Not enough free space on the disk

Windows 7 x64
Eraser_6.0.7.1893

I ran Unused disk space: C:\, K:\, D:\, L:\, E:\, M:\.

Completed with Errors:


Disk C:\: Erasing unused disk space was not completed. The directory 'C:\xZ2-g,Ztw[Rd1jvV3q' and 75 pseudorandom data file (each 221.184 kB) remained in the directory.

Session: Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010 04:37:44
Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010 04:47:15 Error Es steht nicht genug Speicherplatz auf dem Datenträger zur Verfügung. (translated: Error: There is not enough free space on the disk.)


Disk D:\: The empty directory 'D:\!1_]C{OW)_Ve_4lal!bG6x0GpINCkC=T' was not deleted.

Session: Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010 04:37:44
Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010 09:11:11 Error The process cannot access the file 'D:\!1_]C{OW)_Ve_4lal!bG6x0GpINCkC=T\' because it is being used by another process.


Disk L:\: Erasing unused disk space was not completed. The directory 'L:\SEI7H2L)FR_P`, (mA' and 109 pseudorandom data file (each 221.184 kB) remained in the directory.

Session: Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010 04:37:44
Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010 09:19:39 Error Es steht nicht genug Speicherplatz auf dem Datenträger zur Verfügung. (translated: Error: There is not enough free space on the disk.)


Disk M:\: Erasing unused disk space was not completed. The directory 'M:\~cffMI_3q8g21,O3`2' and 81 pseudorandom data file (each 221.184 kB) remained in the directory.

Session: Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010 04:37:44
Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010 09:46:19 Error Es steht nicht genug Speicherplatz auf dem Datenträger zur Verfügung. (translated: Error: There is not enough free space on the disk.)


How can I be sure that Eraser is doing its job properly if such errors happen? These errors create insecurity.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
eraseduser said:
How can I be sure that Eraser is doing its job properly if such errors happen? These errors create insecurity.
It's a fair point, and I know that the Eraser Team is anxious to find a much smoother way round the obstacles that Windows (particularly Vista and Windows 7) puts in the way of the program. This is needed even more for user confidence than for ensuring that Eraser is doing its job (which, pretty much, it already is).

The best way of checking whether Eraser is doing its job is to use a file recovery program (Recuva is my current favourite), to see what it can detect and recover. Please note that it will usually find files (because there is really no such thing as empty space on a hard drive; it is always full of data of some sort); the really important question is: what files does it find? If it finds an actual data file you thought had been erased or wiped, and can recover that file in its original state, that is a problem. You help the developers enormously by reporting such problems in detail (i.e. with a description of precisely what happened) on this forum. So far, when such problems have been reported in relation to a stable build, the issue has turned out to be the way that Eraser was used (i.e. the sequence of events, and the interaction with such processes as disk defragmentation) rather that any failing of the program as such. (With development, currently 6.1, builds, the problem is different; sometimes they do not work at all. That is why ordinary users should not install them.)

In your case, the problem is that Windows stopped Eraser working when the disks became full, and prevented it from deleting the files and folders that were used to overwrite the free space. In such a case those files should, and typically can readily, be deleted (not erased). As all they contain is random data, that is not a security or privacy problem. More often than not, before you delete such files, you will find that there is no space on the target drive. That is a good sign that Eraser has done its job; the problem is that it has done it less elegantly than anyone would wish, and the need to delete files manually is a real annoyance.

A measure of the work that Joel in particular is doing on these issues is that, while the build number of the stable 6.0.7 is 1893, the build numbers have now gone past 2150. Joel is currently planning a further maintenance release in the 6.0 series; 6.1 will always be a development version, and 6.2 will be a release with new features, hopefully towards the end of this year.

I hope that this explains things.

David
 
DavidHB said:
eraseduser said:
In your case, the problem is that Windows stopped Eraser working when the disks became full, and prevented it from deleting the files and folders that were used to overwrite the free space. In such a case those files should, and typically can readily, be deleted (not erased). David
Why do you emphasize that they must be deleted not erased?
 

