Allow "cool down" periods between (and pauses during) tasks

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Allow "cool down" periods between (and pauses during) tasks

Postby GizmoChicken » Fri May 25, 2012 6:16 am

The "erase schedule" is one of the unique (and best) features of the Eraser program. But I've noticed that deleting large files, such as virtual volumes and the like, can put quite a strain (resulting in heat buildup) on my hard-drive, especially when using a multi-pass erasure method. And so I'm reluctant to add more than a few such files to the "erase schedule" at any given time, preferring instead to start such tasks manually after allowing my hard drive a some time to cool down between tasks.

How about allowing for interspersing "cool down" periods (as an option) after selected tasks?

I'm not really sure what duration the "cool down" periods should be. But in my estimation, including options for "cool down" periods of 15, 30, 60 and 120 minutes would probably cover most situations.

And if possible, allowing to schedule "pauses" during especially long tasks would be great too. Or at least add a "pause" button to allow for manually pausing a long task.
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Re: Allow "cool down" periods between (and pauses during) ta

Postby Joel » Sun May 27, 2012 11:16 pm

I am intending to implement pausing of executing tasks in Eraser 6.2, but I don't think that adding a task for pausing the scheduler would be a good idea, since it would interfere with the scheduling and add complexity to the algorithm.

As an example, if I schedule a task for 11am, expecting the task to complete at 11:15am, and add a 30 minute break between this and the next task, scheduled for 11:30am, how should Eraser run the two tasks? There will be people who prefer that the task runs at 11:30, and others at 11:45, and others at a time I can't think of right now...

Then there are those who would want to have it run at 11:30 for some situations and others at 11:45...

Algorithms aside, my personal opinion is that high temperatures for hard disks indicate impending mechanical failure; I stress my disks non-stop on a regular basis without giving it rest. Maybe you should check your disk?
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Re: Allow "cool down" periods between (and pauses during) ta

Postby GizmoChicken » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:07 am

Joel wrote:I am intending to implement pausing of executing tasks in Eraser 6.2...


Great! Not exactly what I had in mind, but allowing for pausing would be a big help.

Joel wrote:..., but I don't think that adding a task for pausing the scheduler would be a good idea, since it would interfere with the scheduling and add complexity to the algorithm.

As an example, if I schedule a task for 11am, expecting the task to complete at 11:15am, and add a 30 minute break between this and the next task, scheduled for 11:30am, how should Eraser run the two tasks? There will be people who prefer that the task runs at 11:30, and others at 11:45, and others at a time I can't think of right now...


I would suggest treating a "cool down" period as if it were a task of fixed duration having priority over the later scheduled tasks. As such, if a "cool down" period were in effect at the appointed start time of a later scheduled task, that later scheduled task would not start until immediately after the full duration of the scheduled "cool down" period had ended. Those wanting to abide by a strict schedule for start times would either not intersperse "cool down" periods or else would take care that the interspersed "cool down" periods don't cause a backlog. But really this isn't much different from starting a long task just before a later scheduled task is scheduled to start. There too, the later scheduled task would likely be delayed.

Joel wrote:Algorithms aside, my personal opinion is that high temperatures for hard disks indicate impending mechanical failure; I stress my disks non-stop on a regular basis without giving it rest. Maybe you should check your disk?


I fully agree about heat being a sign of impending failure. But that's pretty much what inspired me to make the above request. That is, one of my aging 750GB Maxtor external USB drives died about 7 hours into a three-pass deletion using the Eraser program. Don't worry, I don't fault the Eraser program. Like I said, the drive was aging and would have died sooner or later. But I can't help but believe that, had I interspersed some "cool down" periods during the three-pass deletion, the drive would have died later, rather than sooner.

Oh, the good news is that it wasn't a mechanical component of the drive that failed, but rather an electrical component of the original the Maxtor USB enclosure. I managed to bring the drive back to life by removing it from the original Maxtor USB enclosure and dropping it in new SIIG USB enclosure. I'm not really sure what electrical bit in the Maxtor USB enclosure failed, but I suspect heat build up (the drive and enclosure were hot at the time of failure) played a part.
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Re: Allow "cool down" periods between (and pauses during) ta

Postby Joel » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:06 am

What about being able to insert a new Erasure Target, one that blocks the progression of erasures? So you'll add targets like you do for files, folders etc and it will not return until a given amount of time is up?

Actually, this can be done just by using a plugin, there's no need to change Eraser's scheduler if that's the case.

My experience with disk enclosures by brand-name manufacturers (I've used both American ones -- hint, hint) is that they are very poorly designed; the enclosures fail electrically very quickly, especially if the enclosures are on 24/7. I purchased proper ones made of sturdy aluminium and they've been working better than ever.
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Re: Allow "cool down" periods between (and pauses during) ta

Postby GizmoChicken » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:14 am

Joel wrote:What about being able to insert a new Erasure Target, one that blocks the progression of erasures? So you'll add targets like you do for files, folders etc and it will not return until a given amount of time is up?

Actually, this can be done just by using a plugin, there's no need to change Eraser's scheduler if that's the case.

If understand correctly, what you describe would do exactly what I have in mind. Unfortunately, I probably don't have the technical ability to create such a plugin, but here's hoping someone out there is willing to create one and share...

Joel wrote:My experience with disk enclosures by brand-name manufacturers (I've used both American ones -- hint, hint) is that they are very poorly designed; the enclosures fail electrically very quickly, especially if the enclosures are on 24/7. I purchased proper ones made of sturdy aluminium and they've been working better than ever.

Yep, I absolutely agree. I can't recall when, if ever, the actual drive component of an external USB drive failed before the original housing failed. In fact, I've had a few drives even outlive multiple replacement enclosures. So the lesson that I've learned is that, before tossing that seemingly dead external USB drive, try moving it to a new housing. That move might just bring it back to life.
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Re: Allow "cool down" periods between (and pauses during) ta

Postby DavidHB » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:28 pm

GizmoChicken wrote: I can't recall when, if ever, the actual drive component of an external USB drive failed before the original housing failed. In fact, I've had a few drives even outlive multiple replacement enclosures. So the lesson that I've learned is that, before tossing that seemingly dead external USB drive, try moving it to a new housing. That move might just bring it back to life.

It is good to have my own experience confirmed by you and by Joel.

For drives that are continuously or almost continuously operating, I now tend not to use USB enclosures. Either I use an NAS (reasonable quality versions have much better cooling than a standard USB enclosure, and they often also have thermal protection), or a mount an extra drive in my (reasonably capacious) desktop case, which again has better cooling.

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Re: Allow "cool down" periods between (and pauses during) ta

Postby Joel » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:00 am

By the way, it would be good if the OP can make a ticket in Trac for this, linking to this thread. I'll probably provide this facility as a plug in separate from the main Eraser distribution.
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