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Beware of 'Wipe Free Space'

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marmite

 

Sorry I distracted from original OP concerns.

 

I accept your advice that Metadata is not wiped, and will now investigate what data is held in C:\$Extend\$UsnJnl:$J etc. which might be leaked when it is updated / fragmented.

 

Thank you for the advice.

 

Regards

Alan

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Sorry I distracted from original OP concerns.

 

I accept your advice that Metadata is not wiped, and will now investigate what data is held in C:\$Extend\$UsnJnl:$J etc. which might be leaked when it is updated / fragmented.

Hey no need to apologise ... the thread had gone off on a bit of a tangent long before that :) I was more reinforcing the idea the OP's concerns still hadn't properly been addressed and that my posts weren't an attempt to address that. But I think the OP has long since lost interest anyway ;)

 

When I use the term metadata in this context I'm talking about all of your afore-mentioned files. Generically, metadata is just 'data about other data'. What I said applies to all of those files. Any data that's in use by the OS is part of the file system somewhere. By definition, wiping free space should not ever affect any files that are 'in use' whether they be OS files or your data. Neither does free space wiping affect fragmentation.

 

None of your system or data files should be lost or moved or fragmented by free space wiping. I'm still missing why you're concerned about the various files you mentioned before. Why do you think they will be treated any differently than other files? Please post back if you think I can help further.

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Why do you think they will be treated any differently than other files? Please post back if you think I can help further.

 

First things I did when I got XP were :-

Show Hidden Files and Folders ;

Unhide extensions

Unhide protected system files.

 

C:\ is a 15 GB partition with 6.29 GB "Used Space" and 8.71 GB Free space

When I select all the contents of C:\, properties shows me the "size on disc"

To that I added the "Size on Disc" of my daughter's profile when she was logged on, and got close to 6.29 GB.

I was content that with a bit of a struggle, Windows would show me all the files.

 

One year later I discovered the existence of 168 MB of Metadata,

and since Windows explorer was unable to show me any metadata files,

and what it did show me fully accounted for the "Used Space" of Partition C:\,

I deduced that Metadata had to live in "Free Space".

 

That is why I have thought of metadata as a file "But not as we know it" (quoting Star Trek's Dr McCoy to Captain Kirk)

 

After a year of thinking that metadata was a ghost without a body drifting in "Free Space",

I wondered what would happen to it when free space was wiped.

 

I have just discovered that I can access the size of all profiles from My Computer Right Click :-

System Properties => Advanced => User Profiles => Settings

It shows me :-

949 KB Administrator

78.7 MB Dad

1.51 MB Guest

218 MB Suzanne

 

BUT when I select C:\Documents and Settings\Dad its properties are Size 152 MB and Size on Disc 148 MB,

i.e. twice the 78.7 MB that System Properties was showing me.

Perhaps System Properties really meant 78.7 MWords where 1 word = 16 bits ! ! !

 

I think I should revert to my old trusty Abacus - its beads never told me lies like Windows does.

 

Regards

Alan.

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One year later I discovered the existence of 168 MB of Metadata,

and since Windows explorer was unable to show me any metadata files,

and what it did show me fully accounted for the "Used Space" of Partition C:\,

I deduced that Metadata had to live in "Free Space".

Ahhhh! Now I see where you're coming from :). However, referring to my last post, I think that the statement that 'a file (metadata or otherwise) is part of free space' is an oxymoron. If your 'metadata' files were living in free space, how would the program that's telling you you have 168Mb be able to find them?

 

So in terms of your reasoning ...

 

... To that I added the "Size on Disc" of my daughter's profile when she was logged on ...

