erasing unused disk space

kida

New Member
hello, i'm new to erase. i don't know if this issue was already brought up or not. i read the first several pages of this forum but didn't see anything.

anyway, whenever i tried to erase my unused disk space on my harddrive, at about 3% completion, an error window "windows has encountered an error and this application needs to be shutdown, etc." would pop up, telling me to send/don't send the error to microsoft. so i clicked "don't send" and the entire application shuts down and returns back to my desktop. i don't know why this happens. i tried 3 times already and that window would always pop up at the same place, right at the 3% mark. i'm not sure if this is because i don't have enough diskspace or if it's because of some other error. currently, the unused diskspace on my computer that i was trying to erase is about 3.9gb. how much space does erase need? hope someone can help me with this. thanks in advance.

my computer:
OS: windows xp pro
P4 2.8ghz, 80gb hd, 1gb memory

and also i was using the 7-pass type of erase. the 3rd time i tried the 1-pass (pseudo...something) but the same error window popped up. the version of erase i'm using is the most current that's available on this site for download.
 

spy1

Member
I think you've pretty much answered your own question - it looks to me as if Eraser does not have enough "room" to work.

Can you not free up any space? Pete
 

kida

New Member
how much space would i need at least that you can recommend?
 

spy1

Member
Try getting a copy of CCleaner (v.1.36.430) from here:

http://www.ccleaner.com/download/ and set it to look like mine here:

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost ... ostcount=8

Run it, but just click "Analyze" not "Run Cleaner" and let me know how much space you gain back. Note that setting CCleaner that way is going to remove all your un-install files for Windows Updates that you've done (when you do actually click on "Run Cleaner" ) - if you don't want to do that, just UN-check that particular option in CCleaner.

If that doesn't suffice, you'll need to go through your Add/Remove Programs page and check to see if there's anything there that you don't use that you can un-install to reclaim that space.
 

kida

New Member
ok i did everything you said, and after i did the analyze, it says that there are a little over 1gb to be removed. it looks like they are all from cookies, temp folders, and histories. what should i do now? should i go ahead and run the cleaner? also if it removes all the un-install files for windows update, that's not going to affect anything right?
 

spy1

Member
Just hold off until tomorrow.
 

spy1

Member
I don't think that that's enough space (I could be wrong). If you don't wish to remove the un-install files for the Windows Updates, then don't - just un-check the "Hotfix Un-Installers" box under "Advanced" in CCleaner.

Did you go through Add/Remove programs, to see if there was anything there that you could un-install (that you no longer need/use, IOW)?

What, exactly, is the HD so filled up with? Is it media that you could transfer to removable media like CD's or DVD's - then delete from the HD?

You've got an 80GB HD and only 3.9GB of that is free-space on the disk.

If the computer is running really well (no problems, IOW), you could dis-able System restore, re-start the computer and try running Eraser's free-space wipe then (then turn it back on, re-start afterwards) - and, you are shutting down all un-necessary programs in system tray when trying to do the Eraser run, right?

Whatever you do, if you're using v.5.8 of Eraser - do not use the 1st and last 2k option when erasing. Pete
 

boris

New Member
freespace files failed to erase

Hi I'd like to join this thread with my own, I think closely related question(s).

Executive summary of my questions:

1. why are some files not erased? ("failures" in the eraser report)

2. OS report of "free space" does not match Eraser report of erased area.

3. When set to erase freespace, how could eraser need more "room" to work than there is freespace available?

Background to the point 1. of my specific problem.
I ran Eraser to clear my free space of about 370Mb. This is on a 37Gb drive in an 800MHz P3 Dell running XP pro in 512Mb of ram, with service pack 2 installed. The process took about five hours, as you can see, using the 7-pass method. No OS errors were generated.

Eraser Statistics:
Erased area = 1099 MB
Cluster tips = 166895 kB

Data written = 7691 MB
Write time = 15919.27 s
Write speed = 495 kB/s

But Eraser reports "failures" - about 2600 files it failed to erase.
These are listed in the report by filename. Many of the filenames have the parenthesis "(protected)" at the end of their name.
(First of all, how can a file or fragment in free space be designated as "protected"?? That just doesn't make any sense, but leave it up to Microsoft! Maybe my drive has filled up with "protected" free space?) 2600 files seems like a lot of files.

So on to my point 2. Given the block size on this drive, I have to wonder if these 2600 files don't comprise most of the free space? Does this mean most of my freespace did not actually get erased? The Eraser report claims 1099 MB erased area, but the OS reports 377Mb free space on the drive. Is the difference (700Mb) the files that failed to erase?

