Should I get 5.7 or 6.07 I read all 6.x were bad

Klawdek

New Member
From what I have been reading all 6.x versions are bloated crashware. I am leaning toward DLing 5.7 as that is the one that seems to get good reviews. Is there any reason why I would want 6.07?
 

DavidHB

Active Member
If you decide to use version 5, the best build to use (assuming you are using Windows XP or later) is the final one - 5.88.

However, Version 5 is no longer supported. Version 6, which is a complete rewrite, certainly had a fair number of issues at the outset; those that remain are now more or less fully documented in the FAQ. Version 6 is evolving, and the current 6.1 nightly builds, though not formally recommended for production use, seem pretty stable to me.

Whether Version 6 is or is not a 'no-go' is a matter of opinion. I can only report that I have been using it for some months, and, once I got used to the cleaner interface (which didn't take long), I came to prefer it to Version 5, and it is (with one rather small exception, which Joel is investigating) doing everything I want it to.

David
 

Klawdek

New Member
One big concern of mine with version 6 is the mysterious lack of a confirmation prompt when deleting via the context menu. I have a slow system and because of it speeding up and slowing down unpredictably, I quite frequently end up selecting the wrong thing. This is especially true with context menus (probably because they get used more than other menus so it seems to happen there the most). I just do not want to risk going for file properties or rename only to find I have irrevocably deleted the file or folder.

A confirmation dialog box takes less than a minute to set up in any language using any GUI IDE. I just cannot understand why it was not put in.

I am also concerned about all the crashes.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Try one of the recent 6.1 builds. They do have the confirmation prompt, and, if you do get crashes from 6.0.7 (mysteriously, it seems that not everyone does, which, I suppose, is why it has taken time to identify the issues and deal with them), these will occur less frequently. The crashes don't actually do damage, but they can of course be annoying.

The only issue I have with 6.1.0.2241, which is what I am currently using on both of my main machines, is that I cannot erase free space and cluster tips on a system drive, which I personally regard as an irritant rather than a fundamental flaw. Joel has isolated the cause of the problem, but as it is in the application builder used to prepare the releases on the website, it is a bit difficult to fix; the builds Joel compiles locally (some of which he has sent for me to test) work just fine. Who'd be a programmer?

David
 

Klawdek

New Member
Actually erasing free space on my system drive is the main reason for getting this program
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Erasing free space is, of course, only part of a security strategy, so you will probably need the other features as well. Typically, it is better to explicitly erase and data you know you want removed than to delete it and erase free space. Because of disk technology, erasing free space, particularly on a large drive, takes a long time.

Eraser 6.0.7 and later will erase the free space on your system drive, but you need to run the program as administrator to do this. Some users (including me) find that, if the option to erase cluster tips is enabled, the program crashes. You can easily disable the cluster tips option. On a system drive, erasing cluster tips does not add all that much to your security; thousands of files are protected by the system and are inaccessible for cluster tip erasure in any case. In my view, that is not all that much of a problem; an opponent would need to be both exceptionally capable and rather lucky to access private data in cluster tips. There are much lower hanging fruit on the the data recovery tree.

David
 

Klawdek

New Member
My problem is that at one time most of the free space on my laptop was filled with confidential work related documents. These documents have since been moved to an encrypted drive.

In hindsight I should have got a file shredder (I did not know I already had one that comes with Spybot) and shredded the files after copying them to the encrypted drive.

I was running out of time and had to spend all my time researching encryption.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Running a free space erase (as described previously) on the original drive should clean things up.

David
 

Klawdek

New Member
I only have about 11GB of free space so I am hoping that wont take long to do.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Klawdek said:
I only have about 11GB of free space so I am hoping that wont take long to do.
No, that should be fairly quick, depending on the speed of the machine, of course.

David
 

Klawdek

New Member
So which 6.1 version that can erase free space do you feel is most stable?
 

