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  1. #1

    if i delete it, is it really gone?

    i saw a news program about the 14 year old girl in utah who was kidnapped a few weeks ago, and in the story, it was noted that the FBI had seized about 20 computers of family members and near-by neighbors.

    anyway, the "expert" guest was saying that the FBI techno-nerds have a way of recovering deleted internet files that one has downloaded on their computer. he kept going on and on about how the average computer user knows nothing of this, that only experts know how to dig in and recover info.

    i was under the impression that downloaded internet files could be removed by deleting cookies, temp files and temporary internet files, as well as clearing the history and emptying the recycle bin. am i wrong about this?
    does the hard drive still contain info on sites one has visited even after deleting the contents of the above mentioned folders? if so, how much space does this take up?

  2. #2

    Does it EVER!!

    EVERYTHING you do with your computer gets stored in the OS in several places, many of these places aren't reachable if you are going through the OS (which means that deleting everything you CAN with windows, as you mentioned, such as recycled, cookies, temp files)
    In dos, there are other archive type folders that are difficult to find, even in dos mode, unless you know EXACTLY what you're looking for. These are the "security holes" that caused so much furore a while back. As a matter of fact , Germany got out of using Microsoft stuff for their gov't computers due to the fact that almost EVERY computer on the planet running windows has so many secret areas, and many even have secret doors to get into those areas without the user even KNOWING.
    So, if you think you've got something in your computer that no-one else must see, better get yerself one a them "techno geeks", cause it ain't an easy problem to fix. (erasers like Eeraser and HistoryKill I wouldn't trust, they've got spyware apps of their own...)
    Check out Gibson Research Technologies if you want to read some SCARY facts about "security". Hope this helps. WOOOOO!!!
    Something about him reminds me of my older brother, Rex.

  3. #3
    For more info on this important subject, go here and click on the link about Microsoft's really hidden files.
    (I can't post the direct link to the site here, because the website uses an offensive word in their IP address.)
    I'm more inclined than Mabudon to recommend the 'Evidence Eliminator' types of applications. Spyware, or not, these apps can go into your hidden directories & files before Windows loads, and delete the secret records of your IE activity and overwrite the deleted sectors with garbage. If you instruct the software to overwrite the sectors 7 times, it will take a long time but supposedly afterwards even the NSA can't recover your old files.
    And be sure to use your e-mail's "compact" option on your messages folders frequently to minimize the amount of your deleted, but still recoverable emails.
    {{{r2dee2}}}
    {{{VT}}}
    _____________________________________
    "We have enough youth. We need a fountain of SMART!"

  4. #4
    I have been wondering, does formatting the hard drive delete things such as that?
    "Roger Nasty Butler!"

  5. #5
    yes, but repeating the formatting process several (up to 7) times is the only way to make the data completely unrecoverable.
    I don't want to think about how long it would take to reformat a 40 gig HD seven times! Ack!!
    {{{r2dee2}}}
    {{{VT}}}
    _____________________________________
    "We have enough youth. We need a fountain of SMART!"

  6. #6
    Yeah, considering it wipes the whole computer and redoes everything.

    I think also when you "cut" a file from a computer and put it on a floppy, it won't have ANY info on the computer at all since you actually moved all the info, and didn't delete it. There are ways to delete files forever, but when they say stuff like that they're not only stating crap which has known for quite awhile, but they're also trying to intimidate you.
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

  7. #7
    I recently reformatted my 20 gig hard drive and it took about 6-8 hours. But I guess if I was really evil I would just reformat my hard drive a lot if I had something evil to hide.
    "Roger Nasty Butler!"

  8. #8
    thanks for the info guys.

    but, what is the purpose of having these files and info so hidden?is microsoft downloading this info when we're online?

    is microsoft using this info and selling our browsing histories to 3rd party groups, or is it being passed on to the government?

    if i get a really big magnet and set it next to my computer, would that erase everything? cause i have about as much a chance of winning the lottery as navigating the instructions on the site SWAFman sent me to.

    but thanks SWAFman, i'll check out that site some more.

  9. #9
    Yeah. What you do is, if you have something you have to really hide, you destroy the disk utterly and totally. Burn/submerse in water/throw in dumpster.

    If the FBI raid your house and you weren't alerted to it, you won't have time to format your hard-drives anyway.

    Disk encryption would be the only way to try to keep anybody out, but its not easy, and even then, its no guarantee that anybody couldn't decrypt it.

  10. #10
    If the FBI gave you a suprise raid, then you should have a special little something attached inside your computer to make the componets fry.
    Or make a virus that could eat your system which you could flip on.

    Not that I've got anything to err, hide either of course.
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

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