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Windows 7: will removing documents really remove them - hardrive?


05 Feb 2010   #1

windows 7 home premium - 32 bit
 
 
will removing documents really remove them - hardrive?

if my work is intellectual property sensitive and I need my computer serviced by a tech, will removing files and text documents manually from the folders on the computer onto a flashdrive completely remove them? or will they be still somewhere on the hardrive? ( microsoft word 2007 / openoffice writer )


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05 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

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05 Feb 2010   #3

windows 7 home premium - 32 bit
 
 

thats not the question/answer I was presenting...I asked if I removed material normally stored in windows explorer on my computer - moved to a flashdrive will that COMPLETELY REMOVE it or would it still be on the hardrive in some way as a memory or echo? ( I have never deleted anything that was vital or important knowing it could be lost in the deeper recesses of the hardrive ). in other words... if I DO ANYTHING on my computer ( typing / text documents ) will there always be a way for it to be on the hardrive in some way no matter what I move around?
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05 Feb 2010   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

No, they can be easily retrieved. If you delete (remove or move) a file, the space it occupies will be marked as available in the MFT (master file table). But the data will stay put where it was. There are many programs with which you can easily retrieve that data - provided nothing was written over that same space by some new file or whatever (and even then). You have to "wipe" your disk to get a complete removal. There are programs that can do that - even military strength. Here is an article that might be of interest.
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05 Feb 2010   #5

XP Vista 7
 
 

i was helping a friend's uncle who was a lawyer once, he wouldn't trust me with his machine to resolve a boot up problem. another word, the friend trust me, but the uncle doesn't. so best thing to do is to find someone that "you" trust to work on your computer. if the tech/thief wants to get your data, he/she will.

once you close a document, a temporary file tthat's associated to the original file is also deleted. where does it go??? that i don't know. to really wipe out a drive, you'll need to format it several times, so that mean your single file that you delete/move to flash drive, still has traces on the original drive. make sense? uhh..i'm not sure, i'm asking myself that.

but overall, if you have confidnetial sensitive document, don't trust franchise or large companies without signing a contract.
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05 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 8.1 x64 x3 + Windows 10 Preview
 
 

The security of file deletion and the ability to recover said information is basically one of cost - both the value of the information and the amount of resources you wish to commit to the recovery.

The more the value of the information the more resources will be available to obtain it.

for most cases the secure deletion methods available to the public will be sufficient to delete the file beyond any normal means for recovery.

However the software and techniques available to law enforcement agencies means that to truly safeguard information even multiple formats are not enough and physical destruction of the drive itself is the only sure way
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05 Feb 2010   #7

windows 7 home premium - 32 bit
 
 

sounds like its best to just let a computer go to valhalla and recycle it than take the chance...I cant afford to wipe my disc completely just to have it serviced, or else how is the tech guy going to know whats wrong if he/she cant access the last most frequent error reports / line useages in the system?
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05 Feb 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
The security of file deletion and the ability to recover said information is basically one of cost - both the value of the information and the amount of resources you wish to commit to the recovery.

The more the value of the information the more resources will be available to obtain it.

for most cases the secure deletion methods available to the public will be sufficient to delete the file beyond any normal means for recovery.

However the software and techniques available to law enforcement agencies means that to truly safeguard information even multiple formats are not enough and physical destruction of the drive itself is the only sure way
A secure format is more than enough to thwart even law enforcement. Even law enforcement cannot overcome the laws of physics.

Another idea the OP can do is use NTFS encryption. Only the user who actually encrypted the file can decrypt the file. Not even an admin is capable of unencrypting the file.
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05 Feb 2010   #9

Windows 8.1 x64 x3 + Windows 10 Preview
 
 

It is as I said - a question of value and the amount of time that the information is worth spending to recover it.

A reputable service technician or company should not have the desire or even the time to go snooping after your data. At the end of the day only you can determine what chances you are willing to take with the security of your data in the hands of the technician.

There are quite a few commercial areas where failed drives are destroyed rather than repaired due to the sensitive nature of their contents.
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05 Feb 2010   #10

XP Vista 7
 
 

shadow your tech. make sure he/she doesn't look at anything sentitive or secretly place malware on your drive or somehow copy data off it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by genxie View Post
sounds like its best to just let a computer go to valhalla and recycle it than take the chance...I cant afford to wipe my disc completely just to have it serviced, or else how is the tech guy going to know whats wrong if he/she cant access the last most frequent error reports / line useages in the system?
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 will removing documents really remove them - hardrive?




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