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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Deleting files permanently


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Iron Maiden

 
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Hi, hope someone can help me. There were 2 files I downloaded from my e mail recently (jpeg and rar) and I need to make sure they are permanently gone. I haven't realised that once you clear it from your HD they are still recoverable. I have made sure they are gone from all folders and I emptied trash then (not secure option) . if I perform a search now, they do not show.
I have looked up the tutorials on you tube but they all seem to show you how to delete files permanently whilst you still have them. Does anyone know what I am I supposed to do to make sure they are gone forever but they don't appear on my HD?

Thanks (mac book pro)
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Do a "Secure Empty" trash. Press the "Command" key before emptying the trash.

- Nick

p.s. Thread moved to more appropriate location. Not really a "Switcher Hangout" topic.

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IWT

 
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Dear Iron Maiden

Your problem is that you have already (non-securely) trashed the two items. Thus Nick's excellent advice is more for the future.

I don't know of any way of (a) finding these items and then (b) re-erasing them permanently.

As an extreme measure, I suppose that you could reformat your HD & re-install your OS. But to do this you first need to back up all your folders, photos etc, etc. In my understanding of things — others may advise differently — neither Time Machine nor a Cloning application will do, as there's the theoretical risk of copying back the items from these, after the reformat and re-installation.

Again, in theory, you could just back up all your current folders, data etc to an EHD and the use Migration Assistant to copy these back afterwards. But you would lose all your settings, preferences and so on.

Can it really be worth all of this?

I honestly can't see a practical solution. Sorry. Open to more experienced users to offer more constructive suggestions.

Ian
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Open up Disk Utility and do an erase free space on the hard drive if you've already deleted the files, that should overwrite the files and make them unrecoverable

I find the best way to locate rogue DHCP servers is to send 240V down the appropriate port. Follow the smoke.
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IWT

 
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halo200

I was thinking about this too, but previous threads have suggested that (a) this doesn't work and (b) could mess with the HD.

I think I can recall chscag, in particular advising against such an action. But I can't quickly find my references to support this.

Ian
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Iron Maiden

 
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My understanding is that anyone with free recovery software downloaded from the internet can re cover anything I ever deleted, is it that simple?
Yes I can see a total reinstalation of the OS is a bit of a hassle. I could store everything from the HD and install it back again,but that is a bit extreme I suppose.
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IWT

 
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My suggestion is that you do nothing till others have chipped in with their suggestions.

Whatever you try is, in a way, extreme. Hence my point about just how important this is to you. Naturally, these are private matters for you and not us.

I don't think things are as straightforward as you may feel and I desperately don't want you to lose vital data in a perilous attempt at rectification.

Ian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWT View Post

I was thinking about this too, but previous threads have suggested that (a) this doesn't work and (b) could mess with the HD.

I think I can recall chscag, in particular advising against such an action. But I can't quickly find my references to support this.
I use TechTool Pro to erase free space every once in awhile. It does no harm.
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MightyGem

 
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Quote:
My understanding is that anyone with free recovery software downloaded from the internet can re cover anything I ever deleted, is it that simple?
Possibly, but they'd have to get hold of your computer first, plus they'd also have to know that those two files are on there. How likely is that?
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halo200

 
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Can you not just enable FileVault while your at it? Even if they manage to get hold of the drive it will all still be encrypted will it not?

I find the best way to locate rogue DHCP servers is to send 240V down the appropriate port. Follow the smoke.
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