Deleted Files Are Not Deleted
"delete" files they're not really deleted and they're not taking up space
either. Think of your hard drive as a chalk board. When you erase a chalk board, you can't
see what you erased (very well) but somewhere in the slate of the chalk board is
everything you've ever written on it. But still you can write something new on it. So it
is with your hard drive.
When you "delete" a file, you're telling Windows that you don't want that file
anymore and telling Windows to use the space that file once occupied for something else.
So Windows shows the space once occupied by that file as "available" so you can
install a new program or use the space that whatever you deleted was occupying for
something new. But, way down deep on the magnetic surface of your hard drive the file that
you deleted is still there. That's how the FBI and other authorities gather evidence
against criminals who think by deleting or formatting their hard drives they can erase all
the incriminating evidence it might have once contained. But there is software available
that can capture the faintest particles of deleted files and restore them. There is
hardware available that can even extract more data from "formatted" hard drives.
In fact most "formatted" hard drives can be completely restored. The software
and hardware that can do this is very expensive for the most part. But you can find
programs to download (some free) that can easily "undelete" a freshly deleted
The only way to completely remove data from your hard drive is by "erasing".
Erasing is a very misleading term. If you want to be sure that deleted data can never be
recovered from you hard drive you need to use a program that replaces the deleted data
with gibberish. An "eraser" program like "Eraser" replaces
"free space" created when you delete files by overwriting it many, many, times
with unintelligible data (usually random sequences of numbers, letters, and symbols). Some
good eraser programs may overwrite it hundreds of times to make recovery impossible or
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