Eraser shows errors w/ file erasure, but the file's gone

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by 07SS, Mar 16, 2011.

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  1. 07SS

    07SS Registered Member

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    I just ran Eraser on a folder I had, using the "Files from Folder:" option. It ran, then came back w/ errors about how each file was compressed, sparse or encrypted. I did some research and found out that this happens sometimes for windows XP... So I went back to try and fix the error somehow, and I noticed the folder itself was nowhere to be found. So it's "erased", but not in the sense that I want it to be. How can I:
    a. restore this folder so I can properly erase it
    or
    b. Ensure that it is in fact erased properly?

    Thanks in advance

    07SS
     
  2. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    You could search for the file using Recuva, and overwrite it from there.
     
  3. 07SS

    07SS Registered Member

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    Well I've already conducted a search for the folder (since I don't remember the names of the files themselves), and found nothing. I'll use Recuva... I didn't do that.

    Where could the folder have gone if it wasn't "deleted'?
     
  4. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    To overwrite the file contents, all you have to do is wipe the free space on the drive. Anything that was erased but not properly wiped will now be properly wiped.
     
  5. 07SS

    07SS Registered Member

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    Will wiping the free space significantly affect the amount of free space I have?
     
  6. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    Maybe during the procedure itself, it might have an effect. But after Eraser is finished wiping the free space, you'll have exactly the same amount as when you started.

    All it does is write a bunch of random data to the free space. Since all your erased files reside in free space, all of the data will be gone forever after you wipe free space.
     
  7. 07SS

    07SS Registered Member

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    Wonderful. This is exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for the help!

    Edit: One last question - should I also erase cluster tips?
     
  8. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    Yes, erase cluster tips and every other option that Eraser gives you. The number of passes you use is unimportant however. One pass is sufficient.

    Also, make sure there's nothing sensitive in the Recycle Bin. If there is, you have two options. Wipe it directly with Eraser or just remove it from the Recycle Bin. In the latter case, the files will simply end up in free space. Then they can be wiped in free space with Eraser.

    Good luck.
     
  9. 07SS

    07SS Registered Member

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    I appreciate the help.
     
  10. 07SS

    07SS Registered Member

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    I completed the erasure of the free space.

    An error came up because it said that the cluster tips could not be removed because the drive was being used. Is that because I had one other window open?

    And also, the sensitive folder I wanted to overwrite did not show up in the log... Is this because of cluster tips not being erased or is there another reason? How should I go about fixing this?
     
  11. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    I had a long response, but I saw that you're getting help on the Eraser forum. I'm sure they're more familiar with the ins and outs of the program than anyone here.

    I personally encrypt my hard drive with TrueCrypt, so I haven't had a need to use wiping software in years. Someone on the Eraser forums did say that other copies of the data may be on your system, which is correct. That's part of the reason I switched to encryption. It's far more fool-proof than trying to wipe sensitive data.

    Eraser isn't the only program that can do the job. Here's a thread listing some more programs:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=272049

    In those programs, cluster tips might be called slack space.

    Also, consider TrueCrypt or some other whole disk encryption software.
     
  12. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    Perhaps this thread would get more responses if it were moved to "Privacy Software".
     
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