Redskins Win wrote:so if i delete and empty the can, is that stuff retrievable by an IT guy or is it gone forever?
It is retrievable by an IT guy. From what I remember, when you “delete” something from your trash can all the computer does is erase the “address” (not the right word, there’s something about a “B-Tree” that I really want to say but it’s been a while since I read up on this) of the item on your hard drive. Each bit of data has an “address” telling your PC where to find it on the hard drive. The “address” is a pretty small bit of code that is easily deleted, so that’s how they get rid of things.
In reality the item is still there and if they use a certain kind of software that scans all data on the HD they can find it, or at the least find pieces of it.
One way you can truly delete something is to over-write it, as in use that specific part of the hard drive for other data, thus rearranging the Ones and Zeros to a different pattern. That gets pretty tough to do with 60- or 80-Gig hard drives, though.
It's pretty much gone. I'm sure knapp is right and the address is stored in some sub temp folder in Windows but I don't know much about that.
I remember I used to have this recycle bin saver where even things you removed from it showed up there in the backup thing. That was probably a program someone wrote which takes advantage of that windows address thing knapp talked about. I forgot the name of the program but it came in handy when I got rid of some stuff I wanted later.