Simplified - Zero Out Unused Disk Space

marklar

New Member
Greetings.

I am interested in using Eraser to Zero Out Unused Disk Space (in a rarely used old Virtual PC machine, so that I may reclaim the space).

For the old version 5 Eraser product the instructions to use with Virtual PC were:

4. Run Eraser in the guest OS.
5. Select Edit->Preferences->Erasing
6. Select "Unused Disk Space"
7. Select "New"
8. Enter the description "Blank"
9. Select "Add"
10. Create a 3-byte pattern of zeros. On the "Custom Method Editor" window, near the bottom you'll see "Pattern" and underneath that, will be "Byte 1" (with 8 zeros), then "Byte 2" with a checkbox by it, and a greyed out "Byte 3". When you check the "Byte 2" box, the "Byte 3" will no longer be greyed out and you can then check it, thus creating a 3 byte pattern of zeros.
11. Click "Save"
12. Select "Blank" under "Unused disk space"
13. Click "Ok"
14. Select "File"->"New Task"
15. Select "Unused space on drive"
16. Select Local Hard Drives
17. Click "Ok
18. Select "Task"->"run on the previously created task"
19. When finished, close the report
20. Exit Eraser and shutdown the guest PC. Make sure the guest is not in a saved state.


I have gotten to page 14 of the manual, and found the custom settings, but don't know from my old notes/instructions above whether to be doing twenty-four Zeros as TEXT, or to try and type eight of twenty-four Zeros as a hexadecimal...the interface lacks they Byte order that the old one had.

Could somone please tell me what the right way to do this is? It is my understanding for the "space reclaimation" utility to work the area must be ZEROES, not random data.

Also, since I'm trying to reclaim unused disk space, I believe that I should NOT check the cluster tips erasing, as I have no sensitive material here, just need to reclaim the space...right?

thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.


------------------------------------

As an aside thought for your consideration: it is wonderful that you include all the fancy multipass and random techniques, but is it not possible to include some pre-made techniques that just zero out space with one pass?
 

marklar

New Member
Hello again.


In playing with the program further, I was looking in the Custom Erasure Methods tab of the Default Plugin-settings dialog box.

When Right-Clicking on a Method it would make sense to have "Edit", in addition to the "Delete" option that pops up.

When I double clicked on my attempt with twenty-four (24) Zeros the answer to my question became clear...the column "Data" showed "Constant (24 bytes)", so, to make a 3-byte zero I reduced my Text input to three (3) Zeros...

If anyone reads this and had anything to add, would love to hear it, going to test it now.

Thanks...

And still hope the suggestion for simple "Zeroing Out Unused Space" is considered as a pre-made option...

Cheers
 

Joel

Active Member
You should be switching it to "hexadecimal" when editing your pass. When you have the pass set to "000" and set as "text" in memory it's actually 0x20, and not binary 0x00 which is what you're attempting to accomplish. The v6 editor is more flexible in that you can either include text or binary, depending on your requirements (e.g. it can be useful to overwrite disk space with certain text to state ownership or the likes... I don't know - random ideas) and that instead of binary as in v5, we use hexadecimal which is more concise and pass data can be of any length, not just 3 bytes like in v5.
 

marklar

New Member
Joel:

many thanks for the clarification and the quick reply!

will give that a try.
 

CGOSenseiC

New Member
Joel said:
The v6 editor is more flexible in that you can either include text or binary, depending on your requirements (e.g. it can be useful to overwrite disk space with certain text to state ownership or the likes... I don't know - random ideas) and that instead of binary as in v5, we use hexadecimal which is more concise and pass data can be of any length, not just 3 bytes like in v5.
SO my eyes apparently have failed me for I couldn't find anywhere in V6.x to define a specific erasure pattern (for example using all 0s for the free space and pagefile on a virtual machine before archiving it.

+CGO+SenseiC
 

DavidHB

Active Member
CGOSenseiC said:
SO my eyes apparently have failed me for I couldn't find anywhere in V6.x to define a specific erasure pattern (for example using all 0s for the free space and pagefile on a virtual machine before archiving it.
I suspect that your eyes (like mine at first) didn't light on the scrollbar on the settings page. This is what Eraser Help says

Eraser comes with the ability for you to create your own erasure methods for file overwriting. This is accomplished by right-clicking the Default Erasure Methods and PRNGs plugin in the Settings page, then selecting Custom Erasure Methods. You will be presented with the Custom Erasure Method Editor.
What Help doesn't say is that you have to scroll down the settings page to see the plugins page. Help is also something of a brain teaser in its description of the function, but it is clear that you can specify your own overwrite pattern, rather than using pseudorandom data (which I am inclined to prefer, myself).

David

P.S. If you want single pass overwriting with all zeroes, you can also use the built-in British HMG IS5 (Baseline) (1 pass) method.
 

Joel

Active Member
DavidHB said:
Eraser comes with the ability for you to create your own erasure methods for file overwriting. This is accomplished by right-clicking the Default Erasure Methods and PRNGs plugin in the Settings page, then selecting Custom Erasure Methods. You will be presented with the Custom Erasure Method Editor.
What Help doesn't say is that you have to scroll down the settings page to see the plugins page. Help is also something of a brain teaser in its description of the function, but it is clear that you can specify your own overwrite pattern, rather than using pseudorandom data (which I am inclined to prefer, myself).
Ah, okay... hmmph. I guess the documentation could be improved, but since I was doing it all it was rather rushed... I won't have much time today to get it fixed... perhaps we could bump this topic in about 2 or 3 days and then I could fix this.

OR: create a ticket in Trac just to remind me, because I use Trac to list what needs doing...
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Joel said:
Ah, okay... hmmph. I guess the documentation could be improved, but since I was doing it all it was rather rushed... I won't have much time today to get it fixed... perhaps we could bump this topic in about 2 or 3 days and then I could fix this.

OR: create a ticket in Trac just to remind me, because I use Trac to list what needs doing...
Thanks for the thought, and responding so quickly ... I know, I should expect it by now.

I'll ponder on it and bump the thread, as suggested. The thought is at present that the function is sufficiently 'advanced' to require a step by step guide for mere mortals such as me. In particular, the how, when and why of using text or HEX patterns or both needs to be explained more clearly.

Once I'm clearer about the suggestion, that might be the time for a Trac ticket.

David
 

Joel

Active Member
Of course! hmm.
 
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