Klawdek

New Member
The only issue I have with 6.1.0.2241, which is what I am currently using on both of my main machines, is that I cannot erase free space and cluster tips on a system drive,

I am a little confused. Do you mean that it cannot erase free space and/or cluster tips, or that it cannot erase cluster tips but still can erase the free space?
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Klawdek said:
So which 6.1 version that can erase free space do you feel is most stable?
Any of the recent ones should be OK. As I write, 2244 is the most recent. I'm using 2241.

Klawdek said:
Do you mean that it cannot erase free space and/or cluster tips, or that it cannot erase cluster tips but still can erase the free space?
The latter. Erasing cluster tips is an option of erasing free space; there is not much point in doing the first unless you also do the second. On a system drive, I get a crash if the option is set.

David
 

Klawdek

New Member
OK you convinced me to trust the newer version I think I will try 2241 since you have been using it with no serious problems.

Thanks for all the help.
 

Klawdek

New Member
Well I guess that idea will not work as 2241 is no longer available. My only choices are 2243, 2244 and 2247. I am a little afraid of 2247 as it could have a major problem as of yet unknown that messes up my system. My system is no good for beta testing. It's Windows XP and I have no installation disks so that makes this a disposable computer with a very limited lifetime :(
 

Klawdek

New Member
I tried 2247. As you mentioned it cannot erase cluster tips. It does not crash it just hangs. After 2 hours with no new entries in the task log for the last hour I canceled the process. I figure it should not take more than two hours to erase 10GB with cluster tips. My anti virus can go through every file in the system and do 100,000 more things to each file than eraser does, in two hours or less. So I figure eraser should be able to erase cluster tips in a fraction of the time.

Then I tried erasing free space without the cluster tips option enabled. This time it took 20 minutes and completed with the following warning:

Warning This computer has had System Restore or Volume Shadow Copies enabled. This may allow copies of files stored on the disk to be recovered and pose a security concern.

20 minutes is still extremely long for a write of 10GB. I can write 8GB of data to a DVD in 20 minutes and that is the slowest data storage medium in common use today, I do not understand how writing 10GB of data to the HD could take more than about 2 minutes.

The default options are a bit screwy. The first time I ran it the default erasure method was set to Gutmann 35 pass. I changed it Pseudorandom 1 pass. The next time I ran it it was set to default with no indication what that means. I changed it to single pass.

The thought occurs to me that somehow it could have done a 35 pass instead of a single, That would explain the enormous amount of time it took. Unfortunately the task log does not indicate erasure method (he should really put that in there).
 

Joel

Active Member
Klawdek said:
I tried 2247. As you mentioned it cannot erase cluster tips. It does not crash it just hangs. After 2 hours with no new entries in the task log for the last hour I canceled the process.
Did you double click the task and see if any progress was made?

Klawdek said:
I figure it should not take more than two hours to erase 10GB with cluster tips. My anti virus can go through every file in the system and do 100,000 more things to each file than eraser does, in two hours or less. So I figure eraser should be able to erase cluster tips in a fraction of the time.
Unfortunately that's not the case. Your anti virus doesn't need to open and close file handles four or five times a file. In addition, your anti virus does not write to the file at all. Eraser needs to:
  1. List all files on disk
  2. Find alternate data streams for every file
  3. Calculate the number of used clusters per file
  4. Open the file for writing, extend the file to the cluster boundary, write the cluster tip X times depending on your pass used (flushing each time -- no caching is allowed), restore the size of the file, and then close the file handle
These aren't things your antivirus would be doing...

Klawdek said:
Then I tried erasing free space without the cluster tips option enabled. This time it took 20 minutes and completed with the following warning:

Warning This computer has had System Restore or Volume Shadow Copies enabled. This may allow copies of files stored on the disk to be recovered and pose a security concern.

20 minutes is still extremely long for a write of 10GB. I can write 8GB of data to a DVD in 20 minutes and that is the slowest data storage medium in common use today, I do not understand how writing 10GB of data to the HD could take more than about 2 minutes.
If you have volume shadow copies, space is freed as the erase continues. The system deletes old system restore points a the amount of disk space decreases. If you're using a decently new drive, in 20 minutes approximately 72GiB of data should have already been written. There are a few possibilities: either you had that much space used for system restore, or more likely, you used an erasure method of more than 1 pass on the unused space.

