Where Do Files Go When Deleted ?

Where Do Deleted Files Go ?

When You Get A New Hard Drive, You Must Format It Before It Can Accept Data, But What Is The Point Of Formatting Or What Happens When You Format The Drive? When You Format A Partition Using The Gui, “format” Command, Or The Good Old “Fdisk”, Windows Will Create A File System, Which Means The Disk Is Ready To Accept Data.

This File System Is Simply A Table Called Fat (File Allocation Table) Or Ntfs (New Technology File System). This Table Will Contain The Names And Addresses Of The Files Stored On The Disk. In Other Words, Every File You Save Will Have Its Exact Location (physical Address) On Your Hard Drive.

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So When You Save Or Place Any File On A Disk, Windows Will Create Some Numbers Representing The Sectors (very Small Parts Of The Disk) That The File Is In, And Then Put Those Numbers Into The File System Table. Then When You Double Click To Open A Specific File, Windows Will Take The Name Of The File, Then Check The Table To See The Sector Numbers (addresses) Of The Sectors Where The File Is On The Hard Drive, And Then Windows () Directs The Header To The Hard Drive To Go To Those Sectors And Read Their Contents, After Which The File Will Open.

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When You Delete A File, Windows Removes The Numbers (file Address) From The File System Table. This Means That The Deleted File Is Technically On The Hard Drive, But Its Location Is Unknown. The Icon (not The Content) Representing The File Will Be Placed In The Trash. The Link To The File Has Been Removed From The Table, But The File Itself Is Hidden Somewhere On The Disk. The Sectors That The File Occupies Will Be Marked As Free (free Space), So Other New Files Can Occupy These Sectors.

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When You Use The Recovery Software, It Will Returns The Numbers And Put Them In A Table, Making The File Available Again. When You Delete All The Files And Reformat The Drive, You Will “permanently” Lose The Files Because The Entire Table Will Be Gone. But Even After Formatting, There Are Some Advanced Tools That Can Recreate The Table With All Of Its Contents, Thus Restoring All The Data.