Please Create A Version Of Eraser For BartPE.

cleanupinaisle5

New Member
I use an old version of Eraser to cleanup my hard disk after banking or ecommerce. But there are some files which are locked while the os is running. I have a BartPE disk that I use to run my Acronis software on, and for several years I have searched the net and found people kludging together Plugins to run the old versions of Eraser (5.82 and older) on BartPE for the same reasons I want to. Setting up a BartPE Plugin is a complex task for many of us and I think that people, (Myself included), would be willing to purchase a version of Eraser from its developers that is setup to run on BartPE right out of the box / download. I do not know why you chose to use .NET in your version 6. .NET has been a headache for many people in other software. I am sure you had your reasons, but I and many others do not need nor want .NET and do need and do want a BartPE version of Eraser. Please consider this. After all, people pay for programs like Window Washer, why not satisfy a need and make some money to use for development or beer.

Thank you for reading my post.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Please read the 'sticky' FAQ post about the Eraser architecture, which explains why .NET was chosen for Eraser 6. That is, I believe, a decision that cannot be undone, as Eraser is coded in C#, which requires .NET. Unless, of course, there's a willing volunteer who is prepared to re-code the whole thing in a another language ...

I fully agree that a bootable version of Eraser would be a most useful tool. Unfortunately, BartPE may no longer provide the basis for creating it. As far as I know, BartPE is still built from Windows XP install files; while you can (and people do) use it on Vista and Windows 7 machines, you need a full set of XP drivers for your machine to do this. As time goes one, XP drivers will become more scarce and using BartPE on machines designed for other OSs will become increasingly difficult. I believe that the Bart PE project (like the DBAN project) is not currently active. It's sad.

David
 

Joel

Active Member
Unless the file is used for the operating system's functioning (notably, system files like DLLs and EXEs and drivers), most files should be unlock-able by Eraser 6 and then the erase should continue. v5 didn't have this feature. If you still can't unlock it, check the task log for the reason as well as which processes are locking the file. Sometimes one may need to run Eraser as an administrator to unlock certain files (it really depends on who is locking the file.)

Since most of the files which used to require erasure from outside the OS can be unlocked in v6, the need for a BartPE version is in my opinion diminished.
 

cleanupinaisle5

New Member
Thank you DavidHB and Joel for your replies.

DavidHB, I cannot find the sticky you refer to. Could you please post the URL to link to it?
I think that you must take into account the userbase for Eraser. This is what I call the Star Trek phenomenon. Despite being cancelled for lack of "wide audience appeal" Star Trek and many other Sci-Fi TV shows live on in their fans hearts and wallets. It is because even though the audience may not be wide, it is loyal. By analogy old OS's live on with their loyal fans because they work for them. I have purchased every OS from DOS to Windows 7 (well except ME and Vista because I just saw no point to them with their bugs), yet I still use Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Why? Because they work reliably, do what I need them to and I know where the personal info gets stored and therefore know what to erase after banking, purchases, and stock trading. To paraphrase the late Charlton Heston, " You'll get my old OS's when you can pry them from my ..." I think that you would find that people (users) who are savvy and interested enough to go digging into the OS to find where and what to erase are not willing to sacrifice their old OS simply because there is something new, shiny, and still buggy out there. But do not take my word for it, ask them. Put up a survey sticky and ask how many eraser users are using XP, Vista, and Windows 7. As for drivers, double_driver_4.0.0_portable.zip is recommended by Acronis forum users for retrieving XP drivers from active machines to use with BartPE. Personally I have only needed SATA drivers to add to my BartPE to get it running. With regard to newer hardware, I think it will be a few years before XP drivers are not issued on mainstream hardware like hard disk interfaces SATA, SCSI, IDE, USB, etc. I still find drivers for Windows 2000 on modern hardware. XP is not as old and there are 32 bit versions of Windows 7 in use.

But it does not have to be BartPE, it only has to be USB or CD/DVD bootable to keep the DLL's EXE's, Driver's, and other files locked.

Joel, modern spyware is so insidious that I erase cluster tips as well as free space after doing anything financial or having vital data (SSN, DOB, etc.) even though I have Antivirus, Firewall, and Antispyware running. Through all the years I have only had 2 spyware infections. But that is 2 too many as far as I am concerned. Having been a victim of multiple identity thefts, I can tell you that I want to know everything is wiped clean even if this means I cannot use software that uses Track Zero authentication. Wiping freespace and cluster tips as I am sure you know just undoes this ridiculous Validation / Authentication schemes some of the software publishers use. And if it gets to the point where I cannot function with XP and non - Activation software I will permanently switch to Ubuntu or Red Hat Linux. I will not go through another ID theft incident without having taken every precaution short of living in a Faraday Cage like Gene Hackman in "Enemy Of The State."

