jpegs still there after erase


New Member
Hello, my laptop is running windows vista 6.0.6002. I downloaded the latest erasure 6.08 & ran it successfully to clean the free space on the disc.
After this I did a quick check using the recover my files program looking for jpegs only as it's easy to check whether the recovered files are real. It was successful in finding untouched images, (old photos, pages from manuals & internet pictures). I'd previously tried erasing deleted files using trial versions of secureclean & winclean with the same result. After using erasure there is a lot more free space on the disc so it obviously did something, but as all these files are still recoverable it could be they are not stored in the free space area or are protected in some way. Can this be solved ?
This is very much a known issue (and one that I have experienced myself). As you might guess from trying different software, the problem is not in Eraser, but in the way that the Windows file system works.

What you did is erase the free space, and, from your description, that worked. However, Windows (and especially the NTFS file system) keeps partial and whole copies of deleted files in space that is not marked as free, and file recovery programs can, as you discovered, retrieve these copies. There are several problem areas (including disk defragmentation and the page file), but the most likely culprit is the Shadow Copies feature of System Restore, which is enabled by default.

Because NTFS is designed to favour file safety over user privacy/security, there is no one measure that can prevent this problem arising. But you can reduce it quite significantly by practising hard disk hygiene, and taking some or all of the following measures:
  • disabling the Shadow Copies feature (you do keep backups, don't you?), and, if you have more than one drive, disabling System Restore on all but the System (C:) drive;
  • deleting all but the most recent System Restore point (CCleaner has a good tool for doing this);
  • if you can, storing sensitive data on a drive other than the system drive; by and large, erasing free space cleans non-system drives more thoroughly than system drives;
  • whenever possible, erasing files directly (or from the Recycle Bin) rather than deleting them and then erasing free space;
  • if you use CCleaner to remove system clutter, enable the option to overwrite the deleted files;
  • erase free space after, not before, you defragment the drive.

I hope this explains things.