Legal Executive Institute
Understanding Deleted Files, Unallocated Space, and Their Impact on eDiscovery
December 28, 2017
By Daniel B. Garrie
As e-discovery has risen into a major point of focus in modern litigation, it is important for lawyers without strong technology backgrounds to familiarize themselves with at least basic computer storage concepts. This blog post addresses some of the key points regarding deleted files and unallocated space, and how these concepts come into play in e-discovery.
Unallocated space, also referred to as “free space,” is the area on a hard drive where new files can be stored. Conversely, allocated space is the area on a hard drive where files already reside. Think of “allocated” storage space as already filled with data and not to be overwritten with other newer data, while “unallocated” space is available to store new data even though it may contain old data which would be overwritten by new data.
While this may sound simple enough, to fully understand the properties of unallocated space, it is necessary to understand how files are stored on a computer.
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