how does it work??


New Member

Im a new user that want's to use eraser, but i dont really know how do it.
Important to me is that i erase every kind of history from my computer,
not a specific file...

I want everything erased about my internet history and email history.
I want to erase as much as possible, as safe as possible. I dont understand
the overwriting process and what to do in the settings menu..?
I want to overwrite as much as possible to be safe as possible.

what do this settings mean and what should i do?
- default file erasure method????
- default unused space erasure method???

and what to do after this??

or is there maybe a dutch manual..?


Active Member
The pdf file which opens when you select Help gives as good a description of what Eraser does:

"Eraser is an advanced security tool which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your disk drives by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns."

The principle is as simple as that. The practice is difficult. You have to identify every application on your computer (starting with Internet browsers) which generates any form of cache or activity log, and then explicitly erase those files. This requires research. Furthermore, Windows makes life difficult by heavily protecting its system files, some of which may contain (usually fragmentary) user data and by using mechanisms like the paging file, which cannot be erased when Windows is running. These files and mechanisms mean that it is impossible for Eraser (or any other program running under Windows) to wipe all the free space on the system drive, though Eraser usually does enough to remove the traces of virtually all deleted private data.

If you are building or reconfiguring your computer, you can help yourself by having separate system and data drives and partitions, and ensuring wherever possible that user data including application logs and caches is saved to the data drive. For instance I have Windows place my documents folder (in which I store my Firefox and Thunderbird profiles) on the data drive, where wiping free space is less likely to fall foul of Windows restrictions.

In short, Eraser needs to be part of a systematic approach to maintaining your privacy. Given that the (unachievable) ideal is never to save private data at all, the first question is how to prevent private data being saved unnecessarily. The second is about knowing where that data is - no easy task, as I said. Then you need to protect the data you need to keep, usually using encryption and the like. Only with all that knowledge can you confidently approach the task of securely erasing the private data you no longer need. Perhaps you now understand why computers tend to be so insecure ...

If all you want to do is securely clean a computer you are getting rid of, I would recommend using DBAN (details in a companion forum to this one), rather than Eraser.

I hope this helps.