When deleting data with Index.dat analyzer, are there retrievable data traces left on hard drive?

December 31, 2013
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Used index.dat analyzer and it worked great. However, when using Index.dat analyzer, is the deleted data completely and permanently removed from the hard drive to the extent it cannot be recovered by forensic professionals? Is it overwritten automatically by this software.. or is there a way to to overwrite it (shred)?

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  1. Guy M
    January 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    The only way to really render any information tracks left on a hard drive inaccessible, even after wiping free space, is to melt it in a forge.
    So, the real question is what is an acceptable risk for you? Are you concerned about if the CIA gets a hold of your HDD? Or do you just want to make sure nosey family members can't recover the data? I'm guessing it's the latter and not the former.

    Once you delete the index.dat file, erasing free space with a tool like CCleaner will make it highly unlikely that anyone in your house could ever recover that information. So, it's not too hard.

  2. Oron J
    December 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Browsing leaves many traces on a computer, not just on the index.dat file. There are the cached files (which can be deleted, but you'll need to delete them securely to make sure they can't be recovered), firewall logs and possibly the logs of AV software etc. It may be possible to erase all traces of browsing , but it certainly ain't simple!

  3. Bruce E
    December 31, 2013 at 8:49 am

    It does a normal delete of the informaiton so there is still recoverable data on the disk. If you want to get rid of all traces, you will still need to follow up with something like Eraser configured to wipe free space (including slack space; referred to as Cluster Tips in the Eraser documentation and Settings dialog).