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Robin Hickman

Files Recoverable AFTER Using CCleaner?

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Hello, Everybody!


I just found out about Piriform's new "Recuva" (BETA) program!


The very first thing that came to my mind was the question:

"Would 'Recuva' be able to recover files that had been deleted by 'Crap Cleaner'???"


I would think that if "CCleaner" was set for "Simple Deletion", then the answer would probably be, "Yes".


But, if "CCleaner" was set for one of the three (3) "Secure Deletion" settings, then the answer would probably be "No". After all, if "Recuva" could recover the files AFTER "CCleaner" had "securely" deleted them, then "CCleaner" would be pretty useless, right?


Anyway, I came here to this forum to see if there was anything/anyone here that might be able to answer my question.


What do YOU think ???


Robin Hickman

Eugene, Oregon U.S.A.

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i think that CCleaner is a cleaner, as its name itself says, and does very well his job,

deleting (and not "erasing") all the unwanted crap. Maybe you are talking about "eraser" stuff,

that IMHO isn't exactly the purpose of CCleaner, neither using the 7 passes overwriting, AFAIK.


Nothing is "securely unrecoverable at 100%", all depends from which tools are used for recover...


Just my two cents


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Agree with whitshark completely. :)

As a sidenote the stuff shouldn't be reocoverable if you did the secure delete especially the 7 passes.

If it is hopefully this will be fixed with an update to CCleaner.(MrG is working on rewriting/reworking the secure delete code)


Also in the hopefully near future recova will be able to secure delete the files it finds. :)

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Hello, Again!


Thank You WhiteShark & RRidgely for your replies.


If I understand correctly, you are both in agreement that after doing a "Simple Deletion" (cleaning) with CCleaner, the Recuva shouldn't have any problems recovering any of the files that CCleaner got rid of. (Assuming, of course, that they had NOT been over-written with other - newer - files.)


Also, you are in agreement that Recuva would NOT be able to recover any of the files that were "cleaned" after doing a CCleaner "Secure Deletion", especially the "NSA" mode that uses seven passes.


Am I correct?


I guess my concerns are fairly simple. CCleaner is one of my all-time favorite applications/programs. I use it daily, I love it, and I recommend it to everyone I know.




IF Recuva can actually recover files that were "cleaned" (over-written & deleted) by CCleaner using one of its "Secure Deletion" methods, THEN that would mean that CCleaner's "Secure Deletion" modes would be, for all practical intents and purposes, USELESS!!!.


Wouldn't it?


Since Piriform makes both programs, I would assume (dangerous word there!) that they would either provide some kind of warning one way or the other about the two programs "incombatibility", or strike some kind of compromise with them.


The compromise (and warnings/notices) might be something along the lines of Recuva would be able to recover files after a CCleaner "Simple Deletion" (and maybe a single pass over-write), but NOT be able to recover files after a CCleaner "Secure Deletion". It would be necessary for both programs to show the same "Notice" (or warning) to users so that they would be aware of the limitations.


Does that make any sense?


Anyway, thanks for responding.


Robin Hickman

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My english is so poor, hope it will be at least a bit understandable :)


When we "delete" something from the Hard Disk, we simply "say to Windows"

that the space and that clusters now are free, and freely rewritable.


Nothing is really deleted (or "wiped off from disk surface", as many people think),

indeed the deleted stuff become only "invisible", "inexistent", "ignored" for the S.O.

This is the typical Windows behavior in Windows environment, don't depends from

CCleaner or any other softwares.


The purpose of recovery softwares like Recuva is to find and recover that "invisible" stuff.


Obviously, more times that "virtually free" space has been rewritten (saving new files on it),

and more difficult become the recovery, for Recuva or for other applications.


But "difficult" doesn't mean "impossible".



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Your English is wonderful and very understandable. I think your assumptions are essentially correct. However, I think what rridgely is also trying to say is that while what you assume is generally probably true, CCleaner's main purpose is NOT to be an eraser, its main purpose is to simply delete files that aren't necessary in order to clean up one's hard drive and give the user a little extra needed space. For best results in erasing files completely off of the hard drive it would be wiser to use a program that is designed specifically for that purpose. While CCleaner's built in file eraser is probably sufficient, I would suggest the free program Eraser which can be downloaded here: http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/download.php

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Is happened to me to successfully recover some pics, from an HD of a friend of mine,

that were deleted 2 o 3 years ago. :blink:

Fortunately (or... infortunately, from the point of vue of the privacy keeping :D )

those files were never been overwritten. Sometimes happens also that a recovery of some

files deleted yesterday, or also some hours ago, is impossible. This is random...


IMHO the point Robin Hickmann miss is that CCleaner is not builded as a "privacy keeper"

software. But Robin is not totally wrong, the definition secure deletion can involve a

false feeling of... total security in Users.


Maybe "strong deletion" or "deep deletion", or something like this,

can be better definitions for the "3/7 passes" feature of CCleaner.

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Hello, Again!


Thanks for all the input!


I don't want to wander too far "off topic" here (This is the "Recuva" forum and not the "CCleaner" forum), but here is a couple of things I've been able to learn about CCleaner's "Secure" file deletion. If I understand what I've read, CCleaner's "Secure" file deletion works by OVER-WRITING the selected files 1, 3, or 7 times (passes).


From the CCleaner "Beginner's Guide":



High Security: For the super cautious users we also offer secure file erasing. By overwriting the files before deleting them, making it impossible to recover the data.




Secure Deletion (Changing the option here will allow for secure file deletion)


?Normal file deletion (Faster) - Default

?Simple Overwrite (1 pass)

?DOD 5220.22-M (3 passes)

?NSA (7 passes)


I don't know if ALL the files selected for "Secure Deletion" are over-written 1,3, or 7 times. Or if it's just temporary internet files and cookies, but not "log" files, settings, etc.


There IS a related thread on the subject in the CCleaner forum. You can find and read it by going to:


Piriform Forums ? Piriform Software ? CCleaner Discussion ? secure deletion suggestion


OR: http://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showtopic=8301


I don't know if it will answer any of our questions or clear up anything in this thread or not. But at least they're discussing the subject of CCleaner's "Secure Deletion" abilities.


At any rate, I REALLY appreciate you people taking the time and making the effort to help answer my questions regarding Recuva vs. CCleaner. Things are a little clearer for me but I still wondering:


Can Recuva recover files that CCleaner's "Secure Deletion" methods got rid of?


Maybe the only people who would really know for sure (one way or the other) are the creators, designers, coders, and makers of CCleaner and Recuva ???


But, how will WE know unless they tell us?


Anyway, Thanks again, everybody.


Robin Hickman

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I'm only an average user, not a developer, i've said only what i know.

AFAIK doesn't exist in the whole world a recovery software (free or for sale)

that offers "100% guarantee" of success, as said before.


Regarding logs deletion, many applications save their logs in Windows Registry

(eg. MRU Lists), and IMHO is not needed clean Registry with 7 or more passes.

However, as you know, is always possible restore a "Restore Point" of Windows for get

back the whole Registry. So the 1/3/7 passes make sense only in file deletion, IMNSHO.


I give up, waiting for some person more computer skilled than me....



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