DavidHB

Active Member
eraseduser said:
Why do you emphasize that they must be deleted not erased?
Because (1) there is no point in erasing them, as they contain no useful data (that is the point of writing them in the first place) and (2) you would be trying to write to the disk when it is (probably) full, which is an inherently bad idea. Even if the disk is not full, overwriting random data with other random data is just a waste of time and effort.

David
 
Windows XP Service Pack 3
Eraser 6.07.1893

First run:

Erase Schedule: Unused disk space (C:\)

Status: Erasing unused space ….

Item: C:\

Directory ‘C:\,UnKwn,fon}[0FjLa2’ and 216 pseudorandom data files each having a size of 221.184 kB are written.

Item: Old resident file system table files

Session: Montag, 17. Mai 2010 06:46:46
Montag, 17. Mai 2010 07:14:37 Error Es steht nicht genug Speicherplatz auf dem Datenträger zur Verfügung. (translated: Not enough free space on the disk.)

I viewed the Task Log and found the above mentioned error message. Then I looked to the directory ‘C:\,UnKwn,fon}[0FjLa2’ and found two of the 216 pseudorandom data files having already a size of 0 kB.


Second run:

Erase Schedule: Unused disk space (C:\)

Status: Erasing unused space ….

Item: C:\

Directory ‘C:\6nkbUc7udUvTyVI`ZT’ and 216 pseudorandom data files each having a size of 221.184 kB are written.

Item: Old resident file system table files

Session: Montag, 17. Mai 2010 07:22:02
Montag, 17. Mai 2010 07:36:11 Error Access to the path 'C:\6nkbUc7udUvTyVI`ZT\V0F81peMxz2184_Ir5' is denied.

I viewed the Task Log and found the above mentioned error message. Then I looked to the directory ‘C:\6nkbUc7udUvTyVI`ZT’ and found one of the 216 pseudorandom data files having already a size of 0 kB.


The problem is that the Item 'Old resident file system table files' (wiping the file system table) is interrupted by the error and not completed. Recuva still shows the names of private files which can be compromising, even though the private files are corrupt.

DavidHB said:
The workaraound is to delete (not erase) the files manually.

Delete it, and all will be well. David (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6230#p18173)
Delete the pseudorandom data files manually does not make everything good because the names of the files stored in the file system table are still shown by Recuva.


This problem I found on a computer with Windows 7 x64 (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6259#p18323) as well as on a computer with Windows XP Service Pack 3.

I don't believe that the operating system is to blame for this. I guess that it is a problem with Eraser itself. I am sorry but I am not sure whether Eraser 6.07.1893 should be called a stable build if such errors happen. For the moment I am not satisfied.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
eraseduser said:
The problem is that the Item 'Old resident file system table files' (wiping the file system table) is interrupted by the error and not completed. Recuva still shows the names of private files which can be compromising, even though the private files are corrupt.
I agree that the interruption/crash prevents Eraser from clearing the unused entries in the MFT, and I also agree (as does Joel, which is more to the point) that this is a problem.

eraseduser said:
Delete the pseudorandom data files manually does not make everything good because the names of the files stored in the file system table are still shown by Recuva.
Not if private file names are left in the MFT, I agree. If only Eraser file names are identifiable, that is much less of a problem, if it is a problem at all. So the issue is to stop the Eraser process halting when the disk is full. Joel is working on a fix, and my initial runs suggest that it may work.

eraseduser said:
I don't believe that the operating system is to blame for this. I guess that it is a problem with Eraser itself. I am sorry but I am not sure whether Eraser 6.07.1893 should be called a stable build if such errors happen. For the moment I am not satisfied.
No one is satisfied, least of all Joel, or he wouldn't still be working on the issue. I don't think it helps to play the blame game; the fact is that, to do its job, Eraser has to do things the OS does not like, so it has a more difficult job of coexisting with the OS than other applications. Eraser 5 managed to coexist with XP, but the rules were different then. One cannot but reflect that it is a pity that more folk did not join the volunteer Eraser team; if they had, more effort could have been devoted sooner to ironing out these issues. From the user point of view, I stick with Eraser (for all its problems) because I cannot see an obviously better alternative. And I try to help on this forum in the the hope that I will free up some time for Joel to do more programming, which he can do and I can't. That way, we all hopefully get a version of Eraser we can live with more comfortably.

David
 
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