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Files Accidentally Deleted - Space Still Used?

Go to solution Solved by srcrist,


Hey all. Hoping someone can shed some light on what's going on in my situation.


Currently evaluating CloudDrive and have been uploading like a madman during my trial period, testing all manner of things to see if this is the product for my needs.


Last night I accidentally let a folder synchronization program delete ~4TB of content from Google Cloud Drive. 


While exceedingly frustrating (for upload time, not data loss - it was all duplicate data) I'm noticing some unusual behavior.


After the data was deleted, I noted that neither StableBit CloudDrive *nor* Google drive reflect the new amount, which should be 1.06TB used. However, Windows Server 2012 does report that exact amount used, with 8.93TB free on a 10TB drive. Contradictory information on the same drive.


My questions are

1. Does data deleted through an attached CloudDrive drive ever really go away? 

2. And can it be "undeleted" without traditional recovery methods (to another disk, that is)

3. Further, had the deletion been intended rather than accidental, how would one "reclaim" this previously used space? 


While I have not clicked on the Drive Options > "Cleanup" - I would love to avoid having to re-upload the data, if possible.


Some information:

Recycle Bin (which the sync program was told to use) is empty. Obviously 4TB is a lot for a bin.

I allowed the program "Recuva" to search the attached drive, and after 30 minutes it found 391 out of some 3,000 missing files. I did not proceed.

After deletion, I stopped all uploads and detached the drive after some cached data completed uploading.

Edit: I also looked through my GSuites admin account and tried to "restore" any data for the 30 minute window before the files were deleted. This seemed to have done nothing.



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So CloudDrive creates a real filesystem on a real (though not physical) drive structure. That means that NTFS on your CloudDrive will behave just like NTFS on a physical hard drive. So, just like a physical drive, when you delete data, NTFS simply marks that data as deleted and the drive space as available for future use. The data remains on the drive structure until overwritten by something else. So, to directly answer your questions:


1) Sure. It will "go away" once it is overwritten by new data. If some sort of information security is important to you (beyond that provided by end to end drive encryption) you'd want to use one of the many tools available to overwrite hard drive data with zeros or random binary.

2) Yes. It can. Just like any physical drive, you can use recovery tools to recover "deleted" or "lost" data off of your mounted CloudDrive. I think, on the balance, this is a huge plus for CloudDrive as a storage solution.

3) You've already reclaimed the space. At least as far as the operating system and filesystem are concerned. Windows will freely write to any drive space that NTFS has marked as available.


What's probably confusing you a little is that unlike a physical drive, where all of the sectors and data space are available from the day you purchase the drive by virtue of the fact that they are stored on a literal, physical, platter; CloudDrive only uploads the blocks once something has written to them at least the first time. This is default behavior for all online storage providers for fairly obvious reasons. You wouldn't want to have to upload, say, an entire 256TB drive structure to Google Drive BEFORE you could start using it.


Nevertheless, when you created your CloudDrive the software DID actually create the full filesystem and make it accessible to your OS. So your OS will treat it as if all of that space already exists--even if it only exists conceptually until CloudDrive uploads the data.


If you used a local disk space provider to create a drive, btw, you would see that it creates all of the blocks at drive creation--since local storage doesn't have the same concerns as online providers. 

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Gotcha. Thanks for the quick, detailed response. I've read everything you mentioned in 20 places before, but in the semi-annoyed-panic of deleting essentially 2 weeks worth of work, I was reviewing every possibly scenario to merely restore the files quickly without having to reupload.


Looks like we're back to the drawing board! Thanks, again!

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