Failed to erase


New Member
When I try to erase either the free space on my hard drive or the recycle bin I encounter hundreds of failed erases on the report. It does not matter which type of erase technique I use, from single pass to Gutmann 35 pass. I am running Eraser 6.0.8 on Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. It did the same thing with Eraser 5. How do I get rid of these errors?


Active Member
redsafety said:
How do I get rid of these errors?
First the free space erase. The bad news: you can't; these are almost certainly inaccessible System files, and Windows won't let you touch them. The good news: what has not been erased is (as you will see from the 'error' messages) is only the cluster tips of extant files; free space erase does no actual file erasing. The actual free space erase of previously deleted files should have completed normally, and any data you really wanted erased should be gone. The erasing method used makes no difference to these outcomes.

Eraser is at present rather too free with these error messages, which are therefore confusing; future versions will not log most of these events as errors, because in reality they are just facts of life. There is, in my view, a good case for disabling the option to erase cluster tips when erasing free space on a system (C:) drive; it will be much clearer that the task has been properly completed, and for most users the security implications of not erasing cluster tips on a system drive will not be all that significant.

Next the Recycle Bin. The problem here is similar, in that Windows does (to me inexplicably) sometimes place inaccessible system files in the Recycle Bin folder, and these can be extraordinarily difficult to get rid of. Sometimes emptying the Recycle Bin then doing a free space erase does the job. Sometimes Running Eraser as Administrator helps; see the FAQ on how to do this (it's not obvious, so do read the guidance). Sometimes, the only way to fix the problem is to find a way of booting the machine other than from Windows, and delete the whole Recycled folder from an OS which is not protecting it. Or format the drive and reload its contents from a backup. Neither of the two last options are for the faint-hearted.