Failed to erase file names

Beans Baker

New Member
I am running 32-bit Vista. When I erase the unused disk space on C, after doing so, Eraser produces an error message stating it could not delete the file names from the drive and that it "don't know why exactly." Is this a known bug, or . . . ?
 

garrett01

Administrator
Staff member
Are you running eraser as Administrator?

Garrett
 

garrett01

Administrator
Staff member
Could you do some tests on this as I cannot replicate the problem here.
eg to you have a AV app running etc

For a freespace erase the filenames are already random so it is not a critical issue.

Garrett
 

Beans Baker

New Member
admin said:
Could you do some tests on this as I cannot replicate the problem here.
eg to you have a AV app running etc

For a freespace erase the filenames are already random so it is not a critical issue.

Garrett
Yes.
I am using Avira AntiVir, Comodo BOClean, Spybot S&D (tea timer), and Zone Alarm Free firewall. But even with all of them shut down or disabled, I get the same message when attempting to erase directory entries on any one of my hard drive's several partitions. Eraser always says it failed to erase the file names and "don't know why exactly."

Are there any other tests you'd like me to try?

And I'm not sure what you mean about this failure not being important just beause the file names "are already random." It seems to me that, random or not, the file names are indicators of what one has deleted and should therefore be overwritten by Eraser for privacy/security reasons.
 

Beans Baker

New Member
Beans Baker said:
admin said:
Could you do some tests on this as I cannot replicate the problem here.
eg to you have a AV app running etc

For a freespace erase the filenames are already random so it is not a critical issue.

Garrett
Yes.
I am using Avira AntiVir, Comodo BOClean, Spybot S&D (tea timer), and Zone Alarm Free firewall. But even with all of them shut down or disabled, I get the same message when attempting to erase directory entries on any one of my hard drive's several partitions. Eraser always says it failed to erase the file names and "don't know why exactly."

Are there any other tests you'd like me to try?

And I'm not sure what you mean about this failure not being important just beause the file names "are already random." It seems to me that, random or not, the file names are indicators of what one has deleted and should therefore be overwritten by Eraser for privacy/security reasons.
Garrett?
 

Overwriter

Active Member
Hi Beans Baker.

This is a long shot and particularly since I don’t have Vista but I have heard something about (shadow copy) and I wonder if that might be causing your problem.

Can you just check to make sure you have disabled that feature and try again please.

If that fails how about trying to run Eraser in safe mode ? If it works, then we can start to narrow down the problem.
 

Beans Baker

New Member
Overwriter said:
Hi Beans Baker.

This is a long shot and particularly since I don’t have Vista but I have heard something about (shadow copy) and I wonder if that might be causing your problem.

Can you just check to make sure you have disabled that feature and try again please.

If that fails how about trying to run Eraser in safe mode ? If it works, then we can start to narrow down the problem.
Thanks for your interest. The only way that I know of for turning off the creation of shadow copies (which are copies of old versions of one's files) is to turn off System Protection, which also turns off the creation of restore points, and I really don't want to do that, because I would lose all of my restore points and shadow copies.

However, I did try running Eraser on my unused disk space in Safe Mode and found that it did erase directory entries without giving the failure message. Then, going back into Normal Mode, I checked and found that erasing the file names in Safe Mode did not affect my shadow copies in any way.

So, discovering that represents some progress, since I now know that I can at least safely erase the file names in Safe Mode.

Thanks again.
 

Overwriter

Active Member
Hi Beans Baker :D



which also turns off the creation of restore points, and I really don't want to do that, because I would lose all of my restore points and shadow copies.
Admittedly I don’t have Vista and also I don’t know the full details of shadow copy but I wonder if Eraser is going to be much use to you. If you keep shadow copies of your data on the same computer isn’t that defeating the purpose of Eraser ?

However, I did try running Eraser on my unused disk space in Safe Mode and found that it did erase directory entries without giving the failure message.
Great I am pleased to hear it ! This result tells you that a program you have installed since Vista is causing the problem. You could go through a laborious process of elimination and let us know which one it was !
 

Beans Baker

New Member
Overwriter said:
Hi Beans Baker :D



which also turns off the creation of restore points, and I really don't want to do that, because I would lose all of my restore points and shadow copies.

Admittedly I don’t have Vista and also I don’t know the full details of shadow copy but I wonder if Eraser is going to be much use to you. If you keep shadow copies of your data on the same computer isn’t that defeating the purpose of Eraser ?

