Query about "Erasing Unused Space" on a hard drive.

dragoncanonD

New Member
The "Erase Unused Space" option is only when you right click the C:\ drive in My Computer (Eraser installed)?

If I recall correctly... files are not really emptied when you remove them from the Recycle Bin, but merely the reference of it from the machine... however it is still stored in a hidden partition of the fixed drive. (correct?)

If so, then "wiping the free space" would be to wipe the unused space (partially used to store our deleted files from the Recycle Bin)?

Thanks
 

Joel

Active Member
Yep, you got it right for most of it.

Except that files deleted are not kept in a hidden partition, they're kept in the same partition they were deleted from. That's what erasing unused space combats - removing these old data.

Joel
 

dragoncanonD

New Member
Thanks so much Joel.

But... is there such a thing has a "hidden" partition in the hard drive? If so what is it used for?
And if the Recycle Bin were emptied, I guess there's no way to see them anymore through Windows Explorer?

Conclusion: Erased Unused Space means that I'll be overwriting the files I emptied from the Recycle Bin with Eraser. Then it would be difficult to retrieve them with a recovery/undelete tool? Or is there more to it, like there are other more powerful industrial tools I never heard of that retrieves data even that was overwritten? :?:

Thanks a lot Joel I appreciate it.
 

GregM

Member
There is virtually no chance of retrieving erased files with any equipment, unless the FBI/MI5 may have 'secret weapons'.
 

GregM

Member
I've read this thread beforehand. Perhaps I was too brief in my response. I should have replied that the magnetic data on the disk cannot be retrieved with any current equipment. As to copies dispersed to other places on the disk, that is another issue. I have found that in my eight years of using Eraser I have never been able to retrieve erased files using file recovery software, and have read many reports of the inability of sophisticated equipment, including electron microscopes, to retrieve the files except perhaps by expending large sums of money and time in that endeavor.
 

Joel

Active Member
And for copies all over the drive there's nothing Eraser can do unless the user himself takes proactive steps in preventing that dispersal. That is really beyond the majority of users and the loss in reliability for that usually is not worth the change (I'm referring to NTFS journaling and System Restore, in particular)

Joel
 

dragoncanonD

New Member
I understand, so it would be a waste of time, money, and effort to retrieve files there were overwritten or 'shredded', is that correct?

And by other 'copies' of the file all over the drive, what does it mean? Please explain.

I have a guess but not sure which one so that's why I'm asking:
-You delete the original copy and 'erase' it (with Eraser) so it's gone forever. But there's another "backup" copy?
 

Joel

Active Member
Yes, in the change journal, in system restore, temporary copies other applications make, etc. The list continues.

Joel
 

dragoncanonD

New Member
Wow, this is confusing. Then it's like there's the same clone of the same file even though the original was deleted.

Question 1:Is this "double" retrieveable by Windows Explorer? Or does it has to be special recovery tools?
Question 2: (Main point of this thread, just want to make sure) Erasing Unused Space would be removing all the files emptied from the Recycle Bin? Just that or is there something else that is removed too?
 

jackjack

Member
dragoncanonD said:
Wow, this is confusing. Then it's like there's the same clone of the same file even though the original was deleted.

Question 1:Is this "double" retrieveable by Windows Explorer? Or does it has to be special recovery tools?
Unfortunately Windows and their programs can leave a lot of data lying around be it temp files or metadata or cache etc etc. As eraser only deletes the files you tell it to, unless you select these temp files fir wiping they will be left on your system. As a result these files may contain enough information that an attacker does not require the file you deleted.

dragoncanonD said:
Question 2: (Main point of this thread, just want to make sure) Erasing Unused Space would be removing all the files emptied from the Recycle Bin? Just that or is there something else that is removed too?
Following a wipe of the free space, any files that were deleted (via windows rather than eraser) will not be recoverable.
 
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