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Overwriting intentionally

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I would like to make some files irretrievable but know that deleting them only erases them from a directory so my question is: If I save a new file (with different content) with the same name as one that already exists ( and wish to make irretrievable) will the newly saved file be physically written over the same segments, tracks, etc. as the preexisting file? At this point it can be safely deleted.

Edited by freeze29, 19 October 2007 - 04:54 PM.

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Every single file on your computer is retrievable, even when it's deleted from the recycling bin. Of course not anybody can do that but it is possible depending on how badly you want that specific file.
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No naming it the same will not, it depends on where on the hard drive it is as to when data is written over the top. Now the point is yes, data is recoverable but there are ways to make it almost impossible.
Look at it this way, the file is a bunch of 1 and 0 in order. When you delete it basically scrambles the 1 and 0's into a random order. Doing this once, like Windows does, can make the data recoverable, fairly easily.

Using a third party tool will delete or scramble the data numerous times. The US Dept of Defense does 3 passes on data and I believe the NSA uses 7 passes.

I like using Secure Delete from Sysinternals.

Here is a list of other free tools to help you delete your file more securely.
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