This is an interesting question to which I don't know the answer. However, my understanding of shadow copies are that they are old copies of documents that one has changed and then resaved. But you may, indeed, be right. I wish someone could give me an informed opinion on that. It is not a happy thought that I may not be able to effectively erase files without permanently turning off System Restore . . . .

However, I did try running Eraser on my unused disk space in Safe Mode and found that it did erase directory entries without giving the failure message.
Great I am pleased to hear it ! This result tells you that a program you have installed since Vista is causing the problem. You could go through a laborious process of elimination and let us know which one it was !

I am not sure why you feel being able to erase file names in Safe Mode indicates a problem with some program that I've installed "since Vista," which in my case, would be a very large number of programs and there would be no way in which to determine which one it was (or had been). Why do you think it shows that?
 

Overwriter

Active Member
I am not sure why you feel being able to erase file names in Safe Mode indicates a problem with some program that I've installed "since Vista," which in my case, would be a very large number of programs and there would be no way in which to determine which one it was (or had been). Why do you think it shows that?
I think this because when you start Vista or XP for that matter in safe mode you only start the OS with the minimum drivers. Also some programs that rely on those drivers either don’t start or don’t function when in safe mode.

You could boot normally and then stop all the programs that have auto run, antivirus, firewall, antispyware and anything like that. Then run Eraser to see if it works, I am guessing it will then start one of the programs you stopped and try Eraser again. When Eraser stops working again the last auto run program you restarted is the conflicting one.

I would suspect shadow copies personally but I am just guessing.
 

Beans Baker

New Member
Overwriter said:
I am not sure why you feel being able to erase file names in Safe Mode indicates a problem with some program that I've installed "since Vista," which in my case, would be a very large number of programs and there would be no way in which to determine which one it was (or had been). Why do you think it shows that?
I think this because when you start Vista or XP for that matter in safe mode you only start the OS with the minimum drivers. Also some programs that rely on those drivers either don’t start or don’t function when in safe mode.

You could boot normally and then stop all the programs that have auto run, antivirus, firewall, antispyware and anything like that. Then run Eraser to see if it works, I am guessing it will then start one of the programs you stopped and try Eraser again. When Eraser stops working again the last auto run program you restarted is the conflicting one.

I would suspect shadow copies personally but I am just guessing.
Ah, yes. I see. So the possible suspects are just the programs that startup with Windows. I will consider experimenting with this possibility.

And as to shadow copies, as I said to turn off creation of shadow copies, I have to also turn off creation of restore points, which I am not real excited about doing. And if System Restore (which creates restore points and shadow copies) interferes with the proper functioning of Eraser, I think that's something Garret needs to take a look at, rather than expect users to do without System Restore.

Thanks for your interest, Overwriter
 

Overwriter

Active Member
Thanks for your interest, Overwriter
You’re welcome. :wink:

Ah, yes. I see. So the possible suspects are just the programs that startup with Windows. I will consider experimenting with this possibility.
Please do as it will help with Eraser’s development. Garret needs all conflicting programs reporting so he can take a look. It is only by people taking the time to problem solve that Eraser can progress. Please put something back in to Eraser by finding the conflicting program and by doing so help all Eraser users.

And if System Restore (which creates restore points and shadow copies) interferes with the proper functioning of Eraser, I think that's something Garret needs to take a look at, rather than expect users to do without System Restore.
Yes maybe Garret could have a look at this but as I said before I don’t think you can have security (as in secure file erasure) whilst also using shadow copy. I don’t know for sure but I suspect this to be correct. Perhaps you could start a new thread which asks this question.

Your only hope of complete privacy is a whole disk encryption program. I will not name names here as all WDE programs at the moment are commercial, but a quick search for “volume encryption” or “whole disk encryption” should give you some good links.
 

Beans Baker

New Member
Well, Overwriter, I did as you suggested. I disabled the eleven startup items (as listed by my jv16PowerTools), restarted my computer to reload Windows without any of those programs starting up, ran Eraser on the unused space of my C drive, and got exactly the same error message.

And I've also (I believe) eliminated the shadow copy issue, as I turned off my System Restore, rebooted, checked to make sure I no longer had any shadow copies or restore points, ran Eraser on the unused space of my C drive, and again, got exactly the same error message.

Why I am able to erase the file names on my unused disk space in Safe Mode, but not in Normal Mode under any of the conditions I've just described, completely eludes me.
 

