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Windows 7: Recycle Bin


15 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
 
 
Recycle Bin

I've always wondered this. Can anyone explain to me how a recycle bin actually works as in where do the files go after you delete them. I thought most likely, the data in a file was scrambled or something so it became nothing, but this theory raises a lot of questions about data and how size works on a computer. Any light?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Feb 2010   #2

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

google "how does recycle bin work"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7Pro - 64bits
 
 

As far as i know, once in the recycler, space taken by files is still taken by them unless you run out of space, then older ones get deleted.

If you don't run out of space, then those files stay on recycler forever.

Once you empty the recycler space taken by files is marked as free; theres no shred process or wiping in the freed space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

As shown in the following "screenshot" (I have't the time now to create, save and upload a proper screenshot), you can see a folder called "$Recycle.Bin". This is a hidden system folder to which files are "moved" when you delete a file. special "Meta Data" is created for the file that tells Windows where the folder was deleted from, and the time it was deleted. When you restore a file, the meta data is used to move the file back to it's original location, and then the meta data is deleted. Windows (according to use settings) imposes a limit to the total capacity that can be stored within the "$Recycle.Bin" folder. When the folder gets too full, it deletes older items. This is also why sometimes, when deleting a file that is extremely large, you get the message "This file is too big for the recycle bin, do you want to permanently delete it?"

Each individual drive and parition on you computer has it's own "$Recycle.Bin" folder. I hope this helps you...

Code:
 
C:\>dir /ad
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is EE35-0757
 Directory of C:\
08/11/2009  12:16    <DIR>          $Recycle.Bin
13/02/2010  08:32    <DIR>          Config.Msi
08/11/2009  12:11    <JUNCTION>     Documents and Settings [C:\Users]
25/12/2009  23:39    <DIR>          DVD Fab Temp
31/01/2010  11:18    <DIR>          intermediate
23/01/2010  05:47    <DIR>          MSOCache
26/12/2009  13:08    <DIR>          NVIDIA
14/07/2009  05:20    <DIR>          PerfLogs
26/12/2009  13:07    <DIR>          Program Files
12/02/2010  17:48    <DIR>          Program Files (x86)
13/01/2010  07:47    <DIR>          ProgramData
08/11/2009  12:11    <DIR>          Recovery
13/02/2010  08:29    <DIR>          System Volume Information
08/11/2009  12:16    <DIR>          Users
13/02/2010  18:47    <DIR>          Windows
               0 File(s)              0 bytes
              15 Dir(s)  20,899,823,616 bytes free
C:\>
O.T:
The "/ad" parameter of the DIR command I used to create the above "screenshot" from within the CMD utility, means that only item with an Attribute of Directory must be listed. To get a list of available DIR options, type "DIR /?" at a command prompt...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7Pro - 64bits
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dzomlija View Post
Code:
 08/11/2009  12:11    <JUNCTION>     Documents and Settings [C:\Users]
Whoa! someone actually using a junction =D
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
 
 

I don't think anyone completely understands what I'm saying. I'm not asking where a file goes when you put it in the recycle bin. I'm talking about what happens when you clear the recycle bin as in permanently deleted the files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Simply put, When you empty the Recycle Bin, all entries that are directed to the files contained in it are deleted.
As far as the OS is concerned, the files are gone, and the space they once occupied can be used for other purposes.

However, the files are actually still on the HD. Only the refrences pointing to them were removed.

Deleted files CAN be recovered, this just isnt a feature built into windows.

If they get overwritten several times, they may not be recoverable.

Nothing is every truly deleted when you delete it, or empty it from the recycle bin.
You're only removing the references to that file/folder, and claiming that space it occupied to overwrite with future DATA.
The only true way to 'Delete" something, is with a shredding app, which also is not included with Windows.

Is this what your asking about?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DevourDarkness View Post
I don't think anyone completely understands what I'm saying. I'm not asking where a file goes when you put it in the recycle bin. I'm talking about what happens when you clear the recycle bin as in permanently deleted the files.
Read this.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #9

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

When a file/folder/document is deleted, it is not actually deleted from the drive. Instead, it is moved from its original location to the Recycle Bin, which is a special system folder. Unlike a normal folder, items in the bin cannot be opened or executed - they have to be restored to their original location first. Note that there is no move option here, items can only be restored to their original location or permanently deleted. Another difference between the Recycle Bin and a normal folder is that it has a finite size. As you delete more and more items, and the Recycle Bin becomes more and more full, there comes a point where there is insufficient room to hold any more items. At this stage, items which were deleted are automatically purged to make room for the newer ones. This works on the FIFO (First In First Out) principle.

In actual fact, even purged items are not physically deleted from the drive. All the information is still there until the sectors where that information is stored is overwritten. All that happens is that the pointer to the first of the sectors is nullified so that it can be overwritten sometime in the future.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #10

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

To truly delete a file, I suggest you take a look at:
SDelete

This is the explanation of the problems in doing such and the actual steps taken by SDELETE to securely delete a file.

SDELETE is a program contained within the SysInternalsSuite, and like all programs in the suite can be separately downloaded.

The SysInternalsSuite is free. If you apply sdelete to your entire drive and then follow that up with CONTIG (another program in the aforementioned suite), you will have a defragmented drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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