Question Is it true it's impossible to completely delete files from your computer?

TheFlash1300

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Hello. My laptop uses SSD. I want to know, is it true that when i delete files from folders and the Trash Bin, the files just disappear, but they are still on the SSD, and there is no way to erase them completely? If i perform a clean install, will the files be completely erased, or will they still remain?

Also if files never get deleted, why does Windows shows more free space on a disk after some gigabytes of information are deleted? If files never get deleted, how i have never run out of space, despite the fact my SSD is 200GB, and the total amount of write/delete information is more than 4 terabytes?
 

Colif

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reads article that insinuates the only computers that include ssd are Apples... points and laughs

There are programs that can over write drives so while the files aren't actually removed, it becomes harder to access any of them.

As for SSD, it seems only way is to do a secure erase - https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ssd-secure-delete-data/

often is its just the file headers that a re removed when you delete and then TRIM will clear it when it is run, or HDD will just allow you to write over the sectors

this claims TRIM is ATA spec but I know it works on NVME as well - https://www.crucial.com/articles/about-ssd/what-is-trim

For 99% of us, the state of the hdd after you reinstall windows on a drive will be such that its seen as empty. Its only people who work for data recovery companuies who would know how to recover any data off a blank drive.

If you really concerned about contents of a drive, destroy the drive. It is the only way to ensure nothing is recovered.
 
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USAFRet

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Also if files never get deleted, why does Windows shows more free space on a disk after some gigabytes of information are deleted? If files never get deleted, how i have never run out of space, despite the fact my SSD is 200GB, and the total amount of write/delete information is more than 4 terabytes?
Think of a physical book.

That "delete" simply removed the entry in the Table of Contents, and told Windows that page is ready to be used for something else.
That page full of text still exists, though.

Until it is overwritten, or the TRIM function wipes it out.
 

TheFlash1300

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Think of a physical book.

That "delete" simply removed the entry in the Table of Contents, and told Windows that page is ready to be used for something else.
That page full of text still exists, though.

Until it is overwritten, or the TRIM function wipes it out.
Hello. So, i used the Recuva app to check the SSD. It found around 5 million files that i deleted a long time ago. There are files from more than 1 year ago. I want to delete these files, just in case some of them is a viruses. I want to be sure my laptop is 100% clean.

"Until it is overwritten, or the TRIM function wipes it out."

It seems this doesn't work. The last time when TRIM was active was 16 days ago, but there are still files from more than 1 year ago. It seems the TRIM function is unable to delete the files.

What suggestions can you give me? How can i remove these files?
 

TheFlash1300

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reads article that insinuates the only computers that include ssd are Apples... points and laughs

There are programs that can over write drives so while the files aren't actually removed, it becomes harder to access any of them.

As for SSD, it seems only way is to do a secure erase - https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ssd-secure-delete-data/

often is its just the file headers that a re removed when you delete and then TRIM will clear it when it is run, or HDD will just allow you to write over the sectors

this claims TRIM is ATA spec but I know it works on NVME as well - https://www.crucial.com/articles/about-ssd/what-is-trim

For 99% of us, the state of the hdd after you reinstall windows on a drive will be such that its seen as empty. Its only people who work for data recovery companuies who would know how to recover any data off a blank drive.

If you really concerned about contents of a drive, destroy the drive. It is the only way to ensure nothing is recovered.
Hi. I want to remove those files, because they are from the period during which i used my laptop for risky behavior. I'm prety sure that at least one of the files is a virus. I want to erase all files, so i can make sure the SSD is 100% clean and virus-free.

I will check the articles you presented. But would you answer this question:

If files never get deleted, how i have never run out of space, despite the fact my SSD is 200GB, and the total amount of write/delete information is more than 4 terabytes?

Well, if files can't be deleted and always stay there, shouldn't the amount of free space only go down, and never up? When i delete something, how is the used space recovered to free space? If files can't be deleted, shouldn't i reach the point where the SSD is full, and nothing can be written anymore?

Up to now, i have written at least 4 terabytes of information on the SSD of 200GB. If those 4 terabytes are still there, why do i have free space? How is it possible to have 4 terabytes of information on an SSD that is only 200GB?
 

Colif

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physical destruction is probably only way.
Govt been known to put bullets through hdd
SSD are more a case of breaking chips in half

replace the ssd is only way to be sure, if you really paranoid.
 

TheFlash1300

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No, it found 5 million entries and file fragments for files.
Those full files no longer exist.

