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CCleaner "Wipe Free Space" not working out too well for me.


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#1 OFFLINE kxkvi

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:40 PM

Hi guys. It's been a while since I've posted. After last night, I
decided it's time again.

Lately, Piriform products, namely CCleaner and Recuva, have not
been working out too well for me.

My OS is Windows 7 HP SP1 x64.
User account control turned off.
320 GB hard disk. C: partition. NTFS.
Avast AV disabled for this issue.

CCleaner version 3.22.
Recuva version 1.43.

Last night, I decided to test CCleaner's drive wipe function.
I configured it to "Wipe Free Space", including the "Wipe MFT Free
Space" option. As such, I fired it up, then gave it the two hours
that it required to do its job. The program reports success.
Fair enough.

Afterwards, just out of curiosity, I fired up Recuva to see what it
could find. I let it run for 50 minutes in "deep scan" mode, and it
reports that it has found some 121,000 files. This doesn't surprise
me much. But then, I start paging through the results and, sure
enough, right there out in the open is much of the stuff I wanted
CCleaner to overwrite. This is not good news. Not only that, but
apparently CCleaner has deleted all of my system restore points
in the process as well. I certainly never gave CCleaner permission
to do that, nor did it ever warn me that it needed to do so.

I found many recoverable file types, including simple text files,
and also some images. The images though, are not represented
with the .jpg, .gif, or .bmp file extensions. Generally, they seem to
appear with .ini or .lnk extensions. Still.. it's all just free space, right?

Interestingly, when I tried to use Recuva's built-in overwrite function,
it also fails to do so, simply reporting that the file was "not overwritten",
with no explanation or clue as to why it's having a problem.

I'm puzzled about why I'm seeing this kind of behavior. Is anyone else
experiencing these kinds of issues?

.

#2 OFFLINE Alan_B

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 03:26 AM

... apparently CCleaner has deleted all of my system restore points
in the process as well. I certainly never gave CCleaner permission
to do that, nor did it ever warn me that it needed to do so.

I believe that CCleaner needs no permission because it is not responsible.
Windows O.S. itself performs house-keeping,
and one of its responsibilities is to remove system restore points when free space is running low.
Heavy duty operations such as Wiping Free Space may temporarily reduce free space.

Perhaps a warning of side-effects and consequences would be appropriate.
Equally there could be advise given that wiping free space does not increase free space (some users have false expectations).

#3 OFFLINE Andavari

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:06 PM

I'm on XP and don't know how this will work with newer versions of Windows, however I temporarily turn-off the System Restore Service if/when I decide to wipe free space. Of course your newer Windows version may also have the VSS service doing something as well.

Piriform software help documentation.

CCleaner is NOT a malware removal tool.

Don't PM me for advice or help! I'll only ask you to read forum rule #15.

Old versions of CCleaner can be found here on FileHippo.


#4 OFFLINE Super Fast

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:13 PM

I'm with Andavari. If you are wiping a drive, System Restore points may contain data that you want overwritten. So I turn it off till a file wipe operation is completed.

1) Does Recuva still find them if you temporarily turn System Restore off & run Wipe Free Space?
2) Does Recuva still recover what it finds after a drive wipe?

I have heard it said that some file names will be visible, just not recoverable afterwards.
So this will be interesting to know the results.

#5 OFFLINE Andavari

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:28 PM

If/when I wipe free space with CCleaner I've found on my XP system that it's the one and only tool that gets rid of everything possible, whenever I run Recuva after a wipe free space it finds absolutely nothing.

Piriform software help documentation.

CCleaner is NOT a malware removal tool.

Don't PM me for advice or help! I'll only ask you to read forum rule #15.

Old versions of CCleaner can be found here on FileHippo.


#6 OFFLINE kxkvi

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:08 PM

I believe that CCleaner needs no permission because it is not responsible.
Windows O.S. itself performs house-keeping,


Technically, you may be correct, and losing my restore points may well
be the price of a good drive wipe. However, in the real world, it doesn't really
make much difference who is technically responsible. The sequence of
events was:

1. I had system restore points.
2. I ran CCleaner
3. I had no system restore points.

In this scenario, who do you think will receive the blame nearly 100% of
the time?

If you're out there trying to market software, it's never a good idea to
"surprise" a user with an event like this. It's just considered bad form.

Back in the days when I was using Jetico's product under XP, that
utility at least gave me a "heads-up" about this issue. In that way, I
knew what the cost was going in.

Best regards.

#7 OFFLINE Andavari

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:44 AM

The thing is though in Vista and newer operating systems just defragmenting with third-party defrag tools can cause you to loose restore points too. Would be far simpler if tools that can cause the lose to happen could do something to prevent it like pausing services responsible for it.

Piriform software help documentation.

CCleaner is NOT a malware removal tool.

Don't PM me for advice or help! I'll only ask you to read forum rule #15.

Old versions of CCleaner can be found here on FileHippo.