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What happens to MOVE FILES VERSUS COPY FILES??


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#1 rittenhouse

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 05:04 PM

When I am working  on files or photographs, I then transfer them to another external hard drive. is it safer to just copy the files; then use a powerful shredder to delete them  (from the original hard drive)making them unrecoverable, (although we know that that is impossible ). Once I move files, are there any copies still hidden on my hard drive?  In short, if I move hundreds of photographs from one computer to another hard drive, are those images still hidden somewhere on  the original drive or do they automatically become deleted and shredded. Unrecoverable .


Edited by rittenhouse, 24 May 2017 - 05:06 PM.


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#2 smax013

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 06:39 PM

They will not be unrecoverable if moved, but they will be deleted as far as the OS is concerned. A move command is effectively just a copy command combined with a delete command all done by the system. It has the same effect as if you copied the stuff and them manually when and deleted the stuff yourself by way of the Recycle Bin (in Windows) or Trash (in macOS).

Now, when you do a typical deletion of a file in most OSs (this includes any version of Windows and macOS), it is not actually completely destroying the file on the hard drive or SSD. The file actually will remain, but the file table that effectively keeps track of the file for the OS has the entry for that file removed. So, while the file is still on the drive, the OS thinks the file is gone because it has been removed from the file table. This then allows the OS to be ready to write new files to the space that the old file is sitting in. Until that old file is actually overwritten, however, it can still be recovered. Think of the drive like a book. The file table is like the index or table of contents. The file is like a paragraph or sentence or word or chapter in the book. So, in the book case, the deletion of the file is like going a removing that chapter from the table of contents or word from the index, but the word/chapter/etc is still actually in the book. You cannot easily find it, but it is still there.

If you want the content unrecoverable, then you need to use some sort of secure deletion function that will overwrite the space that the old file(s) occupied with other content, typically random ones and zeros (it is a binary thing) for many such secure delete functions. What option you have for this would then depend on what OS you are using and whether it has a built-in function or you might need a third party tool. And I am not sure if any of such functions or programs would work with a move command other than after the fact (i.e. goes back and securely wipes all empty space on the drive or something like that).

As a side note, I would tend to recommend doing a copy and then later deleting (whether secure or not) when "moving" files from one drive to another. This allows for the possible problems that might happen (although unlikely typically) during the move. If you use a move command and something goes wrong, the files are effectively gone potentially from both drives (you could potentially recover the files from the original drive as implied above if not securely "moved", but that is more hassle). If you copy and then manually delete later, you can then first be sure the files end up on the new drive BEFORE you delete them from the old drive.

Edit: You can make the files unrecoverable if using a strong enough secure delete function/program. There are effectively military grade wipe programs and functions that even mere mortal citizens can use. And if the military is comfortable with them, then you can be sure that the data is unrecoverable (at least by current means and likely by most if not all future means...but I will not say never as I don't know what the future might hold...my time machine is currently on the fritz :grinner:).


Edited by hamluis, 25 May 2017 - 03:09 PM.
Removed unnecessary quotebox - Hamluis.


#3 Crazy Cat

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 06:46 PM

Use File Shredder (http://www.fileshredder.org) to wipe files, or wipe the hard drive free space to ensure nothing is recoverable.
 

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#4 smax013

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 06:49 PM

Use File Shredder (http://www.fileshredder.org) to wipe files, or wipe the hard drive free space to ensure nothing is recoverable.


That appears to be a Windows program. You are assuming the original poster is using Windows. While likely a safe assumption, it is still possible that it is not.

#5 rittenhouse

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 10:54 PM

  1. My main objective is to "NUKE" the images from the computer that I borrowed to work on them as the friend has a more powerful system and better imaging programs, but I still  want to keep them private(No they are clean photographs nothing shocking, just mine. What bothers me  is that i am trying to do a final "House Cleaning" of items stored on disks and other storage devices, but sometimes when i go to check, the images look as though they had been spray painted silver and they are destroyed. As I  posted on  another forum, you just can not be certain of anything using computers. i do not want hundreds of copies of images around, but still thankful  for the  the opportunity to retrieve back up copies from disks that i  had not thrown out.


#6 rittenhouse

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 10:58 PM

 

Use File Shredder (http://www.fileshredder.org) to wipe files, or wipe the hard drive free space to ensure nothing is recoverable.


That appears to be a Windows program. You are assuming the original poster is using Windows. While likely a safe assumption, it is still possible that it is not.

 

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#7 Didier Stevens

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:00 AM

You should know that Windows creates thumbnails of your pictures when you view them in Windows explorer as icons. These thumbnails can persist on a system.


Edited by Didier Stevens, 25 May 2017 - 03:47 AM.

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#8 smax013

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 02:30 PM

Use File Shredder (http://www.fileshredder.org) to wipe files, or wipe the hard drive free space to ensure nothing is recoverable.


That appears to be a Windows program. You are assuming the original poster is using Windows. While likely a safe assumption, it is still possible that it is not.

If I cannot make Windows work I am certainly not going to try to infiltrate the world of the free lance computer designer! My skills are limited to PUSH AND PRAY !


There are other OSs that are just as easy to use as Windows. My point was that since you had not said you were using Windows, recommending a Windows only program might be premature. If you were using a Mac (or running one of the more user friendly versions of Linux), then the suggestion of the program would not really help as it would not run on a Mac. As I noted, it was likely a safe bet that you were running some version of Windows as it is by far the most prevalent OS out there, but I personally don't like assuming things if I can avoid it.




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