RE: Permanently deleted emails

  • From: "Mark Fugatt" <mark@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'[ExchangeList]'" <exchangelist@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 13:43:32 -0400

Hi Shawn

Its funny you should raise this topic, I was at the FBI HQ in Virginia a
month ago and this topic came up, the simple answer is that permanently
deleting something is pretty much impossible, one of the biggest flaws is
that there are always two sides to an email conversation, so because you
have deleted it and purged it does not mean the other side of the
conversation takes the same steps, so if they really wanted to get the
information there is always that possibility.

Most companies keep regular backups and they sometimes forget that the
information could be on the backup.

Now, all that being said, in Exchange 2000 if you look at the properties for
the Storage Group, there is an option to "Zero out deleted database pages"
this will give you some security, but you will take a performance hit by
implementing it, other than that there is not a lot you can do.

If you have implemented "Deleted Item Retention" then of course information
could be recovered for a certain period of time.

The standard motto for anyone using email is:

"If you're not prepared to see what you have just typed on the front page of
tomorrows newspaper, don't click SEND"

Hope this helps a bit.

Mark Fugatt 
MCT, MCSE, Microsoft Exchange MVP 
Pentech Office Solutions Inc 
Tel:  585 586 3890
Cell: 585 576 4750
Fax:  585 249 0316 

-----Original Message-----
From: Shawn Moua [mailto:smoua@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2003 1:15 PM
To: [ExchangeList]

Before I ask I would like someone to clarify if by purging a mailbox will
delete it permanently (i.e. not being able to be recovered by whatever
means).  I know that even permanently deleted something will still leave
intact until the IS writes over it.  My question is 1) Is how permanent is
"permanently" deleted something in exchange. 2)  Is there a software out
there that will be able to accomplish this?  The reason being I was asked by
HR to see if this was possible to due a law suit she read about that
involved a company spending a few hundred thousand dollars to retrieve
emails.  My guess is that an email archiving solution would be the best way
to go.  Please let me know.
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