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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Stopped Secure Empty Trash
    Hi there

    I wonder if anyone could help me?

    I moved some private / sensitive files to the trash to delete, and clicked on "secure empty trash" to make sure they were permanently deleted. However, I then had a second thought, and so clicked the "stop empty trash" button whilst they were being deleted. The files are now no longer in the trash, or in their original locations. Have they been (securely) deleted, or only partially deleted? Are there parts of the files still floating around, somewhere hidden on my system. I have entered into spotlight the name of the files and it cannot find them.

    I greatly appreciate any advice anyone can offer?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    If Spotlight cannot find them and they are not in the trash, looks like they are gone. Secure Empty Trash is not for the faint hearted believe me as it does NOT muck around deleting stuff.

  3. #3

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    here's how it works. When you delete a file you remove the pointer this is how you can 'undelete'... the pointer to the file is gone, but the data is still there. Secure empty trash overwrites the data blocks with random patterns of 0's and 1's multiple times. Now, since you stopped it, I suppose that there could still be some blocks in tact, but without the other blocks the data would now be pretty much useless. I imagine that you could recover these with some pretty significant forensic tools though, how successful that would be would depend on the algorithm that Apple uses for secure empty trash and the cost of the recovery would increment with difficulty.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    So, I need not worry that if someone uses my mac they may stumble across these files?

    Thanks for the help guys.

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabbin View Post
    Hi there

    I moved some private / sensitive files to the trash to delete, and clicked on "secure empty trash" to make sure they were permanently deleted. However, I then had a second thought, and so clicked the "stop empty trash" button whilst they were being deleted.
    I guess the big question is...why did you click on the "stop" empty trash button...if you really wanted it securely deleted?

    That's why you get the "Are you sure you want to erase the items in the Trash permanently using Secure Empty Trash?" warning before emptying the trash!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Smile
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    I guess the big question is...why did you click on the "stop" empty trash button...if you really wanted it securely deleted?

    That's why you get the "Are you sure you want to erase the items in the Trash permanently using Secure Empty Trash?" warning before emptying the trash!

    - Nick
    If anyone has any advice which is more helpful than "Nick"'s then that would be much appreciated.

    Should I wipe the hard drive and re install OS X, or this this unnecessary? Is there a way to check if anything remains?

    Thanks

  7. #7

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Dude, just go into Disk Utility and Erase Free Space.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
    Dude, just go into Disk Utility and Erase Free Space.
    Really sorry to seem dumb - what does that mean/do?

  9. #9

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    it does exactly what it sounds like you want done. it overwrites any freespace on the drive so that it can't be reread.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  10. #10

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabbin View Post
    If anyone has any advice which is more helpful than "Nick"'s then that would be much appreciated.
    My earlier post wasn't advice it was a statement! If your plan was to erase something...why would you click "Stop" in the middle of the process???

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Sep 27, 2009
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    Thanks for the statement Nick. Thanks for the help everyone else.

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