I hope that you will reconsider. Thanks for reading my post.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
cleanupinaisle5 said:
DavidHB, I cannot find the sticky you refer to. Could you please post the URL to link to it?
C'mon, give a guy a break. The FAQ is the sub-forum to this one. The post I am referring to is at the very top of the FAQ list. It's that easy.

Not being a Trekkie, I'll not follow you down that road. All I will say is that we users have to live with the fact that, for the Eraser Team, programming effort is hard to come by. It will be a while before a feature that will only work with a subset of the supported OSs will justify the effort involved in implementing it, if, indeed, that happens at all.

cleanupinaisle5 said:
But it does not have to be BartPE, it only has to be USB or CD/DVD bootable to keep the DLL's EXE's, Driver's, and other files locked.
Yes, that's my view too; my view of the need for the feature is probably closer to you than to Joel. But, again, it has to be a long way down the list of priorities, and at the moment I struggle to identify a bootable mini-OS that will run Eraser.

David
 

cleanupinaisle5

New Member
David, thank you for your reply.

C'mon, give a guy a break. The FAQ is the sub-forum to this one. The post I am referring to is at the very top of the FAQ list. It's that easy.
It is easy when you know where to look. Thank you for telling me where to find it. It was right where you said it would be.

Not being a Trekkie, I'll not follow you down that road. All I will say is that we users have to live with the fact that, for the Eraser Team, programming effort is hard to come by. It will be a while before a feature that will only work with a subset of the supported OSs will justify the effort involved in implementing it, if, indeed, that happens at all.
One need not be a Trekkie, it is just an example in Pop-Culture terms. Of course it is certainly reasonable to prioritize efforts, that is why I wrote that there might be a way to charge for it and that there might be a user sub base willing to pay for this special variant. It would be harder to get a userbase to pay for something that they have had for free for so long. Something different and special would have to be added or changed and this was the point of the suggestion. Getting financial input usually helps with any project whether it be for materials, personnel, service time, etc. I thought that it might be a good trade. Extra effort with a pay back that lasts into the future.

Yes, that's my view too; my view of the need for the feature is probably closer to you than to Joel. But, again, it has to be a long way down the list of priorities, and at the moment I struggle to identify a bootable mini-OS that will run Eraser.
Perhaps one of the mini-Linux versions that companies like Acronis and Paragon use for their products to run from CD. Or perhaps one of the OS subsets that runs on a USB key.

Just a few things to think about.

Thanks.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
cleanupinaisle5 said:
Of course it is certainly reasonable to prioritize efforts, that is why I wrote that there might be a way to charge for it and that there might be a user sub base willing to pay for this special variant.
To do that, the whole application would have to cease being open source, which I guess would be a major step with rather unpredictable consequences. Open source is about far more than just not charging for the software.

cleanupinaisle5 said:
Perhaps one of the mini-Linux versions that companies like Acronis and Paragon use for their products to run from CD. Or perhaps one of the OS subsets that runs on a USB key.
I use those too; they are very good. Leaving aside the fact that they are both part of paid-for applications, and are not, as far as I know, currently extensible, we are back to the problem that Eraser uses the Windows-only .NET as its runtime. What we need, in the end, is something like a Vista or Windows 7 equivalent of BartPE which will run .NET apps. That can be Joel's next project when he's finished Eraser ... :D

David
 

cleanupinaisle5

New Member
To do that, the whole application would have to cease being open source, which I guess would be a major step with rather unpredictable consequences. Open source is about far more than just not charging for the software.
I am not fluent in the complexities of the public license structures. Could a person or group take the idea (function) of a piece of software and/or some of its subroutines and create a shareware or for-pay (either non-profit, not-for-profit, or for-profit) piece of software from it legally?

