Sunday, February 13, 2011

Emptying your Recycle Bin Won't Erase your Data

Haven't you got curious why emptying the recycle bin, however large your files are, just took one second to get done?

It has been a great misinformation to Windows users that emptying your recycle bin will permanently remove the files from your computer. Some of us may be aware of this but most users (especially non-techie folks) don't have any idea that emptying a recycle bin won't really remove the deleted files from your hard disk. 

"All these years, you thought that the deleted copies of your pictures captured in horrible perspectives are gone forever. You're purely mistaken." - Recycle Bin

Above all the things I would consider unforgivable is to misinform me of something. There are no exceptions. Even if it is to save my life, misinforming me is a manipulation of my fate and a disgrade of my ability to judge and to act to situations.

Behind the curtains.

So what really happens once you click Empty Recycle Bin? As you know, when we store files, we occupied a certain amount of space on our hard drive disk. Windows will then record the file's address/directory on a table called File Allocation Table (FAT). From the name itself, it stores records of allocated files. It's like a map. So that when we access the file, the computer knows where it's located on the hard disk.

Once we emptied our recycle bin, Windows will now search the FAT for the records of the files deleted on the recycle bin and will remove the files' information on the table so that it couldn't be accessed anymore in the future. The process also tells that the memory space has decreased while it actually hasn't. The files are still there, the computer just informs us that we could now store files equal to the size of the files you deleted but what the computer's telling you for real is that you could now overwrite them. But still, the files are still there unless they're overwritten.
"It would really took equal amount of time when storing me to your hard drive disk and removing me. That's why they don't kill me, really. To save time, they say." - Deleted Files

It depends on the users. If you have confidential company data on your computer and it is stolen, better start panicking now. It may not be stolen just so they could sell it and earn some bucks; the culprits may want the data on your computer and may cause you and your company more loss. 

How is it done?

Since computers are invented by humans (probably not by aliens), we are capable of doing anything we want with them. There are lots of people out there who are committed to spending their life with computers. So there are also people who can hack into them even if they are not the developers. At the end of the line, there is still out there who can solve even the most difficult formula. And so, they could also hack into hard drives and access your deleted files.


If you're going to sell your hard drive, be sure about two things: sell it to someone who doesn't have an intention to hack into your deleted files, sell it to someone who has little knowledge with computers. Or, you can also opt to permanently erase your files using available hacking tools/software. Either way, it depends on your security preferences. If you don't have any files you could be embarrassed from when exposed to the internet, you don't have to worry.

Article by Loading-Info

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