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Old 05-22-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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Computer Experts Can You Answer This?

This is something I have been wondering for a while. We have all heard that when you put something on your hard drive it is almost always there forever. Even if you erase it the information can almost always still be recovered. There are ways to completely erase the information, but it takes a little knowledge and effort. It is not just as quick and simple as dragging a file to your recycle bin.

So my question is this...If the information is not really erased when we just the basic drag and drop into the recycle bin, why do we need larger hard drives? Why do we run our of hard drive space?

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Old 05-22-2009, 09:43 AM   #2
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Every file saved on the hard drive has a numeric tag on it. When you save a later version of that file, the extra bit is saved in a separate location because the original file is boxed in whith other stuff thath happened in between. When you re-open a file, the computer collects all the bits with te same file number and puts them together.

When you delete a file, all you are doing is erasing the file number. The rest stays on the drive until something else overwrites it.

At least, that's how it was explained to me...
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:56 AM   #3
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My understanding Andy is that the data needs to be overwritten a number of times to really remove it. There are programs that claim to completely remove the data from your hard drive. They do this by overwriting the data many times. If overwriting it once or twice or even 10 times does not really remove it (it can be recovered by someone who knows what they are doing) then why do we need such large hard drives? If the data is still really there why can't we get away with having a 1 gig drive since the information is still there even if we think we are erasing it?
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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The other component to this is the size of the files we store. Photos, movies, etc., and the software we load.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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But that is just my point Andy. Lets say, for the sake of simplicity, that we have a 1 gig drive. We then load a picture that is 1 gig. We have taken up all the space on the drive. We then erase the picture file and add another different picture that is 1 gig. Well even though we erased the first file it is still recoverable by someone who knows what they are doing, thus there is really 2 gigs of information somewhere on that 1 gig drive.

1 gig file, erased, but recoverable
+
1 gig new file currently on the drive
=
2 gigs on a 1 gig drive
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:27 AM   #6
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I am happy to keep you occupied until and actual computer expert comes along to answer your question but we have now exceeded the scope of my knowledge.

How about those Red Sox!
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:29 AM   #7
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:09 AM   #8
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Every GB has a secret shadow GB lurking beneath to store the recoverable data. Either that or what we are told requires 1GB actually only requires 1/2 GB and the other half is in reserve for erasure and recovery.

I have no idea. I'm just making this crap up. But it sounds good doesn't it?
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:11 AM   #9
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LOL when i first read your post Alix I thought you were talking about me (GB), not gigabites (GB) I am not too swift sometimes!
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:17 AM   #10
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OMG!!! I am only now able to type again. WHOO! Tears running down my face. So...are you the REAL GB or the shadow GB today???
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