I use those too; they are very good. Leaving aside the fact that they are both part of paid-for applications, and are not, as far as I know, currently extensible, we are back to the problem that Eraser uses the Windows-only .NET as its runtime. What we need, in the end, is something like a Vista or Windows 7 equivalent of BartPE which will run .NET apps. That can be Joel's next project when he's finished Eraser ... :D
I'm sure he appreciates you planning ahead for him. :D
 

DavidHB

Active Member
cleanupinaisle5 said:
I am not fluent in the complexities of the public license structures. Could a person or group take the idea (function) of a piece of software and/or some of its subroutines and create a shareware or for-pay (either non-profit, not-for-profit, or for-profit) piece of software from it legally?
I'm no lawyer, either, but my understanding is that the answer to your question is 'yes'. However, the license that came with what remains of the original source code has to 'travel' with that code. In fact, there is a surprising amount of open source code in commercial applications. In Linux, of course, practically everything (paid for or free) is built up from an open source code base.

More specifically, there is no legal reason why someone cannot take the Eraser source code, and translate it into a language which can be compiled in Linux; combined with a bootable mini-Linux (there are special distros of Linux for just this purpose), this could create a new (and more flexible) DBAN. I rather think that the planned Eraser architecture, with the core running a service, could work rather well in Linux. There is, however the little matter that support for Linux-formatted partitions would have to be added. Joel really does need to keep his head down ... :)

David
 

Joel

Active Member
The main thing stopping Eraser from being ported to Linux is that Eraser's code assume Windows as the operating system, not so much that the code won't run. I believe .NET assemblies can be run without modification (correct me if I'm wrong) on Linux platforms with Mono installed. However, the program will find many missing references as Eraser uses some low-level OS calls for it to function. Eraser is, after all, a low-level program with a very pretty front-end. I would imagine few people would expect the Eraser internals to be as complex as it currently is.
 

Joel

Active Member
cleanupinaisle5 said:
Joel, modern spyware is so insidious that I erase cluster tips as well as free space after doing anything financial or having vital data (SSN, DOB, etc.) even though I have Antivirus, Firewall, and Antispyware running.
I agree with your (healthy) fear, but not with your suspicion that cluster tips can be part of spyware. Cluster tips, to the OS, is junk and will be ignored unless a program deliberately accesses the tips. In those situations, IMO, the problem at hand is not that you have got data in your cluster tips but rather why is is there such a malware to begin with.

cleanupinaisle5 said:
Through all the years I have only had 2 spyware infections. But that is 2 too many as far as I am concerned.
That's a pretty low figure. Well done.

cleanupinaisle5 said:
Having been a victim of multiple identity thefts, I can tell you that I want to know everything is wiped clean even if this means I cannot use software that uses Track Zero authentication. Wiping freespace and cluster tips as I am sure you know just undoes this ridiculous Validation / Authentication schemes some of the software publishers use.
I don't think free space erasures will trip validation systems. Track 0 is used for the MBR, AFAIK, and OSes don't partition to include that in the file system.

cleanupinaisle5 said:
And if it gets to the point where I cannot function with XP and non - Activation software I will permanently switch to Ubuntu or Red Hat Linux. I will not go through another ID theft incident without having taken every precaution short of living in a Faraday Cage like Gene Hackman in "Enemy Of The State."
:D

What Eraser 6.2 has, which David may have mentioned, is a DBAN-style nuke from Windows, on a non-OS partition. It's just been written very recently so it may not work all the time, but I think it's a good start.
 

cleanupinaisle5

New Member
Please excuse the delay in my response. We have had illness in the family.

Thank you David and Joel for your responses. It is appreciated. I'm sure that Eraser consumes time that you would otherwise spend in a more fun way.

Just another point to share with regard to Track 0 activations. When I do a freespace wipe with the 5.7 version of Eraser, my Macromedia Flash developer setup loses its activation/validation - prompting yet another call to their activation center. You might want to see if the current version of Eraser clobbers more current programs like those from Adobe on a freespace wipe.

Just a suggestion.

Regards
 

Joel

Active Member
The activation-required software I use are:
  • Adobe Creative Suite 4
  • Microsoft Office 2007 Professional
  • Windows 7 Professional
All of which I have never have had to reactivate.
 

cleanupinaisle5

New Member
That is very good. I wonder whether it is as a result of your improvements to Eraser, or whether they have refined their activation algorythms to avoid using space that the OS sees as unused, or both. Well, thank you to all then.
Regards.
 

Joel

Active Member
I removed the low-level disk access code from Eraser since that did this sort of crazy corruption, hence Eraser 6 cannot erase encrypted, sparse and compressed NTFS files.
 
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