Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Cannot overwrite deleted emails on free space

30 Jun 2014   #31

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
One last attempt to explain

Hi again Sabruffian.

That zipped file isn't really there - it's an entry posted by Recuva to show you that emails are available to be recovered. They don't actually already exist in that non-existent zipped folder. They exist in databases that are contained in your Thunderbird profile. When you click that entry in Recuva it activates whatever method Recuva uses to extract deleted emails from your Thunderbird profile and then places them in a real zip file for you.

This is also evidenced by the fact that when you copied your Thunderbird profile for test purposes the number of emails/ file size that was detected by Recuva doubled - yet there were no additional deleted recoverable files present in free space.

Hopefully this helps you to understand. If not consider the following:

Thunderbird is free so there's no harm in fully removing it, rebooting and doing a cleanup with Ccleaner or BleachBit.

Once Thunderbird has been removed and you've cleaned up try running the recover deleted emails option in Recuva again. This assumes that you securely deleted the zipped folder that you actually recovered the emails into in the first place. If you didn't - wipe free space once more before running Recuva.

Or even consider trying other decent data recovery software and focus on deleted files with the .zip extension.

Here's what I use as an alternative to Recuva when I feel like I need a double check.

Lazesoft Recovery Suite Free, Free Windows System Recovery, Free Data Recovery, Free Windows Password Recovery, Free Disk Clone

You can install it on Windows and run it from there. You don't actually need to create a recovery USB/ CD in order to use it.

Start the program and choose the data recovery option then in the window that opens choose the file recovery option. Select drive C and let it search for deleted files.

Use the "File Type" filter to only display deleted .zip files. You can compare the results to your Recuva scan.

Cannot overwrite deleted emails on free space-lazesoft-recovery-suite-home.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #32

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Hello again Callender. OK, I uninstalled Tbird and did a free space wipe with ccleaner. Then Checked the free space with recuva and the emails are still there just like they were. When I first recovered those emails, I recovered them to a storage drive I have. Then after I run eraser and wiped them off of that drive, they didn't show up on the free space with the others. The Ccleaner I have will only wipe free space or the entire drive. That is why I used eraser as it will wipe files and or folders if you don't want all of free space cleaned up.

What I am not understanding is y'all keep saying that Tbird are non existant and is really not phycially there in the free space. It is for sure not in the Tbird database nor anywhere else on my C drive.. Anyway, last night I found an image on one of my storage drives of my win 7 C drive that windows had made a backup of back in March. I had forgotten about doing that. So was wondering if I recovered that image would that clear my problem up on the free space. I had tried system restore yesterday, and that didn't work. If I can ever get it off, I will just have to delete emails like you said to yesterday from Tbird. I noticed all your screenshots are gone about that though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #33

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Well what I'm asking is why do you think that Recuva suddenly reported that the file size doubled when all you actually did was copy your Thunderbird profile folder?

If you think about it there are two possiblities.

1). That the file doesn't really exist in free space and you could think of it as a "link" that when clicked on activates recovery of deleted emails from your Thunderbird Profile

2). There really is a deleted emails zip file that gets created by thunderbird when you delete emails.

As for it still showing up after removing Thunderbird and wiping space:

Just out of curiosity check the following stuff. Set folder options to show hidden files.

Cannot overwrite deleted emails on free space-folder-options.jpg

Set the options for the two highlighted items as shown and click "Apply"

Then try navigating to:


See if there's anything there that looks similar to this:

Cannot overwrite deleted emails on free space-imap_googlemail.jpg

That's where your emails are stored.

Other than that have you ever made a Thunderbird backup using other software or by copying your profile folder? If so - delete the backup(s).

Also see: How Thunderbird handles deleted messages

If all trace of Thunderbird has been fully removed, any backups deleted, old profiles or copies of them deleted, recovered email zip deleted and everything securely overwritten - Recuva should not show any results for deleted emails.

Use a file search utility to search for any files on your hard drive with .msf of .sbd extensions.

Previous screenshots - I didn't delete them and can still see them when logged into SF.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Jun 2014   #34

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Data recovery

Also in that decription of Lazesoft Recovery Suite - I got it slightly wrong. What you'd be lloking for is "Lost Files" rather than filtering results by file type!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #35

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem


I'm having a hard time understanding where you are seeing the .zip file - you keep mentioning free space and that doesn't clear it up for me.

Please post screen shots of what you see and describe what you're using to see it.
See: Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

Using Callender's image it can be as simple as
I see the file in Explorer and I have the view set to show hidden file and not hide system protected files.
If you see the file only in Recuva, please state that and post an image on Recuva.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #36

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

OK Slartybart, what I am calling free space is the space on my C drive that shows there is nothing in it, but as I'm sure you already know that files that you delete are not really deleted and can be recovered and or viewed by anyone who has access to your computer and the right tools/software. And the emails I had deleted is showing up in the free space using recuva. When I went to the free space I didn't go to recover any files I just wanted to look and see what had not been wiped permanetly...that is when I found those flippin' emails that I could open and view. I have always tried to keep that space erased so no one could see what was on there. Malware, trojans or any one with access can look. That is how someones ID can be stolen and used, along with credit card numbers emails!! I thought my software eraser had wiped them but I was wrong.

