Transferring files to external usb hard drive

  whisked 21:34 16 Sep 05

I have 'moved'(not copied) some files from my laptop onto an external hard drive and i am wondering as some of them contained personal information/data whether any trace of them will be left on the laptop, ie recoverable in any way?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:41 16 Sep 05

Anything is recoverable if you are prepared to pay the cost.

If you defrag the laptop drive your old files will be overwritten and unrecoverable to anyone except MI5.

  Eastender 22:09 16 Sep 05

I think Eraser is still free click here

  PC Bilbo 22:23 16 Sep 05

Even formatting a hard drive will not stop data being retrieved by by an expert.

For most of us this is not a problem but if you want MI5 type security you will need a programme that will randomly overwrite the data with o's and x's several times making it secure.Programmes are available from Steganos, Acronis but you will normally need to pay if you want flexibility and high security.

Some offer a trial version but this will have limited functionality.

  whisked 22:57 16 Sep 05

The point i was making though guys was that because the files have been moved off the machine does not not mean they are not physically still there?

  Thalmus 23:02 16 Sep 05

A description of what happens when you delte a file can be found here

click here

  Thalmus 23:03 16 Sep 05

ps. when you move a file all windows does is copy it then delete the orginal

  jack 09:34 17 Sep 05

To labour that point made many times above
Once written to a drive - data stays there until overwritten.
Deleting -simply 'switches it off' and it can be 'switched on' again by those who have the will and knowhow to do so.
So to those of you that are foolish enough to commit secrets to a hard drive there but but one remedy only --vigourus application of a large hammer.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:06 17 Sep 05

Delete means wipe first letter off file name so windows can nolonger find it.

Not knowing there is a file in that location windows then may use that space to write another file.

Eraser programs overwrite (with 0 and 1) the space on the drive where the file was located therefore corrupting the original file.

Once the space where the file was originally located is overwritten by another file then the original file is almost impossible to retrieve., hence my original post to run a defrag where all te files are move to bettter locations on the drive and your original files is almost certain to be overwritten.

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