Why? The displayed disk stats aren't dependent on the current user - "they are what they are". You may not be able to access the actual file structure ... but Windows sure can when it's adding up :)

 

Have a look at 'Disk Management' (Right-click 'My Computer'/'Manage' ... then expand the 'Storage' node and select 'Disk Management'). That will give you your used disk space per volume. This should tally with the amount shown when you do right-click 'Properties' on the C:\ node in Windows Explorer. And that's it. Windows won't show you everything on the disk; as I said in an earlier post it lets you see what it wants to. Since we don't know where your 'metadata' lives, but assuming it is in there somewhere, then short of totting up the individual individual files on the volume it would be hard to prove that it's not included in that disk total. If you're still not convinced, cut out the middle-man; open up a dos window and do a 'dir' command. It should tally exactly. In short Alan I really wouldn't worry about it.

 

I have just discovered that I can access the size of all profiles from My Computer Right Click :-

System Properties => Advanced => User Profiles => Settings

Indeed you can. But there isn't a direct correlation between the profile size there and the disk space taken up by your entire profile. For example, your 'Local Settings' folder which you'll find in your profile disk space, isn't taken into account in the 'User Profiles' size figures.

 

You may not yet be convinced, but I hope this helps ;)

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BUT when I select C:\Documents and Settings\Dad its properties are Size 152 MB and Size on Disc 148 MB,

 

There are some good explanations of the reason for the difference in "Size" and "Size on disc" here and in detail here.

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Hi, guys

 

So, what's the consensus here after all the discussion? Should I beware or should I not?

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Hi, guys

 

So, what's the consensus here after all the discussion? Should I beware or should I not?

 

1. Don't worry about the metadata

2. CCleaner only wipes over the free space once which is not a big issue for everday users.

and can be seen as a feature request.

 

Overall that means, Hakuna Matata

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I'd also add to fireyone's comments that if you do want secure free space wiping, in my experience (as per an earlier post) sdelete will do this.

 

And of course, as with any operation that you may be unsure of, you may feel it prudent to take a volume back-up first.

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Why? The displayed disk stats aren't dependent on the current user - "they are what they are". You may not be able to access the actual file structure ... but Windows sure can when it's adding up :)

 

Indeed you can. But there isn't a direct correlation between the profile size there and the disk space taken up by your entire profile. For example, your 'Local Settings' folder which you'll find in your profile disk space, isn't taken into account in the 'User Profiles' size figures.

 

Thank you Marmite

 

Using Disk Management C:\ has free space = 8.67 GB and Capacity = 15.01 GB

Windows explorer shows properties of 8.66 GB and 15.0 GB, and Used space 6.33 GB

I am content that the discrepancy is merely that Management rounds up and Explorer rounds down.

 

Using Windows Explorer if I select all files and folders contained by C:\,

then the Size on Disc is significantly less 6.33 GB because my daughter's profile is not accessible to me,

hence the quantity of files and folders and size on disc of her profile is excluded.

That is why I logged out of my profile and asked her to log in to her profile so I could see how much space she was taking by her profile,

and when I found that corresponded to the difference between 6.33 GB and "everything visible when I am logged in" I decided that everything was accounted for.

 

Yet again I bang my head against life not being that simple ! ! !

 

Thank you for your explanation about Local Settings ,

I now realise Windows did not tell me lies, it told me half truths ! ! !

 

I will now log off and retire to a dark quiet corner and enjoy a migraine.

 

Regards

Alan

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Ten years later.... I've just "securely erased the free space on my Mac" (haha) using CC Cleaner (v 1.17.603), and nothing changed at all. StellarPhotoRecovery still found the same old 'deleted' files on the disk. What's more I got the shock of my life when the Mac told me that the disk was now full!  Thankfully restarting the machine solved that little problem! (phew!)

The 'wipe free space' function of CC Cleaner appears to be a piece of 'computer crap'... (comments please)

Edited by JJ!

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Ten years later, you really should've just started a new topic perhaps even a bug report in the CCleaner Mac section.

Supposedly there are differences between how it wipes free space on Mac OS vs Windows. As for how it wipes a Mac I can only go by comments I've seen previously posted in that "it uses what's already built into Mac OS", now if that's true or not I haven't a clue since I've never used Mac OS.

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