In Real Life, when you delete a file, it's not really gone. It may sound strange, but you are actually removing an entry from an index, not the info stored in your hard disk, pen or similar. Until some new info is written, the bytes that make up the purportedly gone file are there, waiting for recovery. It's something like setting an old building to be bulldozed: until the heavy machinery comes rolling, the ugly house will stand. Even standard formatting won't work, simple, easy to use programs like Photorec will unearth everything. It will take some time (read: hours) to safely wipe an entire drive. Even more if you follow the There Is No Kill Like Overkill Guttmann protocol and do it for 35 passes. Fiction, in the other hand, would like you to believe otherwise. Your base had been overrun and you need to hide all your intelligence? Why, just push some buttons or casually swipe your tower with some magnet. Or were you caught red handed with some naughty photos, evidence or Internet history about kittens? Delete it as usual and not even the best of forensics will ever recover it.
open/close all folders
- The Core. The Rat frantically tries to hide evidence of his less than legal actions from the FBI through fast button pushing, passing magnets over a dozen or so computers and microwave-baking CDs. None of then would really work.
Live Action TV
- CSI. In several episodes data disappears in an instant or is otherwise unavailable.
- NCIS likes this.
Gibbs: You just deleted my pictures, doctor.
- The head of an intelligent car project tries a last minute attempt to remove the evidence simply erasing/formatting the SD card that contained a literal killer program and claiming that it was empty.
- Another chapter features a traitor working along Abby and totally obliterating gigabytes worth of data in mere seconds to cover up his involvement in the case.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.