What Happens When You Delete Data?

data

At some point, you have probably looked through old files and deleted some of that data to organize your computer. You would be surprised to know that the deletion of those files doesn’t really delete them, at least not completely. Continue reading to learn how to delete your documents for good in a secure manner if you replace your computer or upgrade your technology systems. 

How Does Data Get Deleted?

The answer to this question is complicated. In reality, it depends on the hardware one has. There are two types of storage media: hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs). HDDs are mechanical devices that utilize a spinning platter that allows a mechanical arm to write and overwrite data. SSDs save data through flash memory to chips that can be read quickly, while also eliminating the need for any moving parts. The type of storage media utilized will play a role in how data is eliminated. In regards to the SSD drive, the process is not that simple.

The Deletion of Data Works in Different Ways

HDDs are easier

Data deletion is simple and straightforward with a hard disk drive. The mechanical arm is placed over the disk to rewrite the data that was originally stored on it, making the process easy and efficient.

SSDs are somewhat more complicated 

SSDs utilize flash data that cannot easily be overwritten. The original information must be removed before any additional information can be added, making it a lengthy process that can potentially slow down the solid state drive.

SATA-capable SSDs can use TRIM

TRIM is a command that can assist your SSD to know which information can be erased. It is imperative to ensure the durability of the solid state drive is maintained and the processes are run as efficiently as possible. SSDs utilize an internal operation known as “garbage collection” which moves the important data from a block that needs to be deleted. TRIM ensures that the deleted data cannot be copied. Because this is a background process, you can work while the data is in the process of being deleted. In Windows, TRIM is automatically enabled as it replaces Disk Defragmenter.

Is Your Data Really Gone?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not that simple. SSDs deceive the operating system in regards to the amount of data blocks available. In other words, a process known as wear leveling is utilized to maintain the longevity of the SSD. Some data blocks may not be trimmed as expected as TRIM also incorporates buffer space that may continue to keep recent data on it as well.

The Answer is Yes… But No at the Same Time

Yes, the documents will be removed. Unfortunately, the security of those deleted files might not be deleted. Therefore, it is important to carefully dispose of old devices, especially if you are planning to donate or resell them. 

Ask Us About the Hardware Refresh Process

It is understandable that people always want to upgrade to the most recent and reliable technology. Therefore, it is important to be careful when getting rid of older devices. If you have a drive or device that needs to be wiped completely, 4 Corner IT can help you through this process so it may be completed in an efficient, timely, and safe manner without putting your information at risk. To learn more, please contact us at 954.474.2204.

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