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highmarcs

How Long Does Erase Free Space Take?

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Many factors go into the answer you seek.

This size of the unused space; the drive may be 1TB, but if you've nearly filled it it'll take less time than if it is nearly empty.

 

The number of wipes. Each wipe must

fill the above mentioned unused space completely, then remove the data it filled the drive with.

 

The speed of the drive, and the speed of the drive's connection to the computer.

 

RAM and processor of the PC

 

As well as all of this, there is no real reason to wipe the drive's freespace unless you are selling it. You will gain no extra space/performance and will bring the lifetime-usage of the drive to an end faster; physical hard drives and SSD can only write (and read in the case of hard drives) a limited number of times. Each wipe will be reading/writing/deleting space on the drive not taken up by live files (so 35 wipe on 600 GB of drive will write 21000 Gigabytes and delete 21000 Gigabytes of data for a total of 42 thousand GB or 360,777,252,864,000 bits of data)

 

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I'm glad to know this erase free space issue is not just happening to me. I have let CCleaner run for several days in hopes of overwriting the free space on my Lacie 1 TB external hard drive. I am running El Capitan, 10.11.02 on a Mac Pro, late 2013, 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 with 32 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC. CCleaner's window just sits there spinning. No text is ever displayed in the "Details" window. And it won't quit without going to "Force Quit". I downloaded the free demo version of CCleaner 1.11.336 with high hopes that it would work properly so I could buy the Pro version. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I have tried its Erase Free Space option five times over the past couple of weeks, both on the Lacie and other external drives. Each time, the same thing happens as described above. Because of this, CCleaner would not be a product that I would purchase or endorse. My message to the CCleaner folks would be, make it work as advertized and maybe I'd take another look at it. Time is valuable. Waiting for days to see if it is going to finish overwriting free space is pretty counter-productive and unacceptable to me. (Note: You can't know what it is doing since nothing is indicated regarding progress or lack thereof.) I have nothing invested but the time I've wasted trying to make it work, so I can't really be too upset. I just felt the need to share with others like highmarcs above who've also been a tad bewildered and disappointed by it's apparent "Erase Free Space" deficiency. 

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Well, guess what folks. After finishing my previous post, I went to close my CCleaner, and, well, I noticed that, infact, I do have the Professional version of CCleaner. It's 1.11.336 as I mentioned in my last post. Turns out that I actually bought it a few weeks ago – before I tried the "Erase Free Space" feature. I feel a little dumb not remembering this, but I'm fessing up now so I can have a clean conscience about it. ha. But where I was really dumb was to have purchased it without thoroughly checking it out first. I would not have bought it had I known of the problem. I had not planned to contact CCleaner about it since I thought I was working from a demo version. It wasn't expensive, but, hey, since I have real money invested, I feel like I have to go to them now with the problem and see what their answer is. I will report back here once I get something further to tell. 

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You didn't mention the number of wipes you're doing (assuming this is offered on CC Mac). This will have a crucial affect on the time.

 

As far as I recall (not being a Mac user) CC's erase free space on a Mac is performed by issuing an internal Mac command, whereupon CC sits back and waits for the command to complete. So if the command was issued natively it would take near enough just as long as CC does.

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Responses do not answer the question.  I would like to know how long it will take for cleaning 1 terabyte of freespace per pass.  An approximate estimate is fine.

 

I have assumed that if Ccleaner is sitting with the whirling circle it is working (but i am not clear that this is the case.  It would be useful to be able to estimate how long it needs

 

 

thanids

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since it depends on many variables (as stated in the above responses), an estimate would only ever be just that.

so if I said, approximately, it would take about one day to do one pass of one terabyte, I wouldn't be wrong but I could also be way out.

 

the last time I did a low-level format of a 320 (or maybe it was a 500) GiB drive, I seem to recall it taking around 4 hours.

and since wiping free space and low-level formatting basically do the same thing, 1000 GiB taking around one day in probably a good guesstimate.

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I'm having an issue with this as well.  Going on over 36 hours to zero-out a 1TB Lacie (5400RPM) connected via USB 2.0 to a Macbook Air 1.6GHz Core i5.

 

One issue may be that this drive contains my iTunes library, and at some point a screen saver showing album covers from iTunes kicked on.  I changed my screen saver settings so this would not happen approximately 20 hours ago.  Any chance this may have delayed the process?

 

Also, if the process is being handled by OS X is there a way to see where OS X is in the process?  What should I look for? In Activity Monitor, kernel_task and windowsserver are both way up there for CPU Time (40+ hours), with BBLaunch Agent and Cleaner having approximately the same CPU time (between 9-10 hours)

 

If something is not working correctly is there any harm in force-quitting the process?  I have a backup of this drive that has been un-zero'd.

 

Thanks!

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Ok I have a related question. I just wanted to give it a try thinking 'substantial time' could mean a few hours.

I'm on mac and I chose the zero out option on a 2TB external hard disk which is almost empty.

Annoying thing is, let alone a progress bar, it isn't even saying if it is doing anything at all.

Just a spinning circle. Does that mean it's doing fine?

And most importantly, what happens if I force quit?

Does that do any harm?

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I'm asking because I really need to restart the computer... 

btw I realised that I can still use the disk. so I'm copying the files in it. maybe I'll try the force quit after that

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It have been over 72 hours since I started the Drive Wipe (Zero Out - Wipe Free Space) on a secondary internal drive (HDD) on my MacBook Pro.  The drive has about 250GB of free space which is why I am having trouble understanding why it is taking so long.  My mistake is that I did not check the options to see how many passes it is doing.  This is the first time I have used CCleaner to wipe the free space on this MacBook.  So, after more than 72 hours should I just force quit the application?  I only selected the one drive.  I also made the mistake of leaving an external drive connected.  The odd thing is I can't eject it (safely remove it) as I get the message that it is in use by another application.

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