Sure Delete Fills Hard Drive with 300 Gigs

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MetalEd

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Oct 10, 2008
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Hey everyone :D I've heard a lot of good things about Sure Delete, which is used to delete files from your computer permanently (I'm really paranoid about identity theft). When I used it, I just expected it to clear these deleted files from my system so they couldn't be brought back, but what actually happened was much different. I came back to my computer to find that my 400 gigabyte hard drive that was originally less than 90 gigabytes full now has 397 gigabytes used and runs at an astoundingly slow speed. The readme for the program claims that if such a case occurs to delete the sdel.tmp files in the directory cleared, which in my case was C:. Unfortunately, they don't exist there, or anywhere else. I've done over 15 full system scans, used the Windows XP Disk Cleanup tool 3 times, as well as 2 3rd-party disk cleaners, attempted a System Restore (Which didn't work), tried to email the makers of Sure Delete (Which returned an error every time), re-ran the program twice, and uninstalled the program, restarted my computer, and checked again. Nothing has done anything. If you wanna check out Sure Delete, you can find it at:
http://www.wizard-industries.com/
I'm also using Windows XP, if you didn't catch that already ;)
 

MetalEd

Thread Starter
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Oct 10, 2008
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According to those programs, the 300 gigs added by Sure Delete are not even part of Windows. Each and every program tells me that Windows (With all the files and folders) only takes up about 100 gigs (Rounded up). The rest is just sorta....hidden?
 
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Where does it tell you that 397 is used? What do the properties of the drive show? Do you run chkdsk /f as regular maintenance? It is not unusual, after a period of time, for empty space to be marked as used in the volume bitmap (though I've never seen that large a discrepancy). Chkdsk will fix that.

If all the programs tell you that there is only 100 GB's used, I don't understand what makes you think that more is used.

Did you unhide hidden files ("The rest is just sorta....hidden")? Does Xinorbis, for example, see the same amount being used on the drive, and how much free space do the programs see?
 
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The files are in a folder you don't have access to so won't not show up in the list. System Volume Information is one that may have several GB of files, but properties will show 0 files and 0 size.
WinDirStat has an option to Show Unknown that will list the size of these files, but won't show where they are. So WinDirStat would show 297 GB as Unknown on your system.
TreeSize will flag folders with an Exclamation Point and add a note that Access is Denied, but doesn't have an option to show the size thse folders use.

Just search through TreeSize to find all the folders marked as Access is Denied.
Then from an account that is a Computer Administrator, navigate to these folders in Windows Explorer then give the Administrators group permission to access those folders:
On XP Home, you'll need to reboot to safe mode to see the Security tab.
On XP Pro, you must turn off Simple Sharing in Control Panel | Folder Options > View
Right click the folder, click Properties
Click the Security Tab
Click the Add... button
Click the Advanced... button
Click the Find Now button
Click on Administrators (Must have the s -- the icon will have two heads, not one)
Click OK, then Click OK again
Highlight Administrators, then click to place a check in the Full Control box in the Allow column

You can now double click the folder to access it and see what is inside, and track down what is using all the space.

HTH

Jerry
 
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Oct 26, 2001
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57,793
My sister just got Drive eRazer to wipe out a hard drive.
http://www.wiebetech.com/products/Drive_eRazer.php

They have 5 versions of it.

What is Drive eRazer?
WiebeTech's newest hardware solution completely erases all data from a hard drive quickly and easily. Stand-alone operation. No computer required! Faster than software.
She has not yet used it but will be using it the computers where she works doing all the networking when they redo them and get new computer and give away the old ones she will wipe the drives with it.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
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All you need to do Is go ANd download the prorgam called Dban its what the pentagone uses to wipe its hard drive and it will clean u up nice
 

Frank4d

Retired Trusted Advisor
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Sep 10, 2006
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MetalEd doesn't want to wipe the whole drive, he just wants his 300GB back. ;)
 

MetalEd

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
9
The files are in a folder you don't have access to so won't not show up in the list. System Volume Information is one that may have several GB of files, but properties will show 0 files and 0 size.
WinDirStat has an option to Show Unknown that will list the size of these files, but won't show where they are. So WinDirStat would show 297 GB as Unknown on your system.
TreeSize will flag folders with an Exclamation Point and add a note that Access is Denied, but doesn't have an option to show the size thse folders use.

Just search through TreeSize to find all the folders marked as Access is Denied.
Then from an account that is a Computer Administrator, navigate to these folders in Windows Explorer then give the Administrators group permission to access those folders:
On XP Home, you'll need to reboot to safe mode to see the Security tab.
On XP Pro, you must turn off Simple Sharing in Control Panel | Folder Options > View
Right click the folder, click Properties
Click the Security Tab
Click the Add... button
Click the Advanced... button
Click the Find Now button
Click on Administrators (Must have the s -- the icon will have two heads, not one)
Click OK, then Click OK again
Highlight Administrators, then click to place a check in the Full Control box in the Allow column

You can now double click the folder to access it and see what is inside, and track down what is using all the space.

HTH

Jerry
I'm rather amazed at how well you diagnosed the problem :D Anyway, the last issue (I think) is that the only access denied folder was System Volume Information, which I believe is used for System Restores, and since they don't work for me, can I clean it out? It shows no files in it, but when I attempted to move the folder (To see what would happen) it said some file inside it was in use.
 
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You'll have to turn off System Restore in order to do anything with that folder.
 

MetalEd

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
9
It was already off actually. I don't think that's the problem now, but I may have made a new discovery. This "Unknown" space seems to fill the void every time that I delete a large file, so I think it might be possible that the Unknown space actually isn't taking up any space at all, but my computer sees it as though it is. Lemme explain this better; looking into what the program does, it's supposed to overwrite the file multiple times so that it can't be recovered. So maybe it just overwrote the entire free space on my hard drive, but isn't actually taking up the space, just acting as a placeholder until new memory arrives to fill the void. Is this at all possible, or am I just crazy?
 

fairnooks

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Oct 1, 2007
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Yeah, I hope Eraser didn't get lumped in with the whole drive wipe products.

If you're looking at that space strictly with Windows it should be available, not show up as anything but usable space on the drive. Other programs might read it differently depending on the purpose of the program.
 
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Do you have any kind of Delete Protection software, like Norton's Protected Recycle bin? With Norton's, most programs won't see the files it protects as using space, but some programs will. XP's Media Center is one. I found that out when Media Center started deleting TV shows so it could record the next, claiming there was less than 5GB of free space when Windows showed there was about 50GB -- it was seeing all the previously deleted shows that Norton was protecting.

If you have something like that, it's possible that every time the file is overwritten by Sure Delete, another copy would be "protected". If these protected files are stored in a folder you don't have access permission to, it would give these symptoms of unknown space-- it may be storing the files in the System Volume Information folder, which is why it's saying there are files in use even though you have System Restore turned off.
This would also mean that while the file is being erased from it's original location, it's also being stored in another location on the hard drive.:eek:

Some file hiding programs hide your files in this folder as well.

Once you've given yourself access to the System Volume Information folder, you should be able to see any files if you have the system set to show hidden/system files. There are ways to hide folders from Explorer though, like the Content.IE5|Word|MSO folders in the Temporary Internet Files folder. TreeSize can see these, so you may want to run TreeSize and see if it sees anything in the System Volume Information folder.

HTH

Jerry

If your issue has been resolved you (and ONLY you) can mark this thread Solved by using the Mark Solved button at the Top Left of this thread (above the first post) :)
 
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