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Windows 7: Thumb drive recycle bin issue

19 May 2014   #1
David75

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 
Thumb drive recycle bin issue

Hi all, I am not very computer savvy so you might think this is a stupid question but here goes.

I have a thumb drive which seems to have its own recycle bin.

When I delete stuff from it, I am asked whether I want to move it to the recycle bin and it shows up in the bin on my desktop until I remove the thumb drive.

I just recently moved some sensitive stuff (personal correspondance and such) to the bin but did not empty it, then later the same day I inserted the thumb drive into my friend's computer (he has Windows XP) and I don't think I performed the proper procedure prior to removing it.

Could my personal data now be in the recycle bin on his computer?

Again, I don't know much about computers and so would be grateful if someone could shed some light on this issue.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 May 2014   #2
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote:
Could my personal data now be in the recycle bin on his computer?
No

The contents of the recycle bin can only be viewed and recovered on the computer on which the files were deleted. And only by the same logged in user that deleted them. This is by design and is for security reasons.

Be sure you are aware that flash drives should be used primarily as a transport media, not primary storage of important files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2014   #3
David75

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

The bin to which I was refering was the one on my thumb drive.

Files moved to it are visible in the bin on my desktop until I remove the thumb drive,
then they disappear from it.

This leads me to believe that they would also be visible, hopefully just temporarily, in the bin on his pc when I inserted the thumb drive into it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 May 2014   #4
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote:
This leads me to believe that they would also be visible, hopefully just temporarily, in the bin on his pc when I inserted the thumb drive into it.
As I said, No.

The recycle bin was designed to prevent that from happening. That would be a serious security risk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2014   #5
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

To my knowledge, there is no Recycle Bin on thumb drives. At least none of mine have one.

It's easy to check. Plug in the thumb drive and navigate to it with Explorer. Click on organize at the top left of the window, select the View tab, and click on "Show hidden files, folder, and drives". If you have a recycle bin on your thumb drive you should then be able to see it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2014   #6
David75

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

There is no bin visible, however when deleting something I am asked whether I want to move it to the bin.

There is also a file called recycle.bin or something like that on the thumb drive, and files that have been moved to the bin are visible in the bin on the desktop only for as long as I have the thumb drive inserted.

In other words, the files are not really moved to the bin on the desktop.

When I scan the thumb drive with an anti virus software, the files show up under recycle.bin (file name).

I see no other explanation for this than the bin residing on the thumb drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2014   #7
David75

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
Quote:
This leads me to believe that they would also be visible, hopefully just temporarily, in the bin on his pc when I inserted the thumb drive into it.
As I said, No.

The recycle bin was designed to prevent that from happening. That would be a serious security risk.
Well it IS happening.

If files that are moved to the bin residing on the thumb drive are visible in the bin on my desktop while the drive is inserted, then why would that not be true for other computers as well?

Surely, the drive does not know into which computer it is being inserted?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2014   #8
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote:
If files that are moved to the bin residing on the thumb drive are visible in the bin on my desktop while the drive is inserted, then why would that not be true for other computers as well?
NO

The desktop recycle bin will show the contents of the $RECYCLE.BIN folders of all attached drives. But at no time will these files ever be copied or moved off the original drive, in spite of what the desktop might appear to be showing. This folder contains a number of subfolders, one for each user that has deleted file on that drive. Before showing anything the desktop recycle bin checks the subfolders on each $RECYCLE.BIN folder to see if they match that of the logged in user. If they match it's contents will be shown, otherwise not. In practice each user has his own private recycle bin that shows only the files he has deleted.

All of this is by design. The ability of a user to even see what files have been deleted by another user would be a security risk, one which Windows security will not permit.

Note: Normally a flash drive will not have a $RECYCLE.BIN folder but with software it is possible to enable this.

Windows identifies each use by a unique number. The name is just a convenience for us humans that have difficulty remembering many digit numbers. Renaming the user account will not change this number. If you have an account on different computers with the same name and password the account number will be different.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2014   #9
David75

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
Quote:
If files that are moved to the bin residing on the thumb drive are visible in the bin on my desktop while the drive is inserted, then why would that not be true for other computers as well?
NO

The desktop recycle bin will show the contents of the $RECYCLE.BIN folders of all attached drives. But at no time will these files ever be copied or moved off the original drive, in spite of what the desktop might appear to be showing. This folder contains a number of subfolders, one for each user that has deleted file on that drive. Before showing anything the desktop recycle bin checks the subfolders on each $RECYCLE.BIN folder to see if they match that of the logged in user. If they match it's contents will be shown, otherwise not. In practice each user has his own private recycle bin that shows only the files he has deleted.

All of this is by design. The ability of a user to even see what files have been deleted by another user would be a security risk, one which Windows security will not permit.

Note: Normally a flash drive will not have a $RECYCLE.BIN folder but with software it is possible to enable this.

Windows identifies each use by a unique number. The name is just a convenience for us humans that have difficulty remembering many digit numbers. Renaming the user account will not change this number. If you have an account on different computers with the same name and password the account number will be different.
OK, got it.

I was not aware of that process by which the desktop bin checks for matches.

Thank you for your patience in explaining this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Thumb drive recycle bin issue




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