Erase unused space

pink99

New Member
Been a great fan of Eraser for many years particularly for securely erasing files.

I used to use Windows 98SE and erasing unused space worked like a treat. I am now using Windows XP Prof SP2 and am now receiving a message "Windows Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close..." when Item Pass is at about 5%.

I am using Eraser 5.82 and have switched off System Restore.

I have read down through this forum and someone else had a problem with disk space. Disk space is not a problem in my case as I have a 160GB partition with 92% free space.

Is there anything else I should be doing to get this to run correctly? Do you need to stop all utilities - e.g. McAfee before using? Can you run erase unused space in Safe Mode?
 

Carver

Member
pink99 said:
Been a great fan of Eraser for many years particularly for securely erasing files.

I used to use Windows 98SE and erasing unused space worked like a treat. I am now using Windows XP Prof SP2 and am now receiving a message "Windows Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close..." when Item Pass is at about 5%.

I am using Eraser 5.82 and have switched off System Restore.

I have read down through this forum and someone else had a problem with disk space. Disk space is not a problem in my case as I have a 160GB partition with 92% free space.

Is there anything else I should be doing to get this to run correctly? Do you need to stop all utilities - e.g. McAfee before using? Can you run erase unused space in Safe Mode?
You aren't supposed to run utilities or do web surfing (when you use a utility it is considered in use and does not get cleaned) when you do a unused space wipe, people usually erase unused space at night when the computer is not in use. If you do a unused space wipe in safe mode it will take twice as long, and show negligible improvement over running a non safe mode scan.
 

pink99

New Member
Many thanks, Carver, for coming back to me.

What I was doing was booting the PC and then immediately doing an erase unused space using Eraser. I was not surfing or doing anything else on the PC that might interfere with the erase unused space process.

Am I right in what you are saying is that all startup progs should be closed down e.g. anti-virus, firewall, spywareguard or any other protecting utilities before running erase used space?

Would'nt running this in Safe Mode ensure that no background processes are running that might interfere with the erase unused space process - would this not be a cleaner way of running this?

I am quite prepared to leave this running for whatever length of time it takes.

Incidently, the reason I thought of doing this was that I ran a utility which showed what files could be recovered despite deleting them - there were some confidential Word documents that I must not have used Eraser on previously and so they could easily be recovered... I value my privacy and that is what erase used space is for. As I said in my previous note, this ran perfectly under Windows 98SE.
 

spy1

Member
pink99 said:
Am I right in what you are saying is that all startup progs should be closed down e.g. anti-virus, firewall, spywareguard or any other protecting utilities before running erase used space?
Here, I don't shut down my AV (NOD32) or disable my "firewall" (Windows ICF) for a free-space wipe - but I do shut down everything else that I can in the System tray. In your case, I'd go ahead and try shutting them all down, just to see if it works then, since I don't know if whatever you're using for A/V firewall is causing the problem.

Yes, shutting down all un-necessary programs is always the way to go before doing a free-space wipe. It's more efficient and less problematic.

pink99 said:
Would'nt running this in Safe Mode ensure that no background processes are running that might interfere with the erase unused space process - would this not be a cleaner way of running this?

I am quite prepared to leave this running for whatever length of time it takes.
Yes, a "Safe" mode wipe would (or should) cancel out the possibility of other programs interfering with the wipe. I hope you truly mean that you're willing to wait "as long as it takes" - because it'll be literally lots of hours. You might try doing just a "Cluster Tip" wipe in "Safe" mode first, as that takes a lot less time (UN-check "Free disk space and Master File Table records" in the Edit/Preferences/Erasing/Unused Disk Space/"Overwrite" checkbox) as that's a lot faster).

pink99 said:
- there were some confidential Word documents that I must not have used Eraser on previously and so they could easily be recovered... I value my privacy and that is what erase used space is for.
If I'm not mistaken, you have to make a separate "task" - with the correct path to the Word back-ups - in Eraser to actually get rid of them (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) - simply erasing freespace shouldn't get them because the copies have never actually been either deleted or erased (if you're referring to the originals, it might get them, I don't know). Pete
 

spy1

Member

pink99

New Member
Many thanks for your comprehensive reply, spy1. Your 2 references to handling Word docuements made for interesting reading...

I tried exiting out of anything I could in the task bar and rerunning a cluster tip wipe only - still stops at 5%.

I will later try going into Safe Mode again and retry cluster tip wipe only (leaving the other two options unticked) and see what happens. If it still stops at 5%, then I'm lost because my understanding is that few background processes should be running in Safe Mode. Anyway, will report back...

I had other files besides Word docs that I was interested in erasing so I still would like to be able to erase unused space on demand.

By the way, why does Safe Mode erase unused free space take so much longer that when in Normal mode?

Again, many thanks for all your help.
 

spy1

Member
You're quite welcome.

Have you defragmented and run Disk Management ( with the "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" options selected) on your XP installation lately?

I only ask because I don't have a clue what's stopping the program from running through its' sequence. It almost seems as though there's something resident running that's interfering with it.

Just for clarity - you do have everything shut down that could be writing to the disk while Eraser's trying to work, right? Including any screensavers? Not running any "distributed computing" programs like SETI?

The computer is fully up-dated/patched/current SP? If you want, PM me a complete list of your "defensive"-type programs and I'll see if anything leaps out at me from that.

From what I (barely) understand, Safe mode runs so much slower because it cuts out some of the drivers that enable the processor to work more quickly. Pete
 

freddie

New Member
error message 5% way through

I too am having same problem after using Eraser for years. Anyone got an answer yet? Thanks Freddie
 
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