Relative Paths


New Member
Hi I have a problem. I'm hoping you may be able to help. I have all my programs on a 32GB USB drive, there's under half left. Due to the amount of apps I have there's around 3-400MB of data in the form of language/help files I don't need. I recently found that I could use a .bat file with NirCmd to contain a list of all these files which could be automatically deleted after updates are performed. I've only just started to compile this batch file and then thought about Eraser from I've had a quick look at the app and noticed it's capable of compiling a similar list and storing it indefinitely. The trouble is my apps are on a USB drive so the drive letter changes, I suppose this isn't too much of a problem as I could use only one PC for this task. However, should that PC need reinstallation of windows the drive letters may not be matched and I'd need to add these files from scratch, there's several hundred of these files so I don't want to have to keep doing it, once is enough!!!

So my question is: Is it possible for you to add the ability to add files but store them as relative paths? I realise this could cause problems by deleting ALL of these files present on all drives in these locations but you could confirm on which drive(s) the deletion should take place. Does that sound feasible?



EDIT: Any chance of a portable version? I've used UniExtract on the latest Nightly Build and it seems to work a treat, tho it does save settings in the registry instead of .ini file, why? When v5.8.8 stored settings in .ini file. Strange! Also would still like the above 'problem' addressed.
Are the help files so sensitive that they need erasing rather than deleting? Eraser (any version) is only relevant if they are.

I suppose for precisely the reason you hint at, Eraser has always required the specification of unambiguous file paths, and it cannot do what you require. Then again, the ability to erase a large number of files from the context menu makes a batch file (or the explicit definition of a task in the Schedule) unnecessary in many cases.

There is a portable version of Eraser 5.8.8. It is no longer supported, but will work, well on XP and well enough for basic erasing on later OSs.

Thank you for your reply.

It's not a case of help/language files being sensitive. It's simply a case of this program is the closest I can find to do what I want. That is simply to erase the several hundred MB's of files I don't need taking up space.

Let me give you an example:

I use the PortableApps Menu and therefore the apps that go with it. As an example I'll use 'Ant Renamer Portable'. On first install it has many Language and help files (I can't remember exactly how many, but not important). I deleted these to reduce the amount of space taken by this app on my USB drive, so it's fine as it is at the moment. But, during the next update it will reinstall these same language and help files that I don't want! So for every update of every single app I have (of which there are 2-300 apps!) I have to repeat the process of deleting these files I don't want or need.

Therefore I wanted to use Eraser to compile a list of files to delete. But I need that list to contain Relative Paths NOT absolute paths.

I don't want Eraser to create a batch file, in case you misunderstood me. I was using NirCmd which is controlled by making batch files and was doing a similar thing to Eraser. But I prefer Eraser as it's easier to compile a list.

I have tried the version (v5.8.8.) but I had the same problem as someone else here regarding saving settings of erasure type, it keeps resetting?! So I tried the latest version of the nightly build which looks great. But there's two 'problems' with it as far as I'm concerned. I'd like for the program to store it's settings locally not in the registry and for the schedule list to be able to store Relative Paths.

I understand Erasure isn't exactly meant for this type of task, but, actually, it is?! After all it is a program designed to delete files, it's just that the ones I want to delete aren't the type of files the dev's had in mind ;-) Hopefully they'll take my requests on board for a future release - pleeeaase!!!


The nearest Eraser gets to compiling a list is a task definition, and those only use absolute paths. Eraser's focus is secure deletion rather than file handling, so (subject to correction by Joel) I don't think it will ever major on the features you are looking for.

A portable (non-registry dependent) version of Eraser 6 is on the long-term wish list (though Joel has said it will be a big job). But as even the completion of version 6.2 is currently held up by Joel's work commitments, anything beyond that has a very uncertain timescale.

Ok thanks for your help I guessed as much. Though I honestly can't understand why when developers make a program they don't make them portable and make the paths they use relative. Eraser 5.8.8 uses an INI file so why was it changed?! No disrespect intended by the way, it just puzzles me :? It's not just Eraser, almost every portable program I've used, and I've tried hundreds, don't use relative paths!!! Why make something portable then restrict it's portability by using fixed paths??? Sorry, rant over.

Thanks again tho I appreciate your help.
I think that a measure of the effort required to program a portable app. is that Eraser 5 only had a portable version right at the end of its rather long life.

I understand what you say about relative paths. However, in the specific case of Eraser, I can see circumstances in which implementing relative paths, even as an option could lead to unintended erasures - not what we want. More generally, I suspect that program developers may shy away from anything that requires a significant level of user understanding. A pity.

I understand that it could cause possible accidental erasure in theory, but the paths would have to be identical to the letter. All that needs removing is the drive letter. But I see what you mean about it still could be possible and I also understand that programmers shy away from making programs too technical for the average user. But what about an option to use relative paths perhaps on a tab in the options for advanced users. Does it require alot of programming to do something that appears simple? It would be interesting to know what other users think :D
sl23 said:
Does it require a lot of programming to do something that appears simple? It would be interesting to know what other users think :D
This is one for Joel, who, I am afraid, seems to have disappeared below the radar. Let's hope he reappears soon.

Oh dear, hope everything ok :?
Hopefully he'll be back soon and maybe listen to my comments. I know the reasons for my using this app are perhaps different from his initial idea but perhaps these enhancements would create a wider user base? Here's hoping :)

Thanks for your time it's much appreciated :wink:
Relative paths are really very dangerous, as depending on how the program starts, the relative-to bit will change... it could be even a malicious user modifying the file system structure (through hard links, for example.)

In your case, I don't see how Eraser will add benefits over, say, a batch file run through the command prompt which seems better fitted for your use case (and supports relative paths!)