Follow up an erase unused data task with a regular erase?


New Member

One of my hard drives (to which I had backupped some personal files) had begun acting up and it was getting clear that the hard drive is dying.

Usually I'd put it in a closet and forget about it but this time there was still a waranty attached to it. However to get my replacement I need to return the nearly broken one to the store.
What I have done:
1. quick format (via right click-> format in my computer)
2. normal/slow format (again via right click -> format in my computer)
3. I am now running an "erase all unsured space" task, which has taken around a week to nearly complete.

Should I run a normal erase task to finish up or will another regular format be sufficient?

Also, the Task Log mentions that system restore is enabled. Will it suffice to turn that off before I do an erase of the then completely filled hard disk?

Thanks a lot!
Re: Follow up an erase unused data task with a regular erase

I think that as part of good security practices, you have done better than most. If you aren't too concerned about the casual person chancing upon your data I think this is a reasonable state at which you will return the drive (I would -- but your threat model is most likely different from mine)

So, I guess YMMV. But good job nonetheless.
Re: Follow up an erase unused data task with a regular erase

Hello and thanks for the quick reaction!

Sometimes apparently went wrong sadly, so I'll have to redo parts of the process.

I watched the open space on the relevant drive fall to 0 bytes free / 981 TB but since the program did not finish I let it run for the night. This morning i got the standard windows error of "this program does not react anymore". After I clicked ok on that I saw that free space has jumped up to 268 gb again.

Any precautions I can make to assure that this does not happen again?


Having problems with restarting the process. I get a "running" status with a little 'wave of green' running from left to the right of the status bar but no random data files are being written, it seems. I'm no wizard, but basically what the program does is create random files since after a format the files are still "there", only not shown anymore, right? So does that mean that if I can't get another "delete unused free space" task running again, I could simply copy/paste some of the existing hundreds of GB of filler files?
Re: Follow up an erase unused data task with a regular erase

Sorry, I didn't catch your post.

Eraser should not have any problems handling large disks. I think it probably made a directory with too many files and the OS/Antivirus is starting to have problems coping with it (I've seen Eraser create a folder with hundreds of thousands of files for MFT cleaning -- the FS and OS usually struggle with that.) So if that were the case, I'd just leave Eraser to its own devices to finish the job (it'll take a while, but it should complete.) I've got a patch to split the directory to smaller shards, but that will only be in 6.2.

To your latter question, yes you can in theory, but security is reduced slightly as file names are re-used and data is no longer as random. If plausible deniability is not a concern, you can very well do that. But why not let Eraser finish the job for you?