Is Eraser the right application for my problem?


New Member
I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop running Windows XP. It is a 5-year-old system and had started to run slowly over the last year or so and had no memory space left on, so I recently backed up my data and reinstalled the operating system thinking that this would delete everything on the HD and let me start fresh. After the XP reinstall he only programs I have on my 90GB hard drive now are XP, Explorer, Firefox and a small freeware virus program. What I have discovered, however, is that my hard drive is still as full as it was before I reinstalled XP, only now I can't see any of the old files and programs but they must be taking up space somewhere. I ran disk defragmenter and it tells me my HD has only 20GB free and I could see it cycling through a lot of my old music and video files as it defragmented, but I thought they would be gone from the system when I installed the new OS. So, my question is: how can I recover all that harddrive space that is full but isn't being used by the newly installed operating system? Do I need to completely wipe my drive somehow and reinstall the OS again, or is there a way to clean off the drive and recover the 50 or 60 MB that it currently won't let me access?

Thanks for your help.
Eraser is not really the solution to your problem (though useful in other respects).

The first thing is to run a disk check, to make sure the file system is OK. The second thing is to run the windows partition manager, to ensure that the partition is taking up all the available space on the drive (assuming that that is what you want). Do bear in mind that the way that drive manufacturers count disk space is different from the way Windows and many if not most other programs do it; expect Windows to show a smaller number than the one that appears on the drive label.