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Can I still recover this file or not? (read description)


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goodgirl101

 
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So, I backed up my computer earlier this January and at that time a file was just emptied, and still recoverable. Then like 1-2 weeks later, I used Disk Utility's Erase Free Space (I did a 0 pass then 7 pass two times it's a long story why I did that) then I backed it up AGAIN, can I still get that file with the backup??
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chscag

 
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Not any longer. When you elected to erase free space and did a 7 pass run, you effectively wiped out any chance at recovering that file. It would take the experts from NSA to recover that file now. If you don't have a backup, it's gone for good.
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goodgirl101

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Not any longer. When you elected to erase free space and did a 7 pass run, you effectively wiped out any chance at recovering that file. It would take the experts from NSA to recover that file now. If you don't have a backup, it's gone for good.
No, I'm not sure if you're getting me, I HAVE a back up but I backed up my computer when the file was emptied but it wasn't overwritten yet then after the computer was done backing up, I ejected it then weeks later I did a 7 pass to overwrite it then I backed it up after that again. So in conclusion, Before AND after I did the 7 pass I backed it up so can I still get it??
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MacInWin

 
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Did you overwrite the first backup with the second? If yes, it's gone. If not, you can probably restore from the first backup.
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Backed up where? To Time Machine? DVD? Tape? If the file was already emptied, it is unlikely that it would have been backed up, but if you had run a recovery program on your hard drive before all those erases, you would've recovered it..

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So you had a file you trashed, then emptied the trash, then made a backup and you want to know if you can recover the file from the backup?

No.

Threre is no backup software I'm aware of that is going to backup deleted data.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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goodgirl101

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
So you had a file you trashed, then emptied the trash, then made a backup and you want to know if you can recover the file from the backup?

No.

Threre is no backup software I'm aware of that is going to backup deleted data.

yes, you got it! but then after the backup was done, I did a zero out and 7 pass two times then backed it up AGAIN, sorry guys, I know the story is confusing. lol.
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So I think we're all saying the same thing..the file you are looking for is not backed up and is gone.

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goodgirl101

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
So I think we're all saying the same thing..the file you are looking for is not backed up and is gone.

NO, LISTEN! lol. I emptied a file then after I emptied the file I backed up my computer then I did a 7 pass and zero out then backed it up again! So.. it means it's gone even though I backed it up when it was emptied...?

awww man!
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Well if you don't believe 'em find it.

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It's unfortunate, but I think those of us who don't understand technology all that well suffer from something I like to call "The CSI effect". In a lot of popular media, fictional stories tell us that data, once it exists, is always recoverable if you just know the right trick to get it back - and that is not always true.

When you delete a file on just about any computer system, the file is not truly deleted in the sense of its physical presence on the storage medium. Your hard disk (or SSD) simply labels the file as deleted, but it's still present on the file system. This is where recovery or "undelete" software comes into play. That kind of software simply scans for orphaned files that match the search criteria. Once it's found, the flag is simply reset and the file is once again made available.

What can happen in the intervening time between when the file was "deleted" and the recovery software is run, is that once a file is marked as deleted, the space it occupied is now able to be overwritten. So, if you delete a file that you need back in a pinch, your best bet is to try to recover it ASAP, particularly on a crowded disk.

So, as you can see, recovering deleted files is already a fairly delicate, and sometimes unpredictable process. When you add in a multipass erase, you further complicate things. Yes, you made a backup of the disk at one point, where the file may or may not have been in a recoverable position. However, most backup software does NOT backup files that are orphaned. In order to get a file that was flagged as deleted, the backup software would need to do a perfect, bit-for-bit backup - that's just not how most backup software works. Rather, it backs up currently present files that are detected as needing to be backed up. In many cases, if a backup was previously done, it will in fact only get files that were added or changed since the last full backup, in order to speed the process.

This is why you're getting the kind of incredulous response you may not have expected here in this thread. While it's true that various government organizations or sophisticated hackers may be able to piece together bits of information on a scrubbed disk, it's pretty hit or miss, and not fool-proof. And even if there is data that is recoverable, it will likely not be in terms of full, coherent files.

I'm not sure of your reasoning for doing a multi-pass erase, but I would suggest that if you have certain files that maybe you'll need down the road, but for the moment don't want to be seen, that you instead look into options for encrypting the files, rather than deleting them.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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What, precisely do you mean by "I emptied the file?" You told bobtomay that he got it right by saying that you deleted the file and emptied the trash and then backed it up. If that is, in fact, correct, then what you backed up was an empty trashcan, which means the file is gone, gone, gone. But "empty a file" is not a standard technical term, so perhaps we don't understand what you are talking about. So, what, exactly, do you mean?
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goodgirl101

 
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Thank you all
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goodgirl101

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
What, precisely do you mean by "I emptied the file?" You told bobtomay that he got it right by saying that you deleted the file and emptied the trash and then backed it up. If that is, in fact, correct, then what you backed up was an empty trashcan, which means the file is gone, gone, gone. But "empty a file" is not a standard technical term, so perhaps we don't understand what you are talking about. So, what, exactly, do you mean?
Okay, I have a macbook and I put a file in the trash and pressed empty the trash, which had the file in it. So, the file was emptied, ok, so I heard if you EMPTY the trash, it is still recoverable so after I emptied the trash I backed up MY WHOLE COMPUTER. Then, I went to Disk Utility's Erase Free Space (which overwrites any material you emptied in the trash) and did a zero out and a 7 pass two times, after I did that I backed it up again.
Get it?? I know it's confusing
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MacInWin

 
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Very clear and it's very gone. As I said, backing up an empty trash folder backs up nothing, so it's gone, gone, gone. Nothing outside NSA can get that data back for you.
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