How long does Eraser take?


New Member
I've just deleted the volume on a 320 gig portable drive, then reformatted it to NTFS and set Eraser away to erase it using the default settings.
However it's been going for about an hour with no sign of how long the process might take overall. Is there somewhere that tells me how long it will take?
Are you, perhaps, suggesting that the Eraser Scheduler display a status bar for in-progress tasks giving the percent complete and estimated time remaining? Nice idea although I do not know whether it is feasible and whether it is the most critical use of scarce Eraser resources.

The short answer to your specific question is, "A long time, possibly hours." The long answer is, "It depends upon the device, how it is connected and, especially, what Eraser options were selected."

First, does your portable device connect via SATA-I, SATA-II, SATA-III, USB 2.0, USB 3.0 or Firewire? And, if it supports SATA-III (or USB 3.0), was it plugged into a SATA-III (or USB 3.0) port? Modern systemboards usually have SATA-III and both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports but the USB 3.0 ports are usually located in back, not the front. If your device is SATA-I (or USB 2.0) OR was connected to a SATA-I (or USB 2.0) port, ALL operations will take longer.

Finally, what Eraser options did you select? For normal users, over-writing with a single-pass of random numbers is more than adequate. However, if you were using an ultra-paranoid, government mandated 35-pass method, resign yourself to it taking a VERY LONG TIME! And, my last thoughts are that if you just wanted to wipe the device before using it, a FULL Format (NOT Quick Format) would have been more than adequate to get rid of anything on the device.
I agree this is possibly the most frustrating issue with Eraser. I used it years ago and recall the same issue applied then, so was very disappointed to see that nothing has apparently changed with v6.2.0.2970.

Yes, as the post the above states, drive size, connection and erase characteristics all have a bearing on the task time, but we still need an estimation of completion time! How long is "a VERY LONG TIME!"?? Hours, days, weeks?
It doesn't help that the Status bar is pretty useless for anything other than very short tasks. Also the task log just says "Session started" with no interim details, even when logging Info events and above.

I took a quick look at a tutorial video on another drive wiping tool DBAN and it manages to display stats for Runtime, Remaining and Throughput.
So surely it must be possible for Eraser to measure how long a single pass takes over a set data amount and then extrapolate how long the complete task will take? It would help this app a lot.
There are just too many variables to get an accurate estimate. you can get an initial estimate, then some windows process kicks off and doubles the time.
DBAN has the advantage in that it boots up in its own OS, thus is the only app accessing the disk.
So you're saying that just because it's not possible to obtain "an accurate estimate" (an oxymoron if ever I heard one) then the valid problem of not knowing what's happening to the progress of an erase task should not be even considered?

So you prompted me to look for some demo videos of Windows-based drive wiping tools and by chance found that CCleaner has a Drive Wipe tool and it has a nice percentage progress bar with continuously updated "About x hours, y minutes etc" time estimate and MB erased count!