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Undelete button

Undelete your file deletions, and more!
  [vote for,

Okay, I know that many programs let you undo your deletions, but when you delete something from your hard drive and empty your trash (Mac) or recycle bin (PC) it's gone forever. Actually you can use a utility to scour your hard drive for the lost data, but usually that doesn't work. Computers should show greater compassion for the wayward deleter. When you empty your recycle bin you should be able to chase after the garbage truck and say "oops can I have that back."

And also: word programs should create files of all your deletions so that you can go back and look for fragments of text that "disappeared."

ollylama, Oct 09 2003

GoBack http://www.symantec.com/goback/
[Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004]


       //place your wastebasket in your outbox//
That's better than my plan of justifying the loss -- "It always caused problems anyway" or "Yipee, more drive space".

       GoBack [link] and others like it, can turn back time on the hard drive. Delete a whole directory, and "go back" to before that happened. If you have parents like mine, this is extremely useful.
"System Restore" in Windows XP gets some files back, too. I've never figured out exactly how it decides what to fix.
Amos Kito, Oct 09 2003

       Actually, I wish that all OSes deleted with a true, secure, delete that overwrites the filespace with zero's or whatever and for which there is no recovery.   

       Maybe you could have a soft and a hard delete with the soft delete being selectable as the default choice; instantly recoverable and not overwritten or corrupted until a hard delete is invoked, beyond which, there is no recovery reasonably possible. But, if I only had a choice of one it would be for the hard, complete, no turn back delete.
bristolz, Oct 09 2003

       For it to be truly unrecoverable, you have to overwrite the area with random bit patterns. Otherwise it's technically possible to read a magnetic history, and recover some data. [erroneous comment deleted]
Detly, Oct 09 2003

       At my company the security folks say that unless you drop the drive in a foundry and melt it down, the data will be recoverable. This goes with their other saying, "if you don't want it recovered later, don't put it there in the first place."   

       Their forensic tools can read the boundary areas between tracks and weird stuff like that. Thermal variations cause the heads to write in slightly different places and the remnants are usefully recoverable.   

       These are not new techniques, so I'm not sure what the students in Australia discovered unless it was a decade ago.
bristolz, Oct 09 2003

       The article was recent, but I don't remember the details, so I could well be mistaken.
Detly, Oct 09 2003

       At my work we write triple erasure patterns on disks before MTBF (mean time between failure) because someone figured out how to read through two patterns. I suggested melting the drives and my proposal was shot down for being environmentally unfriendly. Instead they are irradiated and locked up in a warehouse inside a secure facility patrolled by armed guards. There ain’t no undelete for that data.
Shz, Oct 10 2003

       Would it be churlish of me to point out that the trash/recycle bin is _already_ hand-holding wayward deleters?   

       Surely the fix for this is to not empty the trash so often, rather than to introduce a trash bin for the trash bin?   

       Maybe part of the problem is that emptying the trash is so all-or-nothing; I'd quite like a bin which keeps everything around for a month after it went in and then tosses it out. (If you haven't missed if after a month, you'll probably never miss it; the same maxim applies to junk in the attic.)   

       (This may well already be baked...)
JKew, Oct 12 2003


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