Sometimes I wish I had not gotten a SSD drive, even though the TRIM feature supposed to do away with deleted files as soon as they are deleted, but it does not work that way. Now, every time I try to use ccleaner, cyper, eraser or any of the orthers they throw up big red flags saying...are you sure you want to overwrite this ssd drive free space, it could damage the drive. I have read that if you don't do it real often it will be ok.

OK...Here is what I have done. I recovered the backup image that windows did for me back on March 30th. Before I did that I uninstalled Tbird. I new The one I had in March would be on the image. And yes it was. It had 640mb of email etc on it. One folder in the profile where Tbird keeps everything had 238.24 mb in it, which is exactly what was in the zip file recuva found. It couldn't have been those though, or they wouldn't have been in the recovered image.
I compacted and set the Tbird settings like Callender said to set them. I have installed the Lazesoft recover software but haven't used it yet. I don't feel like Tbird should be there now, but don't really want to use recuva to go look. I may just use Lazysoft and see what is there after I wiped the image free space with Ccleaner.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #37

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Thanks, I still think there is some misunderstanding of the recovery. Let me try to unravel your post. I would have preferred images.

The only time you see the zip file is in Recuva - right?

No files were actually recovered - you only looked to see what could be recovered - right?

You could open the deleted eMails.... in Recuva? This is where you lose me.

It's probably a moot point since you don't want to run Recuva, but if you exclude eMail recovery then you won't see the .zip file in Recuva.

Sounds like you solved it then, glad you worked it out.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #38

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Compacting Thunderbird Folders

Okay so have a go at the following (in order to prevent any further recovery issues)

Compacting folders - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

If you're using IMAP it's easy:

Compacting folders - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

Don't set Thunderbird to move deleted messages to trash and don't synchronize your trash/ deleted emails folder on the sever with Thunderbird.

Compact all folders manually on a regular basis anyway just to be on the safe side.

Here's more screenshots:

Tools> Account Settings> Server Settings

Cannot overwrite deleted emails on free space-server-settings.jpg

Tools> Account Settings> Synchronization & Storage

Cannot overwrite deleted emails on free space-storage-settings.jpg

Click the advanced tab and remove any ticks in folders named Trash, Bin, Deleted and so on. Expand each folder to be sure that you didn't miss something.

Tools> Options> Advanced (also clear the cache)

Cannot overwrite deleted emails on free space-tb_options.jpg

Hopefully that covers it!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2014   #39

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Slartybart, yes I could open the emails and read right there in Recuva. And yes, I did recover them to a storage drive just to try and fig out what was going on with that. But later I got rid of them with AbsoluteShield File Shredder. Then when I looked at free space with recuva to see if the zip file doubled, well it did not, so the shredder got rid of those I recovered. But later when I deleted the profiles in Tbird, then...those showed up in that zi[ that had been on there. When I first found the Tbird it showed showed 234.24 mb in it. After the profile was deleted (that I had backed up) the zip file on free space showed 472.50 mb in it the last time I looked before restoring the image with windows. I am going to look at the free space again later today now that I have wiped free space with ccleaner.

Callender....Thanks for the screenshots, I went backand found your post where you posted them and made the changes to mine, well, all except the server settings you put in your last post, and have changed that now, so should be in good shape with Tbird now except...when I do want to delete and emails, do I have to go to profile and do it? Didn't know for sure if compacting would delete any or not, or just make them smaller. Thanks a bunch for all y'alls help and suggestions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2014   #40

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Deleting emails in Thunderbird

Well the way I use Thunderbird it's set not to delete anything on the server. If I delete a message in Thunderbird with all settings set as shown in the screenshots then it vanishes from Thunderbird and doesn't reappear but it does remain on the server. It doesn't move to the "Bin" or "Trash" folders in Thunderbird and isn't recoverable using Recuva.

Compacting folders will remove deleted messages and reduce their size.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cannot overwrite deleted emails on free space

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Cipher Command - Overwrite Deleted Data in Windows
How to Overwrite Deleted Data using the "Cipher" Command in Windows The Windows cipher command line tool is predominantly used to manage the encryption status of NTFS volumes. A lesser known function of this command is the ability to securely overwrite free disk space. Files deleted on a...
I deleted 10gb data but i did not got 10gb free space?
I deleted approx 10gb data from c drive but my free space is still the same :-( Don't know what to do.
General Discussion
Why did I suddenly go from 2GB free space to 30GB free space??
Hi, for months my C: (120 SSD) had only 2GB left of free space. So I finally purchased a 250GB SSD to replace it with. I received the drive last week and the box has been sitting on my desk. This morning I noticed that all of a sudden my C: drive is no longer in the red... I now have 30GB of free...
General Discussion
How-to recover deleted emails from Outlook 2007 for free
I created a video on my YouTube channel showing how you can recover deleted emails in Outlook 2007. I am pretty sure that the technique demonstrated will work with 2003 or 2010 as well but I've only tested it using Outlook 2007. This technique will only work if you haven't compacted your PST...
Browsers & Mail
Deleted music but no free space showing
Hi,,I deleted about 70 GB of music files ,did a delete but no move to recycle bin,but I do not see the freed up disk space,,went into disk cleanup but it doesn't show there. Do I need to do a defrag in order to get that freed up space? Did a search for any music on my system but nothing...
Music, Pictures & Video

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:20.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App