How to Make Deleted Files Unrecoverable

How to easily make deleted files unrecoverable. When you delete a file from your USB flash drive and then proceed to empty your trash or recycle bin, the file is not completely erased. Until the space it once occupied is overwritten with new information, the file is still recoverable. Making it possible for you or anyone to potentially recover files you thought you permanently deleted.

The following tutorial explains how to permanently remove deleted information from your USB flash drive or any other partition. This makes the deleted files or information (for the most part) non-recoverable. We are able to accomplish this task by zeroing out the empty space on the drive using dd. There are many great uses for dd, from forensic data recovery and data backup to zeroing out empty drive space.

Making Deleted Files Unrecoverable

The following assumes you are up and running from a Linux Operating Environment. And that your USB device is inserted and ready to use.
By using the following guide, you’ll be zeroing out the empty space on your USB device. Making the deleted information on the drive, not recoverable.

1. First, press ctrl+alt+t to open a terminal window.

2. To gain root (admin) access, from the terminal type the following and then press enter.

sudo su

3. Now you can use fdisk to locate your USB device.

To do this, type the following (making note of which device and partition you would like to zero out).

fdisk -l

4. Next, you’ll create a directory to be used to mount your device partition.

To make a directory, type

mkdir /tmp/ddusb

5. Then, (replacing x# with your device and partition),

To mount your partition to this directory, type

mount -o loop /dev/sdx# /tmp/ddsdb

6. Next, to overwrite the empty space on the drive with zeros, type

dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/ddusb/junk.bin status=progress

This process will take some time as every byte is being written. Once finished, dd will report that there is “no space left on device”. This is normal.

7. Finally, you’ll want to remove the zero filled file that currently occupies the empty space.

To remove the bin file so that you can free up the empty space for use, type

rm /tmp/ddusb/junk.bin

That’s all there is to it. Now all of the remaining empty space on this partition has been filled with zeros through the junk.bin file. Any deleted information (files, folders, pictures, videos, notes, etc) that were once on your USB flash drive, and later trashed or recycled, have essentially been overwritten. Rendering those files hard to recover.