"If you emptied the bin, used Shift Delete to get rid of the file, deleted it from within an application or used some other method of removing it that bypassed the bin, then it is still almost certainly recoverable. When you empty the Recycle Bin or delete a file using another method, the file is still not really deleted. The file no longer exists as far as the operating system is concerned and the space it occupied becomes available for re-use by other files. But the disk space does not get re-used straight away, so the data contained in the deleted file will stay on your hard drive for some time to come."
Because the operating system doesn't immediately re-use space from deleted files, a file can be recovered or undeleted right after it has gone, and for a considerable time afterwards. But the chances of a perfect undelete decrease the longer you leave it, because eventually some or all of that space will be re-used.
The chances of recovery also depend on how full your computer's hard drive is. Windows tries to avoid re-using disk space that has recently been freed, to give deleted file recovery software a better chance of working. But the fuller a drive is, the sooner the free space is going to be used by other files.
If you have defragmented the hard drive since the file was deleted, then this will severely harm the chances of a successful recovery. Current files will have been moved into the free space left by deleted files in order to reduce fragmentation, making it much less likely that undelete software will be able to find anything useful.
MY guess is, it would be difficult to recover your deleted files once you defrag your comp.
Defrag is NOT getting rid of everything...and even the best tech guy can't be sure exactly what is deleted. That is why dumb criminals who think they have erased everything, end up in the slammer.If your computer is going on five years old it is a good time to change the drive.