can programs similar to 'eraser' improve or speed up the reading/writing of the hd

  theDarkness 15:35 08 Jan 2012

I have two questions-I know that when anyone deletes files on a hard drive, they arent really deleted at all, the area with the files is simply no longer accessible to the user-and the area is then allowed to be overwritten with new data (new files). I am wondering if I have any true never-written-to-before empty space, whether any new files are likely to be written into this space as opposed to any 'empty space' that has had previously been written to data, or if other factors are also taken into account when a system chooses where to write any new files-such as the location of the writable areas?

There are alot of programs that can write over areas of a hard drive that were previously written to (ie areas of deleted files)-for privacy, such as 'eraser'. Im not sure how good these programs are, as some have the option to write over the deleted data multiple times to ensure that previous deleted data is unrecoverable, but thats another issue. What I am wondering about-I have noticed that many of these programs only remove individual files, rather than detecting ALL previously written to areas in a scan and writing over all of it in one shot with empty generic data. I am wondering if there was a program that could do this, if this would be likely to optimise a hard-drive as a result (eg speed up error checking, defragmentation related processes, or help written to areas thereafter to remain close to one another on the hd to speed up the drives reading/writing overall)? Perhaps this is nonsense, but its just out of interest :) thanks for any info

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:03 08 Jan 2012

CCleaner - drive wiper tool

can be set to wipe an entire drive or just the empty space i.e. where windows thinks there are no files,

can be set for a different number of passes therefore making deletion secure.

will it speed up the drive doing this? unlikely!

the only way to get the drive to work at is fastest speed is to

ensure correct controller is used, in correct mode for IDE drives (DMA rather than PIO), enough free space on drive for caching temp files and defragging the drive to ensure system is'nt searching all over a large drive for parts of files.

If you really want a fast drive then you need a SSD.

  theDarkness 17:02 08 Jan 2012

Thanks. Ive used ccleaner and similar tools in the past, although I stopped after finding out that many that included registry optimising tended to do more harm than good. On the cleaning non registry side, the official sites on most of these programs are usually quite general in description, and can often make it hard to know if they overwrite/optimise areas of 'empty space' that were previously written to. Im sure I probably wouldnt see a difference in speed, as you mention :) I first wondered about optimization after using Mydefrag, which shows hard drive content graphically. On analysis, in areas with large amounts of empty space (on a drive not frequently written to), I noticed for new large files, its relative data was often almost randomly located. I was sure that these areas could have been written elsewhere to keep all data closer together on the hd for the complete file, to optimize the hd, rather than in 3+ different areas of a hd or more.

Obviously the defrag process fixes this, but I then wondered how a systems choice of area to write files to could be influenced-eg depending whether it was written to ever before or not. From my analysis with certain defrag programs it does not seem that keeping all data for large individual files as close as possible is the default. I wonder if theres a way to change the way a system writes to the hd.. drive optimisation utilities that consider the writing process?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:13 08 Jan 2012

Yes a lot of reg clears do more harm than good

CCleaner is the safest I know, been using for years without backing up the registry and never had a problem

Have a read here

  bremner 17:39 08 Jan 2012

The simple answer to your questions are

Overwriting will not improve the read write speed of your drive. It makes no difference if the drive has all zero written to it or random data prior to new data being written. Remember all that is happening is that a very tiny voltage difference is being appied to the storage area, this is then interpretted as a 0 or a 1. Those zeros and ones are grouped in batches of 8 ie a byte.

You cannot influence how and where an operating system writes its data on a hard drive.

Eraser also has a wipe all free space capability.

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