When you delete a file on a computer, it will be moved to the Recycle Bin or something similar (depends on the OS). The files that are sent to the Recycle Bin can easily be recovered if you wish to. If you need to fully erase the trace of the deleted file in your computer, you need to empty the Recycle Bin or delete that specific file from it. Once you delete the file there, it is now permanently deleted. However, the computer has a funny way of describing the file as being ‘permanently’ deleted. It isn’t really deleted permanently. In a sense, being deleted permanently just means that the file is still there but there is no way of reading the file.
Considering that, the file is still inside the hard drive. The only problem is it can’t be accessed by the computer. The only time that you can access it is when you recover the data. However, that isn’t possible using just a simple data retrieving operation. Additionally, you need to consider the state of the data you deleted. There are times where the file you deleted will not be recovered even with the most meticulous data restoration process.
The only time it is deleted finally and permanently is when you remove all the 1’s and 0’s inside the hard drive (which is very hard to do) or when another file is saved in the same location. Most of the deleted files inside the hard drive will sit inside the hard drive as data, primarily 1’s and 0’s. If you use your hard disk regularly, there is a chance that you will save on top of this data. When this happens, the file is deleted forever.
There’s a chance however that the file can still be recreated using data extrapolation. Sometimes, the data are scattered inside the hard disk and majority of it can still be recovered. The computer can extrapolate the missing data (as long as it isn’t too big) and recreate the deleted file.
What if I want to make my deleted file non-recoverable? Is there a way? – click here
If you want to ensure that your file can’t be retrieved in any way, you need to do a low level format. Low level format, also known as zero fill is done when you fill all the data with 0’s instead of just leaving them with their previous state (either 1 or 0). As I’ve stated before, if a file is still inside the hard disk and it still has the 1’s and 0’s, it can easily be retrieved. Now, to truly delete a file, running a zero fill format is recommended.
Once a hard disk has gone through low level formatting (zero fill), no data can be recovered from it. All that will remain are the disk manufacturer information, item ID, maybe some internal software and some other info. Another thing that will truly delete a file is when you save another file on top of the deleted file. Now, instead of just 0’s, it will be covered with 1’s and 0’s – almost the same thing. The only difference is that the file you save contains information instead of just 0’s.
For more information, you can check out data recovery services online and get free quote on your hard disk data recovery.