Wiping files too large for Recycle Bin


New Member

When I delete files over a certain size, XP notifies me that they are too large to fit in the Recycle bin and will be deleted. I understand that they are not really deleted but the space they occupied is made available for re-use.

If I accidentally deleted a file in this way that I really wanted to erase, would the only solution be to wipe the free space on the partition the file was on? I'm thinking it might be quicker to undelete the file and then erase it. Is there a free/cheap utility that could do this quite easily?

On the subject of the Recycle bin, is there any difference in security terms between erasing a file and erasing the recycle bin after the file has been put in it?
I think undeleting and erasing makes sense (especially if you're in a hurry) but wait for some more opinions.

For undeleting files, Restoration 2.5.14 is highly rated and free at several download sites including http://www.download.com/Restoration/300 ... ag=lst-0-1 The user interface is a little crude but it does the job. It doesn't have to be installed and can be run from removable media such as a floppy.

There shouldn't be a difference between erasing a file and erasing the recycle bin after the file has been put in.
Does restoration actaully restore the deleted file though. As far as I can see it copies the deleted file while leaving the original still "deleted" in free space.
The default/recommendation is to copy it to another location. If you specify the location in which it was found, it warns you that it will overwrite the original, so I assumed that it does ... but I could be wrong.
I've just restored a JPG file using Restoration - it does appear to actually restore the file rather than merely copying the deleted file. I deleted a JPG file from within "My Pictures" on my computer (using right click - Shift + Delete), ran Restoration, highlighted the file and then clicked the "Restore By Copying" feature of Restoration, restoring to a floppy disk. The restoration was successful and a further run of Restoration revealed no trace of the file in free space.
Thanks for the replies guys. I've downloaded Restoration and had a quick look at it and it seems ideal for my scenario. However, contrary to your experience Robbie, I found that after Restore by Copying a file to another location, rescanning still found the deleted file.

Glenn, as you assumed it does appear to overwrite the original if the file is restored to it's original location as rescanning no longer results in the deleted file being found.
actually I find Restoration to be inconsistent - either that or I'm not using it correctly - but this time a restore to a floppy disk finds the 2 files I just restored still there in free space. I've never really been able to use this program with 100% success - sometimes a search will show X amount of files in free space and seconds later I get a different, much lower amount. Then after closing the program and restarting I then get the files in the original search showing again. It must be me rather than the computer as I had this anomoly happen with my last computer too, unless Windows itself can cause this.

There is another program out there which seems to behave in a more consistent way, Recover4All but the demo version only allows very small files to be recovered and as files are displayed in a file structure that corresponds to Windows (eg Documents and Settings, Program Files etc) but there's no Search facility it can often be hard to locate a deleted file - at least in Restoration there is both a search and list in alphabetical order / file size feature.

The file I deleted and recovered earlier is still gone - I can only assume the free space has been overwritten or the file name is unrecognisable.

I tested Restoration on a hard drive and a USB memory stick using restore to original location and copy to new location, and I consistently get the same results as doveman.

Restore to original location seems to replace the deleted files and using Eraser seems to render them unrecoverable. Copy to new location seems to leave the original deleted files where they were and a repeated search found them.


Be careful. I found that one of the files I restored was gibberish. I think it was partially overwritten by another file as the Restoration ReadMe notes warn. This only happened on the USB memory stick (with only 1GB it must start reusing empty space sooner than my hard drive). If you erase such a file, I'm not sure if you erase the part that belongs to the new file. Since there was nothing important on the stick, I erased the recovered file. None of the other files appeared to be affected but it may just have been luck.
Glenn, thanks for the warning. I certainly wouldn't have picked up on this by reading the readme. Hopefully if I ever need to use it, it will be immediately after I accidentally delete something, which should minimise the risk.