You can test this yourself....recover all that out to some other storage device. See what it actually is.
Alright. Is there a way to delete those files? The TRIM option can't remove them. I already activated it, and i see it can't. Are there programs that can remove those files?
 

TheFlash1300

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physical destruction is probably only way.
Govt been known to put bullets through hdd
SSD are more a case of breaking chips in half

replace the ssd is only way to be sure, if you really paranoid.
I'm not paranoid about the government. I'm afraid there are virus files among the files Recuva shows. This is why i want to erase all files, so i can make sure the SSD is clean and virus-free.
 

Colif

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Up to now, i have written at least 4 terabytes of information on the SSD of 200GB. If those 4 terabytes are still there, why do i have free space? How is it possible to have 4 terabytes of information on an SSD that is only 200GB?
4tb of writes isn't to new space every time, its to the same 200gb. You just rewriting over the same space over and over. More writes you make, the less chance any of it is recoverable

I have 19.9tb written on my 1tb nvme and yet still have 560gb free. writes don't use new cells every time, though due to wear levelling its likely all cells have been used evenly to avoid over use of cells. SSD have to read an entire block into memory to write to the cell, so they may move files around.

the fragments will be written over. Don't worry about parts of files that have been deleted.
 

TheFlash1300

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4tb of writes isn't to new space every time, its to the same 200gb. You just rewriting over the same space over and over. More writes you make, the less chance any of it is recoverable

the fragments will be written over. Don't worry about parts of files that have been deleted.
Thanks for explaining. I understand now.

Deleted files are broken into fragments - new files overwrite the fragments, further breaking them into smaller fragments, reducing the chance of recovering.

I have one more question. Is it possible for a deleted file to be a virus that is still capable of doing harm to the system? Can any of the files Recuva show still be dangerous to the system?
 

Colif

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I have one more question. Is it possible for a deleted file to be a virus that is still capable of doing harm to the system? Can any of the files Recuva show still be dangerous to the system?
i don't believe so, the actual file system may not know they are there. So probably never be active. If windows is aware of them, its as deleted files.
 
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Colif

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i think the chances of a file surviving after a deletion and many other actions are tiny. Most viruses aren't sophisticated enough to be written in a way to survive a reformat. they not designed to do that, they have other purposes. they might protect selves from being stopped while running but they can't stop you deleting windows.
 
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Hello. So, i used the Recuva app to check the SSD. It found around 5 million files that i deleted a long time ago. There are files from more than 1 year ago. I want to delete these files, just in case some of them is a viruses. I want to be sure my laptop is 100% clean.

"Until it is overwritten, or the TRIM function wipes it out."

It seems this doesn't work. The last time when TRIM was active was 16 days ago, but there are still files from more than 1 year ago. It seems the TRIM function is unable to delete the files.

What suggestions can you give me? How can i remove these files?
Try this.
When you go to bed tonight power up the pc and enter the bios.
Let it sit there until the morning.
In the morning boot windows and run recuva.
Any diff?
 

TheFlash1300

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Try this.
When you go to bed tonight power up the pc and enter the bios.
Let it sit there until the morning.
In the morning boot windows and run recuva.
Any diff?
I don't think hats gonna change something. I'm pretty sure your post is just a joke to troll me.
 

TheFlash1300

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Not a troll.

The test might allow the ssd garbage collection system to function.
My BIOS is very primitive, and it doesn't have options and settings for removing files.

Don't worry... i will just wait until the old files are overwritten by new files.
 
Hello. My laptop uses SSD. I want to know, is it true that when i delete files from folders and the Trash Bin, the files just disappear, but they are still on the SSD, and there is no way to erase them completely? If i perform a clean install, will the files be completely erased, or will they still remain?

Also if files never get deleted, why does Windows shows more free space on a disk after some gigabytes of information are deleted? If files never get deleted, how i have never run out of space, despite the fact my SSD is 200GB, and the total amount of write/delete information is more than 4 terabytes?
Free space is simply how much of the storage drive is marked as "available." When data gets deleted, it's simply marked as available. When you do a clean install, the table holding this marks everything as available. The only way to "truly" delete something is to overwrite the data.

An alternative is if the device is encrypted to get rid of the key. The data is effectively "deleted" because unless someone knows it's encrypted data, the encryption method used, and the key, they can't use it.

@TheFlash1300 Please stop creating endless threads for every half conceived thought that passes through your head.
Could we make an exception to "don't post a lmgtfy link"?
 

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