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Where does it all go?!?!?

From:  "Jackson Callans"

When you Delete somethin from your computer and Empty your Recycle bin.. Where does those files go? they say that anything you delete will always be on your computer... so where does it all go?

Dendron gave us this simple answer:

Files deleted from a computer will remain in memory until you write new information in their memory location. Think of computer memory as a large chalk board with writing all over it. Some places someone will mark "do not erase." This is like a saved file. Other areas are ready to be used again but have the old writing still there. When the area of chalk board is needed, the old information is removed and new information added. If that area is not needed, the old information simply remains there.

Maba27 didn't really know the answer but wanted his 5 min of fame, so he went out on a limb and gave it try:

if u delete a file, the file remains on your pc
I don't know how it all works exactly, but I am certain it stays on your pc till your pc overwrites it

so it doesn't stay there forever, it gets overwritten, but as long as it has not been overwritten, u can still recall the file with some special software or so (I don't know how that works either)

Kile wanted to give us the long and technical answer, which brings us to the truth.  I bet your  thinking, SQA is made up of a bunch of technical support people, do they not know the answer.  Of course we knew the answer but we did not want to show off our geek hood. 

In simple terms, a computer disk has a file allocation table (FAT) that records the name, size, location of the first sector of each file, and other data relating to the files. When you delete a file, the file is "marked" as deleted by changing the first character of the file name to a special character (represented by a sigma.) The sectors that made up the file are now available for re-use by other applications. The Recycle Bin is simply a separate application that keeps track of deleted files and reserves the sectors from being re-used unless it is absolutely necessary. This makes it possible for you to change the status of the file back to normal and "recover" the file. It is possible to recover all or portions of a file unless all the sectors have been overwritten with other data. This is made much easier by the FAT convention of listing only the first sector that comprises the file. Each sector then contains information linking to the next sector used by the file! , like a chain. This makes it simple to find one sector of a file (as long has it has not been overwritten) and then link to the remaining sectors. (This explanation is grossly over-simplified, but basically correct.)

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