Truely Deleting Files From Mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tsuke13, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. tsuke13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    #1
    Hello, did a quick search and didn't find the answer I was looking for.

    I recently lost a picture ( accidental delete ) that I despretly wanted back so I downloaded the trial version of Data Rescue 3 to try to find it.

    What I found was amazing. Practically every file I've ever deleted. Not only that, but caches of files I routinely delete. Ever look at a friends pic on facebook? I found them with Data Rescue 3... never even downloaded them. That kitten in the poptart box you wanted to show your girlfriend then deleted? Still there.

    So my question is simple. Is there a way to actually DELETE something, so its truly gone? I know off the Finder > Secure Empty trash, but some of this info is being deleted off of third party programs like say Onyx when it cleans my cashes.


    Thank you all for any response
    Tsuke
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    Best thing to do is to do a Secure Empty Trash, followed by using Disk Utility to "Erase Free Space" with the 7-pass random write at a minimum, or the 35 for CIA protection.

    TEG
     
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #3
    You need to delete the files, clear the caches via onyx, THEN run a Erase Free Space command. The bahavior you describe is just the way modern file systems work. The file isn't actually deleted. The trash/recycling bin only deletes the reference to the file, and the OS sees the space as free, available for overwriting when necessary. Secure erasing will overwrite the space occupied by the previous file. "Erase Free Space" will overwrite all areas of the disk that should be empty.

    Of course, I do the full encryption thing, so I don't bother with the above subtleties.
     
  4. Timur macrumors 6502a

    Timur

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #4
    If you are paranoid that is. To prevent software to be able to retrieve any old data 1 pass is sufficient. Everything else is for keeping professional (physical) data retrieval out, or the CIA.
     
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #5
    And what are you storing on the disk that you would really worry about someone finding? Old pictures are hardly anything to worry about unless you have something really illegal like kiddie p**n. Text files of old letters are not a big deal unless they are full of plans for a terrorist attack. Text files for making crystal meth - hardly worth worrying about since it's easy enough to find on the net I assume. Tax returns might be interesting, but a simple secure delete would be enough; the CIA wouldn't bother to go to your computer to find your old tax returns - they would just get them direct from the IRS.
     
  6. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #6
    My social security number, credit cards accounts, financial website login information, etc. I think most people just worry about what would happen if their laptops were stolen. But I do agree with you that a single pass secure erase is more than enough.
     
  7. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    Just get a disk encryption scheme; if you lose the computer, it can't be accessed. Just be sure to shutdown all the time.
     
  8. tsuke13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    #8
    Thanks

    Thank you all for the responses!

    :apple:Tsuke
     
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #9
    Exactly; if someone can get ahold of physical possession of your computer, then stuff in the trash is almost certainly less interesting than what's actually "live" in your user directory. Login passwords can be broken or reset. I don't bother with the secure delete cause I don't keep anything that critical on the computer.
     

Share This Page