What Happens After A File is Deleted?

Deleted Files Are Like Private Numbers

Learn what happens after a file is deleted and why you need to recover it immediately.

Episode #13-09 released on November 1, 2022

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To better understand what will happen once a file is deleted, it is a good idea to have an idea of how storage works. The File System, NTFS, GPT, etc. Are like address books that contain all the information of where chunks of files are located. Each partition is like a chapter of a book. It is possible to delete a partition while maintaining the file system, just like you can delete a file without deleting the partition itself.

Deleting a file is like making your address and phone number private, you have not moved, you simply do not appear in any newer index. This means that all the file chunks are still exactly in the same place. Up to this point, your file is still completely recoverable. If this deletion went unnoticed and was on a storage drive that is used a lot, the longer you do not notice the file has been deleted, the more likely the file has been overwritten. This is because the file may be in chunks or as a single contiguous dataset. If the file is a single continuous dataset the odds that the file is completely lost are higher than if it is in chunks, but this all depends on what you are doing with the operating system. The detail that counts the most is time. The sooner you close the computer, take the drive out, and start data recovery, the more likely you are to find the file completely, or pieces of it.

The same does apply to accidental deletion of partitions and file systems. You can usually recover files provided you immediately stop using the drive and access it with a data recovery tool and recover the files to another drive, too.

Drives that are harder to recover data from are encrypted, however, if you recover the files immediately, you can do it within the operating system, however, it is always better to recover the file to another drive to avoid overwriting the data. Regardless, it is a better idea to maintain backups than to have to recover, but if you need to recover your data, make sure you do it immediately, the longer you wait, the less likely the data is still recoverable.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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