Overwriter

Active Member
Why I am able to erase the file names on my unused disk space in Safe Mode, but not in Normal Mode under any of the conditions I've just described, completely eludes me.
Me too. :cry:

As a last resort all I can suggest is to uninstall Eraser completely and then reinstall it. If this fails to work then I think only Garrett can help you

If you are certain that it is Eraser that is at fault you could make a bug report here.
http://bbs.heidi.ie/viewforum.php?f=28& ... 3bc74a9f81

I personally think there is some software on your computer that is locking access to filenames or your disk for some reason. I have had a quick look around and you appear to be the only person with this problem. That is not to say that it is your fault, you may just be the first to report it !

All I ask is that you stick with this problem and let us know if you ever solve it. We really need to know for sure if it is an Eraser bug or a conflict with some other software or setting. At least you can use the safe mode workaround until we get this sorted.

I will keep watch on this thread and if I think I can help at any stage I will let you know.

Good luck. :wink:
 

Beans Baker

New Member
Overwriter said:
Why I am able to erase the file names on my unused disk space in Safe Mode, but not in Normal Mode under any of the conditions I've just described, completely eludes me.
Me too. :cry:

As a last resort all I can suggest is to uninstall Eraser completely and then reinstall it. If this fails to work then I think only Garrett can help you

I personally think there is some software on your computer that is locking access to filenames or your disk for some reason. I have had a quick look around and you appear to be the only person with this problem. That is not to say that it is your fault, you may just be the first to report it !

All I ask is that you stick with this problem and let us know if you ever solve it. We really need to know for sure if it is an Eraser bug or a conflict with some other software or setting. At least you can use the safe mode workaround until we get this sorted.

I will keep watch on this thread and if I think I can help at any stage I will let you know.

Good luck. :wink:
I tried uninstalling and reinstalling Eraser (5.84), but still have exactly the same problem. I find it interesting that no one else seems to have this problem with Eraser and Vista, which indicates that it is not a bug in Eraser, but something unique to my system. I have a carefully maintained and well-functioning system, however, and cannot imagine where the hangup could lie. If a resolution the situation ever arrives, I will post it here.
 

Overwriter

Active Member
Hi Beans Baker

I find it interesting that no one else seems to have this problem with Eraser and Vista, which indicates that it is not a bug in Eraser, but something unique to my system.
Don’t worry about it, there is just so many things it could be and I am sure someone else has had the same problem but hasn’t taken the time to try to fix it. At least you are trying to work it out !

If a resolution the situation ever arrives, I will post it here.
Thank you I really do hope you get to the bottom of this and manage to work it out. It is only by people like yourself taking the time to figure these problems out that make Eraser better.

Good luck with your problem solving and if you need to ask anything else I will keep checking this forum and I will do my best to help you.
:wink:
 

hal

New Member
System Restore

Windows System restore is definitely the cause of these issues with Eraser.
The problem is that Windows turns on system restore for every partition that is created - which is nonsense!
In my opinion, it would only be necessary on partitions which hold system files or installed applications. Hence, on most systems, it should be turned off on all but the C drive. This can be achieved by logging in as administrator, and going to -
Control Panel / System / System Restore (tab).

The issue will still occur for the C drive, of course, but according to a previous poster, this does not mitigate the security benefit of Eraser.

Cheers
H

PS I use WinXP Pro, SP2
 

Overwriter

Active Member
Hi hal

Thank you for your useful post !
 

Beans Baker

New Member
Re: System Restore

hal said:
Windows System restore is definitely the cause of these issues with Eraser.
The problem is that Windows turns on system restore for every partition that is created - which is nonsense!
In my opinion, it would only be necessary on partitions which hold system files or installed applications. Hence, on most systems, it should be turned off on all but the C drive. This can be achieved by logging in as administrator, and going to -
Control Panel / System / System Restore (tab).

The issue will still occur for the C drive, of course, but according to a previous poster, this does not mitigate the security benefit of Eraser.

Cheers
H

PS I use WinXP Pro, SP2
Well, in my case, running 32-bit Vista Ultimate, as I said before: "I turned off my System Restore, rebooted, checked to make sure I no longer had any shadow copies or restore points, ran Eraser on the unused space of my C drive, and again, got exactly the same error message." And I did the same thing for my data partitions, and still received the same error message.

Running Windows XP Pro SP2, OTOH, I never had this problem at all, whether or not System Restore was enabled. IOW, System Restore did NOT ever cause this problem for me while running Windows XP; it has only become an issue for me with Vista.
 
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