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Old 05-11-2005, 06:03 AM   #1
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Default How to Really Delete your Files

There has been a new article posted.

Title: How to Really Delete your Files
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/138

Here's a snippet:
A lot of people don't known, but when we delete a file from a computer in fact it isn't really deleted. The operating system simply remove it from the file list and makes the space the file was using ...

Comments on this article are welcome.
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:06 PM   #2
asif.wadud
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It is not quite clear to me when you said formatting a hard disk zeroes its "root directory". Could you explain that a bit as what you meant by root directory?
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:09 PM   #3
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Hi there,

Root directory is the main directory of your hard drive. When you open your hard drive at My Computer, what you see is its root directory. Other directories (a.k.a. "folders") below it are called sub-directories (a.k.a. "sub-folders"). If you delete all contents located on the root directory you automatically deletes everything below it -- files and sub-directories.

The root directory is located in a specific location on the hard drive, i.e. in all computers the root directory is located on the same physical place on the hard drive. This doesn't happen with sub-directories, which are treated by the O.S. like regular files, i.e. they can be stored anywhere inside the drive.

When you format your hard drive it just "zeroes" the root directory, i.e. erases data stored at this fixed location. The format operation does not erases all sectors of your hard drive. All other data located in your hard drives remain untouched. That's why you can recover files from a formated hard drive. It is just a matter of scanning the hard drive looking for the files, since all that was deleted was the list of files that were stored on the drive, not the files.

Cheers,
Gabriel.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:20 PM   #4
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Hi,

I suppose you can use really powerful data recovery tool to see, if the files are really gone. As for this, I recommend Active@ Undelete or Uneraser (for DOS), theese are really mighty tools that were able to even bring back data I condireded completely gone.

http://www.active-undelete.com/

http://www.uneraser.com/
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:14 AM   #5
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Thank you for your reply Gabriel.

>> When you open your hard drive at My Computer, what you see is its root directory.

Well, when I open my hard drive at My Computer, what I see is C:, D:, E: etc. Which one should I call the root directory? I used to think C: as my root directory. Actually I did know that the term "root directory" means a parent directory that has no further parent.

I can easily see what could be a root directory in Unix and Linux file systems. As for Windows it is not at all clear to me.

First, I don't know if I should consider C:, D: etc. to be root directories?

Second, When I format C:, or D: should not it zero all the directories at the uppermost level? Are you referring to this as zero-ing the root directory?

Third, according to what you said I get the feeling is that when I open My computer I get to the root directory, in that case how can a format "zero" that directory. In Windows we can only format C:, D: drive partitions as far as I know.

Please clarify if I seem have some confusions.

Note: I understand your explanation:
Quote:
When you format your hard drive it just "zeroes" the root directory, i.e. erases data stored at this fixed location. The format operation does not erases all sectors of your hard drive. All other data located in your hard drives remain untouched. That's why you can recover files from a formated hard drive. It is just a matter of scanning the hard drive looking for the files, since all that was deleted was the list of files that were stored on the drive, not the files.
I just have the problem of identifying what is the root directory in Windows.
Thank you.
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Old 02-16-2006, 04:02 AM   #6
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Hi,

You are right.

When you click on C:, what you see is the root directory of that particular partition.

Cheers,
Gabriel.
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:55 PM   #7
JorjCurieux
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Default How to really delete your files

This is another excellent secure deletion program that can be used to actually go through
several passes and write bit patterns into the disk magnetic surface:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb897443.aspx
It's called sdelete.exe

-Jorj
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