Klawdek said:
The default options are a bit screwy. The first time I ran it the default erasure method was set to Gutmann 35 pass. I changed it Pseudorandom 1 pass. The next time I ran it it was set to default with no indication what that means. I changed it to single pass.
Defaults are set in the Settings. Depending on the type of erasure you are running, the correct setting will be looked up.

Klawdek said:
The thought occurs to me that somehow it could have done a 35 pass instead of a single, That would explain the enormous amount of time it took. Unfortunately the task log does not indicate erasure method (he should really put that in there).
Not necessarily. 35 passes would be around 350GB of space. Even on a very fast drive (~105MB/s for a new Barracuda) that would require at least 56 minutes to complete. When running the task, double clicking on the task would yield quite a bit of information. Perhaps you may want to look at that (and capture a screenshot while you're at it) for details.

Granted, the task log is just a task log, there's no summary at the end of the erasure. I'd need to find a way to add that in, without deviating from the log paradigm.
 

Joel

Active Member
Klawdek said:
I tried 2247. As you mentioned it cannot erase cluster tips. It does not crash it just hangs. After 2 hours with no new entries in the task log for the last hour I canceled the process.
Did you double click the task and see if any progress was made?

Klawdek said:
I figure it should not take more than two hours to erase 10GB with cluster tips. My anti virus can go through every file in the system and do 100,000 more things to each file than eraser does, in two hours or less. So I figure eraser should be able to erase cluster tips in a fraction of the time.
Unfortunately that's not the case. Your anti virus doesn't need to open and close file handles four or five times a file. In addition, your anti virus does not write to the file at all. Eraser needs to:
  1. List all files on disk
  2. Find alternate data streams for every file
  3. Calculate the number of used clusters per file
  4. Open the file for writing, extend the file to the cluster boundary, write the cluster tip X times depending on your pass used (flushing each time -- no caching is allowed), restore the size of the file, and then close the file handle
These aren't things your antivirus would be doing...

Klawdek said:
Then I tried erasing free space without the cluster tips option enabled. This time it took 20 minutes and completed with the following warning:

Warning This computer has had System Restore or Volume Shadow Copies enabled. This may allow copies of files stored on the disk to be recovered and pose a security concern.

20 minutes is still extremely long for a write of 10GB. I can write 8GB of data to a DVD in 20 minutes and that is the slowest data storage medium in common use today, I do not understand how writing 10GB of data to the HD could take more than about 2 minutes.
If you have volume shadow copies, space is freed as the erase continues. The system deletes old system restore points a the amount of disk space decreases. If you're using a decently new drive, in 20 minutes approximately 72GiB of data should have already been written. There are a few possibilities: either you had that much space used for system restore, or more likely, you used an erasure method of more than 1 pass on the unused space.

Klawdek said:
The default options are a bit screwy. The first time I ran it the default erasure method was set to Gutmann 35 pass. I changed it Pseudorandom 1 pass. The next time I ran it it was set to default with no indication what that means. I changed it to single pass.
Defaults are set in the Settings. Depending on the type of erasure you are running, the correct setting will be looked up.

Klawdek said:
The thought occurs to me that somehow it could have done a 35 pass instead of a single, That would explain the enormous amount of time it took. Unfortunately the task log does not indicate erasure method (he should really put that in there).
Not necessarily. 35 passes would be around 350GB of space. Even on a very fast drive (~105MB/s for a new Barracuda) that would require at least 56 minutes to complete. When running the task, double clicking on the task would yield quite a bit of information. Perhaps you may want to look at that (and capture a screenshot while you're at it) for details.

Granted, the task log is just a task log, there's no summary at the end of the erasure. I'd need to find a way to add that in, without deviating from the log paradigm.
 
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