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Odd Question


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#1 garth2002

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:52 PM

But I'm curious if this is possible:

- File A is on an old hard drive and is deleted.
- File B is written over File A on the old hard drive.
- File B is copied onto a brand new hard drive

My question is: is there anyway someone who really knew what they were doing could find remnants of File A on the new hard drive because something was transfered over with File B?

In other words, if I did a data transfer to a new hard drive, could I recover data (that was originally deleted on the old hard drive) by sifting through what was copied over?

In other 'other' words, when a computer copies a file, does it copy that file and everything "underneath" it?

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#2 Broni

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:45 PM

In order to provide some answer, you need answer more questions.
1. Is the file B some kind of edit of file A? If it is, then the file A is gone for good.
2. How was data transferred from the old drive to the new one? If it was just strictly single files transfer, then there won't be any trace of file A.

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#3 garth2002

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:13 PM

1. Nope, completely different files.
2. Are you saying if I copied an entire folder (say a few thousand files ranging from zips, docs, movies, jpgs, etc...) there'd be a chance of getting it? But if I only copied and pasted one file at a time there would be no trace of it?



Wow...so there's never really a way of really deleting something if you wanted to go with a new hard drive while transferred only, for example, you're family photos.

#4 Broni

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:30 PM

OK, this is more clear now.
This is how things work.
When you save a file, the computer not necessarily saves a whole file in one place. It may be scattered in chunks all over your drive.
When you run disk defragmenter once in a while, those chunks should be put together, so when the computer is looking for that file later, it doesn't have to look in different places, but in one place. Your computer will work faster.
Now, when you delete a file, it's not like the file totally disappeared.
All, it happens, the computer removes file's header, so when you search for that file, the file appears to be gone.
In fact, only the header is missing, so the search function can't find the file.
At the same time, the computer marks the space taken by the file as "empty", so the space is ready to be taken by another new file.
If you'd try to recover "deleted" file at the very same moment, using some recovery program, you'd have no problem to recover it.
Now, the more you use the computer, the bigger chance, that "empty" space will be overwritten by another file.
It doesn't have to happen right away, but eventually will happen.

When you move some data to a new drive, only that data is moved, nothing else.

does it copy that file and everything "underneath" it?

No.

Summing all this up...
The only chance (however slim) to recover file A would be to try to recover it from the old drive.
A new drive won't have any traces of it, unless you moved an image of the old drive to the new one, which apparently is not your case.

Edited by Broni, 20 January 2011 - 09:31 PM.

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