Free Space Problem with Eraser 5.3


New Member
Help! :x

Let me start off by saying, I didn't know until reading posts on this site today that you were not supposed to use version 5.3 of Eraser with Windows XP (SP2). I had been running it without incident for years on Window XP. I didn't know that there were newer versions of Eraser because I remember reading from Sami's site some years ago that this was the last version he was to work on. That said, I had a major problem with the free space operation on my drive.

Since this operation takes a long time, I run it before going to bed. This time I had fogotten to shut off all active programs and my Anti Virus was up (Computer Associates eTrust version When I awoke in the morning, I came into a file full message and a popup indicating that the Anti Virus quarantined a virus in three files. I don't remember the file names but they seemed to be random letters with random file extensions. The virus was called "MTE DAME". Eraser was hung and did not compete. Obviously, I did a reboot. I found that the disk was 100% full (40 Gig) and I was unable to browse its contents in Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer would just hang for that drive only (and so would add / remove programs). Because I really couldn't see the files on the disk, I was unable to clear up any space. What I did next was to buy a new much larger Seagate drive (160 Gig). I did the disk cloning operation from the full drive to the new drive and I am now running on the new disk. I am still unable to browse even the new disk with windows explorer but I am able to browse it using DOS commands. I found in the root over three hundred directories named "~ERAFEWD.*". Using the DOS remove directory command with the /S and /D switches, I was able to remove all of these directories and delete the files inside of them. That cleared up over 5 Gig of space and my computer seems to be operating almost normally now but I still cannot browse the directory tree of the drive within windows from any application. It now takes over 15 minutes to display the list of programs in the add / remove programs box. I feel that there must still be something wrong.

What should I do?

Thank you,

Mark Ruscitti
Hi Mark

I am sorry you have had this trouble with Eraser. I just wonder if your anti virus may have seen a random file created by Eraser and mistaken it for a virus ?

Also I wonder if your old hard drive may have had errors / bad sectors on it. If so then you may have to re-install windows on your new drive. I hope you would then be able to access all your data on your old drive using it as a slave drive.

If you can just wait a while before doing anything Joel will probably be able to help you out more when he reads this thread.

Nope, no idea. I can offer a few suggestions though.

Firstly do a chkdsk. This fixes quite a few problems with directories. If nothing works, you can try copying every file out to a separate drive, reformat, and use the old drive as a data drive.

You can try running a defrag to see if that helps. Drives flushed to fullness usually fragment really bad because every bit of space is squeezed out of the drive.

Older versions

But... Why wouldn't v5.3 run under Windows XP?!!

It just creates large files, and fills them with junk. Why *wouldn't* this work under Windows XP; what was so significant that changed in v5.6 and later?
Eraser 5.3 wasn't tested on XP. The documentation shows that v5.4 was the first version to be updated to be confirmed to work on XP. However the documentation also shows that various minor tweaks were still made for compatibility with XP up to version 5.541. The next release, v5.6 seems to have added DBAN and this seems to have signified a relaunch of the product.