Erasing pictures



I read over the article quickly. It appears to go against all that ERASER claims to do.
In what way does the information in Dr. Gutmann's paper go against what Eraser does, or claims to do? Maybe you have misunderstood the program or the paper, or both?

Does Eraser really overwrite everything except protected files?
Eraser overwrites everything you tell it to overwrite. If it cannot perform the task for some reason, it will tell you that. For example, if you try to erase a file that is in use, you will receive an error message reporting what happened. If you really want to erase everything, including all your files and the operating system, use DBAN that comes with Eraser.

Swap files too?
You cannot erase the swap file while the operating system is running. Depending on your operating system version, you can erase the swap file from DOS or tell Windows to overwrite the swap file at shutdown. Eraser lets you do both.

I dont quite know what a swap file is exactly, but everyone talks about them
That's probably because they don't what a swap file is either. If they did, and were paranoid enough, they would simply turn it off. Most people shouldn't need to worry. If you are interested in learning more about virtual memory, paging, and swap files, I suggest picking up a book about operating system design.

How can I know that Eraser really worked?
You could, for example, read the supposedly overwritten part of the hard drive and verify that the old data is really gone.

Is there a way to test an overwrite?
Yes, Eraser comes with a program called "verify.exe" that shows you the contents of a file you want to erase before it's overwritten and after each overwriting pass. You can see for yourself how the previous data gets replaced.

Does Version 57 (the one I have) overwrite 7 times or 35 times?
It can overwrite data as many times as you want, and with any patterns you like. It's all configurable. You can see the selected overwriting method from "Erasing preferences". By default files are overwritten using the 35 pass method described in Dr. Gutmann's paper.

How do I know?
After reading your post I am inclined to think you are new to all this. In that case, I suggest you start by reading the Eraser help file and the FAQ. It's all pretty much explained there.