Question re: Protected Files :)


New Member
Hi all,

Eraser is a great program. Thanks !
I have been searching through the posts, and maybe I've
missed it, but I'm looking for an answer to the following
question. :D

I run CCcleaner and stop background running programs,
then run Eraser to do a 3-pass over the Freespace.

It runs ok. Then at the end it gives me
a list of 2600 (approx.) files that it lists as 'protected'

Can anybody tell me.. I'm assuming that these files should remain
(ie. system files etc).

How best to proceed?

Thanks very much !!

1. Which version are you using? If you aren't already, try the 5.83 beta; ... 188b1806f8

2. Which version of Windows are you using? If it's Vista, try setting the compatibility for all of the executables (.exe files) in the Eraser folder to "Run as administrator"

3. What kind of files are the "protected" ones? Certain system files get listed that way after an "erase cluster tips" (I think?), but I have only a few, no where near 2600!
I have about 2,500 that show up as protected and where the cluster tip (or slack space as it is also known) can't be erased.

These are the files that Windows will not let eraser (or anything else) touch, they are system protected files, usually locked in memory. In fact these are the files that DON'T get the cluster tip area wiped.

To reduce the amount of files that are system protected then once in a while run a Cluster Tip wipe (one pass, and not a free space wipe too as that would take a while) in Safe Mode as not everything is loaded in windows and therefore less files are locked. In my case, the amount of locked files drops from about 2,500 to about 500.

Cluster Tips are simply free space that exists between the actual size of a file and the allocated clusters that those files occupy on the hard drive. It sounds a bit complicated but it's simply the outcome of clusters being fixed sizes and with all files there will be a small amount of free space left which could contain sensitive data

eg in a simple example: file size is 30kb, allocated clusters size is 32kb therefore 2kb is unallocated (free) space which could contain sensitive data, albeit highly unlikely - a cluster wipe will wipe the 2kb except if the file is locked. Therefore do a cluster tip wipe in Safe Mode now and again just to reduce the amount of locked files.
re: Protected files

Thanks Jrd +Robbie. Much appreciated :D
I'm using XP and Eraser 5.82.

As Robbie said, they are mostly Windows System32 files.

I was considering doing the Cluster Tip Wipe in Safe mode as
you said, Robbie.

My main question is - What is the deal with these locked files? :D
Are they meant to stay locked ? Wouldn' removing them, damage
the computer in some way?

What exactly are locked files?? :)

Thanks again very much for your help... Really appreciated ! :D

Locked files are files that Windows protects from being altered or deleted.

Wiping Cluster Tips doesn't delete the files. What it does is wipes the freespace that trails the end of every file. (for this to make sense, you need to know that unless a file uses all of the space on the clusters it is stored on, the last cluster it uses contains space that either remains empty or contains the data that used to be there.)
re: Protected Files

Thanks for the reply JRd1st. Much appreciated :D
I understand what you're saying... I was nervous that
the cluster tip wipe was going to delete necessary files.
But now I see that's not the case...

Thank you again! Really appreciate it