Has Windows 7 cancelled the Recycle Bin feature of my external USB hard disk for Windows XP?

I have an external USB hard disk that I've been using for a few years with a Windows XP computer, and have been using recently with a Windows 7 computer. I intend to continue using the hard disk with both computers. The file system on the hard disk is NTFS.

When using the hard disk with Windows XP, the Recycle Bin for the disk was located at E:\RECYCLER. After using it with Windows 7, a folder was created at E:\$Recycle.Bin for the Recycle Bin.

The problem is now when I use the hard disk with Windows XP and delete a file, and then open the Recycle Bin in order to retrieve the deleted file (by double-clicking on the desktop Recycle Bin icon), no files that were deleted from the external hard disk appear in the Recycle Bin; only files that were deleted from my internal C drive appear. Obviously files deleted from the external hard disk used to appear in the Recycle Bin before I ever used the hard disk with Windows 7.

When the external disk is connected to my Windows 7 computer, and I double-click the desktop Recycle Bin icon, files deleted from the external disk do appear, but only those that were deleted through Windows 7.

Now when I delete a file from the external hard disk through Windows XP, I'm not sure it's even going to a Recycle Bin folder - it's as if the fact I've used the external hard disk with Windows 7 has cancelled the Recycle Bin feature for the external disk whenever it's now used with Windows XP.

Windows Explorer doesn't let you browse the Recycle Bin folders in the traditional sense. I've tried using Total Commander to see if I can find specific files recently deleted through Windows XP in either E:\RECYCLER or E:\$Recycle.Bin but I haven't had any luck.
Ideally I'd like to be able to use the external hard drive with both Windows XP and Windows 7, and have all deleted files appear when I double-click the desktop Recycle Bin icon on the respective computer, regardless of the OS in use when a file was deleted. Is this possible?

Hi osullic,

 

This is by design. In windows 7 when you delete files from External Hardrive, it won’t go to the Recycle bin. It gets permanently deleted. However when you delete the data from the system, it is moved to the Recycle bin.

 

Hope this information is helpful.

Praseetha K
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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The information in your reply is blatently incorrect, and I am surprised at this coming from a Microsoft Support Engineer.

Here is my understanding of how the Recycle Bin works:
- Each drive has a physical "Recycle Bin" folder where deleted files from that drive are stored.
- The exact naming and location of this folder depends on the file system of the drive and the OS in question. For example, in the case of an external drive connected to a Windows XP computer, the Recycle Bin folder on the external drive is located at E:\RECYCLER. For an external drive connected to a Windows 7 computer, the Recycle Bin folder on the external drive is located at E:\$Recycle.Bin. (I'm using drive letter E here just for illustrative purposes.)
- Double-clicking on the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop produces a "unified" view of the contents of the Recycle Bin folders on all drives connected to the computer (both internal and external).

However, when the the Recycle Bin is opened in Windows XP, this "unified" view does not include files in E:\$Recycle.Bin (i.e. Windows XP does not seem to recognise those files that have been deleted from the external drive through Windows 7 as being part of the Recycle Bin), and similarly, when the Recycle Bin is opened in Windows 7, the "unified" view of the Recycle Bin does not include files in E:\RECYCLER (i.e. Windows 7 does not seem to recognise those files that have been deleted from the external drive through Windows XP as being part of the Recycle Bin). This is poor design in my opinion - all files deleted from a drive should appear when you open the Recycle Bin from the desktop icon, regardless of what OS was used to delete the file or what OS is used to view the Recycle Bin.

My problem is that when I delete files from my external drive through Windows XP, these files no longer seem to be sent to the Recycle Bin (neither to E:\RECYCLER nor to E:\$Recycle.Bin) but appear to be deleted permanently straightaway - when I double-click on the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop, no files deleted from the external drive are included. It seemed to me that the fact that the drive had been used with Windows 7 had somehow disabled Windows XP's Recycle Bin functionality on the drive.

However...I have investigated this further myself and I now think my problem actually has nothing to do with Windows 7. I think simply the E:\RECYCLER folder on my external hard drive where Windows XP stores deleted files has become corrupt - so deleted files are not being sent to E:\RECYCLER but are being deleted permanently straightaway. I think I may have solved my problem by following some instructions to reset the Recycle Bin (see below links) - it seems to be behaving as expected again.

