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Windows 7: What happens when you cut and paste files to a different drive?

09 Oct 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
What happens when you cut and paste files to a different drive?

Hey guys,

I had to move all my files on my external HDD to another drive to run a test with Seatools (so I backed up my data to be safe). I borrowed an external HDD from a coworker. So I cut and pasted all my files onto his, ran the test, did a full format of my drive (not a quick format) and am currently moving all my files back to my own drive. I just learned today that when you delete a file or do a quick format, it doesn't actually delete the files, but the references, so the OS will consider it free space and will write over it. I was wondering if the same exact thing happens when you cut and paste files to another drive? The data is actually still on the drive, so people can still recover some using special software right? I just want to be safe and make sure my files are completely erased (because I had OS backups on it and I barely know the guy). I can't use a software like Darik's Boot and Nuke because he has files on it. So basically I need to clean the free space, to make sure there actually is no data there except his own. How about CCleaner's wipe free space?

Thank you!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2014   #2

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

When you move a file to another volume the file is first copied and then deleted from the original location. The file data remains but the references to it are removed and the space marked as free. How the move is done makes no difference. Emptying the recycle bin also leaved the file data in place. Moving a file within a volume doesn't result in data movement at all so the issue doesn't come up. If the data has not been overwritten it could be recovered.

CCleaner wipe free space will overwrite all unused disk space so recovery is not possible. That is what is was designed for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 What happens when you cut and paste files to a different drive?

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