So it does not overwrite the original files? Just the pointers to the files?
If I understand this correctly, this means with the proper data recovery software can easily recover anything sent to recycle bin and then erased is still on your hard drive minus the pointers?
Does not sound very secure... What do you recommend? Not using the recyycle bin for sensitive material? What good is using eraser on the recycle bin at all if the only thing removed is pointers? Or do I have it wrong?
The “pointers” are the only thing the recycle bin contains. The files you delete using windows are not actually deleted. They are removed from view to the user but they remain exactly where they were. Windows then makes a pointer in the recycle bin to show the user the deleted file. If the user chooses to permanently delete the file the pointer is simply removed from the recycle bin by windows.
If you want to securely delete and overwrite the files in the recycle bin using Eraser then right click the recycle bin and choose “Erase Recycle Bin”. Eraser will then use the pointers that windows created to find the actual file on the disk. The area where the actual file is will be overwritten along with the pointer.
Mortem, there is nothing to worry about. Eraser will overwrite everything in the recycle bin if you tell it to do so. If you are in any doubt that you have missed a file for whatever reason perform a full free space wipe. However I suggest you choose the single random pass overwrite option as some of the other options may take an awfully long time, also they are probably a little overkill for most peoples needs.
You really don’t need any other deletion software other than Eraser, it is the best after all !
"If you want to securely delete and overwrite the files in the recycle bin using Eraser then right click the recycle bin and choose “Erase Recycle Bin”. Eraser will then use the pointers that windows created to find the actual file on the disk. The area where the actual file is will be overwritten along with the pointer."
Thank you for your elucidation of the way in which Eraser handles files "in" the Recycle Bin. Like Mortem, I had wondered about this myself.
Is there any way to securely delete from the Recycle Bin via the regular Eraser menus when there is no Context Menu (right click) entry to run Eraser? This situation arises when a Portable version of Eraser, as offered on PortableApps.com is used. There is no Context Menu in that case since the software is not installed and no registry entries are created. Another user has raised the question in those fora. They want to use the Recycle Bin as a temporary delete until they are sure, then use Eraser to clear the Bin. The situation is based on not wanting to leave any personal traces on a public machine, so Eraser cannot be installed on the machine. Suggestions are appreciated.