Hotpink Websites

Hotpink Websites
Hotpink Websites - gold coast web design

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Deleted or Not Deleted

Deleted or Not Deleted – that is the question!

When you delete a file on your computer, it disappears from your screen.

And so you think it is gone . . .

300px Hard drive en.svg

English: Diagram of a computer hard disk drive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the reality is that the file is not really GONE as such.

Your computer has just “forgotten” where it is.

It’s a bit like when you plant seeds in the garden.

They are gone, and if they are small seeds, you likely cannot see them or find them again.

And yet, sure enough, in a few days or weeks, those seeds will sprout into plants in your garden.

Not really deleted

So deleted files are not really deleted.  The computer just forgets where they are stored on your hard drive.

Eventually, when you save new files on your hard drive, the old files will become overwritten.

But even then it may be possible to retrieve the parts of the deleted files that are not overwritten.

What does it mean?

Well, the good part is that you can recover your files, and . . .

the bad part is that you can recover your files.

The good part . . .

When you delete a file, it usually goes in the Recycle Bin.  And you can usually retrieve a file from there if you decided that you really did want the file.

Every so often, you should clean out the Recycle Bin to stop your computer getting cluttered.  Hey!  It’s a bin just like any other bin in the office or at home.

Even then, after the files have been deleted from the Recycle Bin, a computer tech may be able to recover them because the files are still stored on the hard drive.  Only the pointer to where they are stored has been deleted.

300px Java roaming profile bloat

Example of a third-party software (Sun Microsystems Java) storing temporary files and software updates in the roaming profile. The bloated roaming profile makes login and logout times increased. The stored updates shown are unnecessary after installation, yet they are not deleted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bad part . . .

And the bad part is exactly the same thing, but for different reasons.

If you have sensitive business or personal information on your computer, you may think that it has been deleted and no longer exists.

But the reality is that it still does exist, and using hard drive scanning software, it may be possible to retrieve some or all of the file.

So don’t just assume that your deleted file(s) is gone.  It may not be!

So . . .

What to do about it?

The ultimate solution is going to cost some money, so . . . firstly, decide if your files are important enough to warrant the extra precautions.

If you are developing a new product, or a new marketing campaign, where the stakes are high . . . then it might be worthwhile.

If you store client information that you are required to keep confidential . . . then it might be worthwhile.

If there is anything personal or private on your computer that you don’t want others seeing . . . then it might be worthwhile. 

The solution is to buy and use software that overwrites the existing file with blank files . . . multiple times.  Eventually, there is no magnet trace of the file on the hard drive surface.

For most computer users, that is overkill, and it is enough to know that you can retrieve that folder of family holiday snaps that you accidentally deleted.

Well, that is quite simple really!


What should you do now?

  1. Evaluate how sensitive the information on your computer really is, and take action accordingly.

  2. Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Hotpink Websites now.



The secret of being successful is making good use of every little opportunity you come across in life. Nothing is less in this global world.
~ Unknown

Remember – Deleted or Not Deleted


Deleted or Not Deleted

No comments:

Post a Comment