Windows Backup and personal files NOT overwritten!!??

raverkid00

New Member
I recently downloaded your latest iteration of Eraser. It fails to overwrite several types of files, including a number of Windows files deleted and located in my "free space" section, and several "personal password protected files" located on my C Drive that I tried to erase. Furthermore, while the personal files still exist, I am now denied access so that I cannot remove the password protection and try to erase them again.

Bear with me as I explain the situation. Up until a little over a week ago, my 228 GB hardrive had about 189 GB of free space. Then I discovered it suddenly only had about 7 GB of free space. Suspecting a virus, I reinstalled the operating system with the original disk. It created a backup file containing ALL the data existing prior to the reinstall. I then downloaded your program, deleted most of the files in the "Backup" folder, and tried to erase them. I found, (and still find) that over 500 Windows program, directory, and other deleted files could not be erased! Apparently, even though they were deleted, they remain password protected and your program cannot overwrite them! Tonight I tried to erase the files in the "documents and settings" folder in "Backup," among which were about 11 files I had placed password protections on. Eraser worked on most of the files but NOT on those password protected. But when I tried to access them to remove the password protection, I was denied access.

WHY DOESN'T YOUR PROGRAM OVERWRITE PASSWORD PROTECTED FILES? Regardless of their location (free space or active file), your program should be set up to overwrite them regardless of password protection, OR IT IS EFFECTIVELY USELESS TO PROTECT USERS FROM HAVING SUCH FILES RECOVERED BY OTHERS WHO MAY GAIN ACCESS TO THE HARDDRIVE!!

Since that's the whole point behind downloading your program....whats the deal??
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Eraser will (especially if run elevated, i.e. as Administrator) erase anything that
  • is not a protected OS file;
  • is not on this list of exceptions detailed in the manual (e.g. reparse points, and files or folders encrypted or compressed by the file system)
Of these, nothing will touch the first category (other than booting into another OS and deleting from there), and the second category can be dealt with by deleting from the OS, and then doing a free space wipe.

I assume from what you say that you are using Eraser 6.0.7, but you do not say which OS you are using, so it is not possible for me to know how much, if at all, Windows permissions have a bearing on your problem. However, it does seem that you have fallen foul of the issue with disk system encrypted files, which the Eraser manual describes in the following terms:

"Because encrypted, compressed and sparse files behave differently when applying the standard erasure procedure, Eraser will not erase such files when they are encountered and will instead log an error."

Joel will know better than I what the precise issue is here and whether there are any plans to enhance Eraser to deal directly with it. For now, have you tried putting the offending files in the Recycle Bin, and erasing the contents of that? Your backup folder is probably too big to go in the Recycle Bin, so deleting that from Explorer and then doing a free space wipe is probably the best option. If the folder won't delete from Explorer, you have a permissions issue, and how you deal with that may depend on which OS you are using. Try these options, and come back if you still have problems. The more explicit you can be about the sequence of steps you take and any errors that occur, the better.

Incidentally, and not that it is much help now, the commonest cause of 'lost' disk space is a problem with the MFT or FAT (depending on how the drive is formatted); such problems are usually fixed by running a disk check with error correction.

David
 

Joel

Active Member
raverkid00 said:
I found, (and still find) that over 500 Windows program, directory, and other deleted files could not be erased! Apparently, even though they were deleted, they remain password protected and your program cannot overwrite them! Tonight I tried to erase the files in the "documents and settings" folder in "Backup," among which were about 11 files I had placed password protections on. Eraser worked on most of the files but NOT on those password protected. But when I tried to access them to remove the password protection, I was denied access.
Please copy and paste the task log before we can help you diagnose the underlying cause of this.

DavidHB said:
Joel will know better than I what the precise issue is here and whether there are any plans to enhance Eraser to deal directly with it.
Reparse points are for sanity: these are hard links or symbolic links and that would leave dangling references to garbage data (not fun). Compressed files may mess up with the overwriting process, as with encrypted files, as by directly writing the data we want on the disk is not what goes to the disk (though the file contains the data we want -- which is the defined behaviour for both functions), but when v5 overwrote the files directly, we get spurious disk corruption, so Ifigured it's safer to remove it in v6, until a good solution is found (proposed solution is to use the Backup APIs)
 
Top