Further background:
I just started using eraser 5.82, and at first didn't know how to proceed most efficiently. Initially, I had a drive nearly full - I guess about 100Mb free space - and probably badly fragmented. The OS was giving me a disk nearly full warning every time I booted up. So I researched Eraser, and downloaded, etc. I tested first on a folder of some 250Mb, erasing it with the 7-pass option. That seemed to work with no errors. I don't recall any "failed" file erasures. Then I realized I wanted to clear free space FIRST, before erasing the next ten or so gigs that I want to get rid of. I realized it would be best to clear free space first, because there's a lot less of it right now than there will be after I start erasing "live" files. Is this a reasonable strategy? So then, after erasing the 250Mb directory, I ran the eraser on the about 350Mb of free space I have currently.


Questions about point 3. When set to erase freespace, how could eraser need more "room" to work than there is freespace available? If there is less free space, wouldn't there be less work to do? And therefore less room needed? The initial question in this thread involves 3.9 GIGABYTES of free space. That's not enough room to work??? Maybe I've been in computers too long, but that's sounds like a lot of room! Thankfully Eraser appeared to work on my free space (except for the failed files?) and I had less than half a gig of room. I also successfully ran eraser to clear a floppy just now, all of 1200Kb.

Many thanks for your discussion group here. An excellent resource!

Boris
 

boris

New Member
Re: freespace files failed to erase

boris said:
Hi I'd like to join this thread with my own, I think closely related question(s).

Executive summary of my questions:

1. why are some files not erased? ("failures" in the eraser report)
Oops I just found SPY1's reply here
http://bbs.heidi.ie/viewtopic.php?t=229 ... b1a6d8d37f

mea culpa. But my other questions are still puzzling me.
 

spy1

Member
Re: freespace files failed to erase

boris said:
2. OS report of "free space" does not match Eraser report of erased area.
If Eraser can't get into "locked" system files, it's probably showing you all the free-space that it actually can (since it probably can't measure the amount of free-space in locked files). Was the actual difference shown a significant amount?

boris said:
I ran Eraser to clear my free space of about 370Mb. This is on a 37Gb drive in an 800MHz P3 Dell running XP pro in 512Mb of ram, with service pack 2 installed. The process took about five hours,
That sounds like an awful lot of time to wipe that (relatively) small amount of free-space. You are aware that one pass is more than sufficient on any recent HD, right?

boris said:
Then I realized I wanted to clear free space FIRST, before erasing the next ten or so gigs that I want to get rid of. I realized it would be best to clear free space first, because there's a lot less of it right now than there will be after I start erasing "live" files. Is this a reasonable strategy?
It's one way to do it, I suppose - but it seems to me that it's a "six-of-one" "half-a-dozen-of-the-other" situation, especially if you also used a seven-pass run to erase "live" files. (IOW, the same amount of time would have been required either way).

boris said:
Questions about point 3. When set to erase freespace, how could eraser need more "room" to work than there is freespace available?
You know, you're probably right - I really wish the OP (kida) would have come back and let us know what was happening there on his end - especially whether or not all un-necessary programs were shut down at the time he's trying to erase free-space. I seem to remember that anything that's actually writing new stuff to the disk while Eraser's running a free-space wipe can screw things up.

Oh, admin - could you please take a shot at this one? Thanks. Pete
 

boris

New Member
Re: freespace files failed to erase

spy1 said:
Was the actual difference shown a significant amount?
Eraser Statistics:
Erased area = 1099 MB
Cluster tips = 166895 kB

Data written = 7691 MB
Write time = 15919.27 s
Write speed = 495 kB/s

If I'm reading this correctly, this means eraser overwrote 1Gb of space on the HD.

When I started the free-space erase, the drive properties pane showed 377Mb free (I think). Anyway, that's how many it shows free now.

spy1 said:
boris said:
I ran Eraser to clear my free space of about 370Mb. This is on a 37Gb drive in an 800MHz P3 Dell running XP pro in 512Mb of ram, with service pack 2 installed. The process took about five hours,
That sounds like an awful lot of time to wipe that (relatively) small amount of free-space. You are aware that one pass is more than sufficient on any recent HD, right?
It looks like it took seven passes on 1Gb of space, which means it wrote 7Gb of random data to the HD. The Eraser report confirms this. Would that not take five hours given my hardware setup? (I have no way of knowing)

spy1 said:
boris said:
Then I realized I wanted to clear free space FIRST, before erasing the next ten or so gigs that I want to get rid of. I realized it would be best to clear free space first, because there's a lot less of it right now than there will be after I start erasing "live" files. Is this a reasonable strategy?
It's one way to do it, I suppose - but it seems to me that it's a "six-of-one" "half-a-dozen-of-the-other" situation, especially if you also used a seven-pass run to erase "live" files. (IOW, the same amount of time would have been required either way).
I'm assuming that in any clean up action, you'd want to run the free=space erase only once. Assume I have one gig of free space and ten gigs of live files to erase. I'd rather run the free-space erase first, then get to work on the live files. If I erase ten gigs of live files BEFORE clearing 1 gig of freespace, and THEN do a free space erase, I have to clear ELEVEN gigs of free space. In effect, if I did the free-space erase AFTER the live-file erase, I'd be re-erasing the area that had the live files erased from it before. That would take a lot more time. Twice as much time, basically.
 
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