Eraser 5.3 Free Disk Space


New Member
Good morning,

I've been using Eraser 5.3 on a Windows XP Pro Service Pack 3 box for some time with not issues; this morning I saw that the process which normally runs in a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon was still running. I stopped the process, and it appeared to do fine.

However, when I attempted to browse the C: drive of my computer, it would not resolve the files. I could go directly to an existing folder ON the C:\drive (Program Files, for instance), but I could not browse C:. Also, the Eraser process must have left a file of considerable size on my C: drive, because there is only 6GB of space left on a drive that normally has 250GB. I figured this must be a lingering problem with the Eraser process, and rebooted. On reboot, I received the "NTLDR missing" error. Having run across that error before in other instances, I managed to boot into my machine again, but the drive space and no-browse C: error is still there.

Is there perhaps a file I can identify/remove in DOS to take care of this problem? The only thing I can think of is Eraser creates a large file to overwrite the free space with, and XP can't resolve a file of that size.
Eraser 5.3 is a very old version which is no longer supported. I'm not sure that anyone still involved with the Eraser Project could be absolutely certain of the details. I'll do some guessing, based on what I remember of Eraser 5.88.

Clearly, stopping the process prevented Eraser cleaning up after itself. In the root folder of your C: drive, there should be a randomly named folder containing a number of randomly named files. Eraser folders/files are usually easily recognised precisely the names are so random. Just delete this folder, and you should get your space back. If you have some means of booting from a CD or a floppy (e.g. a bootable Linux disk) that enables you to look at the drive more easily than the DOS DIR command, that would be helpful.

Let's try to exclude filesystem problems first. I'd recommend doing a chkdsk before anything. You can try to delete ~ersfwd.tmp at the root of C:\ but that may not be the cause of your problem (I'm suspecting disk corruption here.)

And just to let you know, Eraser 5.3 has been superseded by many new versions. If you get this fixed, you may like to upgrade.
I ran chkdsk; came back fine. I also managed (after a long search) to find and remove the temp file ~erafswd.tmp (thank you). However, I had to set the view option on my C: drive to not show hidden files, because there are 4.2 million of them on C:\ (which is what was and is causing the NTLDR problem). I'm assuming that since they were not there before cleaner rab, they were somehow written because of whatever caused it to hang.

I can't view the files to delete them; windows explorer hangs when I try to display that many files. Is there any chance that there's a naming convention for these files so I can delete them in batches, or do you have a utility for removing these files?
For 4.2 million files... that would be an issue. I can't really remember whether there is a pattern involved, so I'd recommend booting using a Linux LiveCD and deleting those files. I'm hoping Linux deals with that many files better (I have a feeling it's a problem of having too many files.)