Long ago in the MS DOS days. I recall being told that there was a difference between the DEL and ERASE commands. One just deleted the directory entry for the file (and therefore the file could in theory be restored), the other actually erased all the data from all the sectors that file was stored on (better for security).  However, although it would seem that intuitively DEL would do the former and ERASE  the latter, I also recall being told that the commands were not intuitively named, though that source wasn’t reliable.

Doing a Google search has turned up a plethora of sites on these commands, but all the ones I checked claim that both commands do exactly the same thing. Can anyone help me out here with the correct information on these two commands? Thanks!

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One thought on “MS DOS DEL versus ERASE

  1. Good morning White Star,

    formal difference between DEL and ERASE command is that with DEL command you cannot use wildcards * (del C:/*.* will probably not function). But ERASE was designed to erase all disk space, so it can be used in this way-with wildcards (erase C:/*.* , erase everything on C without prompt, do not try at home:), at least I hope so, never tried it:)

    And if the file deleted with DEL or ERASE command can be recovered? Partially yes and partially no. You know, it is like with Government and Tenorists. What Government erases, cannot be recovered easy and usually recovering is unprofitable (It is hard to recover The Country, if all people that lives in get erased their free will). In case of tenorrists, I think, they try to use DEL command with hope that something changes and if not It can be recovered after.
    But who knows these days, who pretends to be who. And I am affraid to say, if everything is ONE, you are right in your thoughts that ERASE = DEL. So it really does not depend who is who in this game, what makes erase better than del, when the intetion to delete and erase something is the same, and we must pay if we have got mistaken (of course without extend and precious knowledge of ancient MSDOS system:)

    But we must always remember, that somehow exist something that does not everybody know. And it is great UNDELETE command:)

    Wish you a nice MSDOS journey:D


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