale to modern operating environments. Users' workflows also change with time; while users primarily did tasks sequentially in the past, we see users multi-tasking more often than not today.

So where do we go from here? I urge all users of Eraser, and all other OSS, to be proactive users. Even if users cannot contribute code, spend time debugging, or even contribute financially to the running costs (yes -- they exist even if we OSS devs do not charge for our work), the least they can do is to give constructive criticism. Do not just bury applications just because they don't work for you. Chances are, if you provide steps to replicate your problem or give a particular environment, your problem will not only get solved, it would prevent it from occurring on other users with the same environment. Commercial software houses don't fix bugs autonomously unless they bump into it in the course of them using it; why should users be frustrated at software when they refuse to work when they do not voice it out (or take proactive steps to solve it?) Support contracts involve user participation, too.

Richard, if you are of the opinion that this is a waste of time, I apologise.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
pristine2 said:
I've re-read your posts, and they don't specifically mention the installs. But I apologise for any misunderstanding.

pristine2 said:
I uninstalled 6.0.7, then tried two of the "nightly builds", then re-installed 6.0.7, described as "stable," when the problem failed to disappear. As far as I can see I'm out of options. One has to put a time limit on these things.
Actually, possibly the most productive option is the one you missed. That is, in a development build, enable the black box recorder and initiate the crash again. If you do that, I can tell you how to access the crash data (it would be helpful to know which version of Windows 7 you are using). There is a facility to upload the report, but (1) it rarely if ever works for me, and (2) it contains both a screen shot and a full memory dump which some people, for understandable reasons, prefer not to give away. The logs which are the crash report are fairly short and can be cut and pasted into a post.

David
 

freeking

New Member
actually mine says completed, with errors, immediately. rookie trying here. how do i enable black box on 6.1?
 

DavidHB

Active Member
freeking said:
actually mine says completed, with errors, immediately. rookie trying here. how do i enable black box on 6.1?
Enabling Black Box may not be appropriate in your case, as the program did not crash. What does the task log say? I'd guess that you have a permissions issue.

David
 
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