Eraser Operating Time


New Member
I have been using Eraser 5.8.7 for a while now with no issues to wipe 399 gb of unused disc space of of my 465 gb C drive. It usually would take under 3 hours with all 3 boxes checked (Free Disk Space, Cluster Tips and Directory Entries) and the lowest overwrite 1 in "Pseuorandom Data". That operating time has now jumped to 1783 minutes or just over 29 hours. Any ideas on what caused that jump in time? I've reinstalled it several times.
Firstly, version 5.8.7 is no longer supported, tough it is the most recent version you can use with Windows 98 and earlier. So the help we can offer here is limited. The current version is, which is a completely re-written program with a different UI.

The most significant determinant of operating time is the erasing method (and in particular the number of passes) used. If you are sure that you have not inadvertently changed the erasing method, the next most likely problem is a resources issue or system conflict. You could try stopping all running programs, including, in particular, your antivirus, for the duration of the erase, to see if that makes a difference.

Also, are there any messages about items that could not be erased? And have you checked the drive to ensure that Eraser has not left any of its erasing files undeleted?

I think, the largest performance decrease from v5 is that cluster tip erasures now take an excessive amount of time. I've got no estimates, but the new code does seem significantly slower. If cluster tips are not a great concern for you, I'd suggest you disable that feature for the moment.

The cluster tip erasures changed quite substantially from v5, notably, on NTFS volumes the cluster tips of ADSes are also checked (I don't think this was done in v5.) Eraser also will attempt to unlock files that it can't access. At the framework level, .NET is substantially slower at listing directories (from experience, I don't have numbers to back this claim up.) All in all, there's way to go optimising the cluster tip procedures, but for now I think there are more pressing issues that need attention... I hope that as a user you can understand.
Just to check. I think Joel has the impression that you've moved from Version 5.8.7 to version 6. As I read your post, you are still using version 5.8.7. Is that correct?

David, you are correct, I have NOT move up to version 6 from 5.8.7. Thought I tried it and also its latest "build" and both crashed and were usesless on my xp system. So I went back to 5. David, maybe I did change something i.e., maybe I only had cluster tips and directories checked in the boxes (though I don't think so). It is faster that way. Will that give me a substantial wipe as nothing shows up in "recuva" after wiping with those 2 only checked? I am usuing recuva as my "meter" for successful cleaning. It could be a system issue as CCleaner's drive wipe also takes very very long.
Apologies for the misunderstanding.

Unused directory entries for NTFS involves filling up the drive with garbage files until the MFT grows (by 4 records, usually.) Depending on how large the MFT is and how much of the MFT is unused, this process can take a very long time -- gaps in the MFT are usually due to installing a program with many (thousands) of files and uninstalling it. That would account for the extra time required.

This point is moot if MFT entries are not your issue. To verify the cause of the sluggishness, do have a look at the progress dialog and see which section takes the most time and report the times, depending on which section takes the most time, the cause of the slowness will differ.
Thanks Joel. I probably didn't explain myself clearly. Well I think I am understanding what you are saying. My knowledge of computers is very limited. I will run each of those "boxes" separately and check the time frame. Is there a way to compact or shrink the MFT?
OK guys my computer flatlined! I mean "OS Missing"! So I guess you were right David, there was a big conflict brewing. Reinstalled OS and now drivers and programs, Word etc.......Things are going good. It will Thanks!
If you'd allow me to suggest, after reinstalling Windows is the best time to try a new Eraser 6 build to see which version you prefer. Of course, you'd need to do steps in viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6139 when downgrading from 6.1 to 6.0; but that is not necessary for reverting to 5.x
I'd support Joel in his suggestion, with the additional advice that you may well find the FAQ topic on 'Getting to know Eraser 6' useful; in my experience, Eraser 6 is more confusing at first sight for former users of Eraser 5 than for new users. I've had generally good experience with Eraser 6 running under XP SP3; any problems now seem to be a function of Windows installation issues ('dll hell') rather than of Eraser as such.