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Delete a file and will it forever gone?

Posted on 2005-03-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Hi ,

How do we delete a file and make sure it will be gone forever & even those recovery software cant retrive it.

I have done a lot of recovery for my client using various software and was thinking of the question, can a file be delete & gone forever?

Please Advice.

Regards
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Question by:mysticaljoey
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7 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13677775
Not if it's TOP SECRET and in the US Government.  as I understand it, they never get rid of the "TOP SECRET" stuff, even when they wipe drives a seemingly endless number of times.

For all practical purposes, a file shredder program should be able to do the trick, deleting the file then rewriting data to it's previous location.
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13677780
Mind you, I've never used one, but Spybot has a shredder built in.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 13677875
Sorry, physically damaging the platters is the ONLY way. Shredders/wipers, none of them work well enough- I've tested them all I swear to you I have. Formatting, wiping, deleting, overwritting- doesn't matter, depending on the amount you are willing to spend to recover data, it can be recovered. Free recovery programs do an ok job, but programs that are paid for  do a much better job. We bought on-track and it's paid for itself over and over... it's one of the best if not the best. If you want the best, it's an electron tunneling microscope, it can see every bit ever set on a HD platter, but no one actually goes to those lengths to find data, maybe the NSA or DOD, but no one else...
We recover data daily with on-track, and if we hadn't run the test's for ourselves, we never would of spent the kind of cash we did:
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/
http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20000708/fob1.asp
http://slashdot.org/askslashdot/01/02/21/1752256.shtml

Even memory sticks have data that is recoverable long after erasure/deletion/overwritting
-rich
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Author Comment

by:mysticaljoey
ID: 13679293
Another question,

Let say if i run all my data  on my pendrive, usb external hard drive or internet drive can the recovery solfware still retrieve the data on the pc ?
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 13680522
If someone has physical access to those devices, yes data is recoverable from NV-Ram (even vram)devices (usb memory sticks, etc) as well as any form of HD. Here is a paper detailing why this is possible: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html log read, but very good.
-rich
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Author Comment

by:mysticaljoey
ID: 13685746
-Rich

What i mean was, if i access data from pen drive on computer "a" and keep the pen drive  away secure, would it leave any trace on the computer "a"

Regards
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LVL 38

Accepted Solution

by:
Rich Rumble earned 2000 total points
ID: 13688651
not unless you copied any of the data from the pendrive to the harddrive of the machine, the only possible traces might be in the pagefile of the machine, or in temp files. Also when you delete from a drive physically connected to a pc, typically those files are placed in the recycle bin, so there could be traces there if you did that. Otherwise no, there should be no trace.
-rich
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