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Windows 7: What does "Empty the Recycle Bin" actually do?

03 Aug 2015   #1
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
What does "Empty the Recycle Bin" actually do?

In reviewing AVG, CNet states "By default, Windows doesn't actually delete files, even after clearing the Recycle Bin, with the exception of overly-large file sizes.”

That implies that it is like deleting a file from a hard disc - the reference to where that file is on the disc is deleted but the file itself is not and it can still be read malevolently by a disc reader. If that is true for emptying the recycle bin it means that old files could be read by examining something somewhere. RAM is cleared on a restart so the remains would not be there, but the wording of CNet's review implies that old files could still remain in some way. (In the Mac, there is "Secure delete" for the Wastebin, and that offers several levels up to military deletion.)

Therefore, how to remove all traces of a Recycle Bin file; and how to change the "Default" used in their review; and change it to what state?

Thanks.


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03 Aug 2015   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

To give a basic answer, the deleted files are still there but Windows 7 can wright over them which Windows 7 couldn't until the data got put in the $Recycle Bin. If I remember correctly Windows 7 counts $Recycle Bin as Free Space. Seldom does Free Space or $Recycle Bin need to be cleaned.

Unless you have some Hillary emails hidden there I would leave $Recycle Bin alone.

That being said, if you really want to wipe Free Space and $Recycle Bin, Ccleaner has a option to do so.

I cleaned my Free Space a long time ago after removing a nasty infection buy I'm paranoid.

Here is another answer by profdlp post # 7

$Recycle.Bin

In effect, they are already deleted. The $ symbol is just a way of marking the file or folder as deleted so Windows knows it's ok to write something new there. Deleting a file doesn't actually remove anything, it's just a notification to treat the area of the hard drive where the file was located as free space - which is what the $ symbol does in this case.

This is one reason why the DOD, lots of businesses, and anyone else interested in security run multiple passes of file disc-overwriting tools to make sure their data is really REALLY gone when they delete it.
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03 Aug 2015   #3
4wd

W7, W8.1
 
 

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03 Aug 2015   #4
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

A file is never actually deleted, the data just gets written over.
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04 Aug 2015   #5
unrealRage

Windows 7 x64
 
 

As it was told to you,file never gets deleted,Windows allows another files to overwrite "deleted" one and it's no longer visible by Windows.But using some special software you may actually wipe Free space/delete all data that are on free side of partition.
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04 Aug 2015   #6
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Moving a file to the recycle bin results in the file being moved to a subfolder of the $RECYCLE.BIN folder on the drive in question. Each user account has it's own folder so they can only see their own files in the recycle bin. As this is a move operation within a volume the file data itself is not moved, just some metadata updated. This is essentially just a rename operation. There are some other details involved but they are officially undocumented and have changed somewhat over the years.

When the recycle bin is emptied the contained files are deleted, returning the space consumed back to available space. But deleting the files does not overwrite the contents but just marks the space previously used as available. In this state these files can be recovered, for a time. But as the space is marked as free it may be used by other files at any time. Once the disk blocks of a deleted file are reused there is no longer any possibility of recovery.
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04 Aug 2015   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
A file is never actually deleted, the data just gets written over.
Very true.

Their is no spout to drain data from the computer. Just move it around and wait for it to be wrote over. It can be wrote over by other uses of the computer in a normal fashion or a program to write 0 and or 1. over the data. A least that is my understanding.

I do wonder if data is moved (not copied) to another computer how much data is left behind on the old computer and what is done with it.
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04 Aug 2015   #8
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
A file is never actually deleted, the data just gets written over.
Very true.

Their is no spout to drain data from the computer. Just move it around and wait for it to be wrote over. It can be wrote over by other uses of the computer in a normal fashion or a program to write 0 and or 1. over the data. A least that is my understanding.

I do wonder if data is moved (not copied) to another computer how much data is left behind on the old computer and what is done with it.
A USB backup drive near the computer desk is easily stolen in a burglary and sucked dry of any credit card details, passwords etc. To be sure, I think I will try CCleaner to wipe unused parts of a disc. It could be done unattended from time-to-time, so seems a sensible thing to do.
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04 Aug 2015   #9
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
...Unless you have some Hillary emails hidden there I would leave $Recycle Bin alone...
Good one, Jack!



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
...That being said, if you really want to wipe Free Space and $Recycle Bin, Ccleaner has a option to do so...
To clarify a minor point, when someone refers to wiping free space or an entire HDD of data, they are referring to alternately writing ones and zeros over the residual data so it will be completely obliterated.
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05 Aug 2015   #10
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 
recycled bin

All that windows does is put an * in front of the data line, and a basic protocol tells it to ignore it, really high tech stuff ....

Roy
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 What does "Empty the Recycle Bin" actually do?




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