Hope all this long-winded info might help someone else solve a problem.

Can't empty the Recycle Bin in Windows XP or in Windows Vista
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2394521

How the Recycle Bin Stores Files
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q136517

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However...I have investigated this further myself and I now think my problem actually has nothing to do with Windows 7. I think simply the E:\RECYCLER folder on my external hard drive where Windows XP stores deleted files has become corrupt - so deleted files are not being sent to E:\RECYCLER but are being deleted permanently straightaway. I think I may have solved my problem by following some instructions to reset the Recycle Bin (see below links) - it seems to be behaving as expected again.

Hope all this long-winded info might help someone else solve a problem.

Can't empty the Recycle Bin in Windows XP or in Windows Vista
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2394521

How the Recycle Bin Stores Files
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q136517


The above explanation seems right but in my case the same happened and it definitely must have been caused by the external hard drive being linked up to Windows 7 and then back to XP.  Too much of a coincidence to be anything else.

Very annoying,  as this will presumably happen again repeatedly whehn I swap the drive between machines on the two systems.  Unless Microsoft solve this problem I will have to be more careful about deleting and just not use the recycle bin .  There is no point in getting it right only for it to go wrong the same way again each time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have kind of the opposite question.  I have one particular flash drive where, if you delete a file on the drive, you get a dialog box that says, "Are you sure you want to move this file to the Recycle Bin?"  If you click Yes, then the file is sent to the Recycle Bin on the hard drive.  I am actually not crazy about that feature because the transfer is not that fast, especially when you are deleting lots of files.

I am wondering, what controls that?

FWIW, this is an old flash drive and the behavior is a bit different when you insert the drive into the USB port from that of my other flash drives.  There is no "Eject" in the context menu that comes up when you right-click on the drive in Windows Explorer.

This is in Windows 7.

Mark

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Hi Mark,

This seems to be a setting you need to change for the Recycle bin.

If you don't want to receive a message each time you send a file or folder to the Recycle Bin, you can choose to not get the messages.

a. On the desktop, right-click Recycle Bin, and then click Properties.

b. Under Recycle Bin Location, click the location of the Recycle Bin you want to change (likely your C drive).

c. Clear the Display delete confirmation dialog check box, and then click OK.

For further information, refer to the article:

Change the Recycle Bin settings

 

Hope the information helps. Let us know if you need further assistance with Windows related issues. We will be happy to help.

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Thank you, but actually that is not my question/issue.  I don't want to turn off the Display delete confirmation dialog for the Recycle Bin on the C: drive.  What I want is, when I delete files on that particular flash drive, that they don't get transferred to the Recycle Bin on my C: drive.  That is because the transfer is time consuming when there are many files.

When I say "I am not crazy about that feature," I don't mean the dialog box, I mean the fact that "the file is sent to the Recycle Bin on the hard drive."  That is the feature I am asking about.  Why are the files transferred from the flash drive to the Recycle Bin on the hard drive?  What controls that?  Thank you.

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

Thank you for the updates.

 

What is the make and model of the hard drive?

 

Usually when you delete any files from the USB/Flash drive, it will not go the Recycle bin on the C: drive. If the issue occur only with the old hard drive, then it could be related to any settings in the old drive.

The time taken to delete the files depend upon the size of the file you are trying to delete.

 

Hope the information helps. Let us know if you need further assistance with Windows related issues. We will be happy to help.

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Praseetha,

Thanks for your response.  The disk drive is WDC WD5000BEVT-60A0RT0.

For what it's worth, it is with only one of my flash drives that the deleted files go to the C: recycle bin.

Best,

Mark

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I found the answer, with credit to mbossa here:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=504705

I plugged in the flash drive.  On the desktop, I right-clicked the Recycle Bin and selected Properties.  In the list of drives, I highlighted the flash drive, and selected the setting, "Don't move files to the Recycle Bin."

Now, when I delete a file from the flash drive, it gets permanently deleted.  It doesn't get transferred to the hard drive Recycle Bin.

Mark

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Last updated October 29, 2020 Views 5,389 Applies to: