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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
May 2, 1999

Deleting a structure from disk

Question:
I have written a videoshop program in C++. I need to be able to delete a video structure off the disk. At the moment, the user enters a video number, the program searches the disk and finds the video, but I'm not sure how to delete this structure and edit the file on disk. (The file is in binary.)

Answer:
You could write zeros to that part of the file, but I suspect your real question is how you can shift all subsequent records (structures) down to fill the "hole."

There is no simple way to do this. Many programs will somehow mark that record as deleted and keep it there. Then, when the user adds a new record, it could reuse that spot. Many of these types of programs also include some sort of Compact command to remove unused records. The Compact command will generally recreate the entire file, which is probably the best way to completely remove the data.

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