Chronos I accept what you are saying but the Mac O.S. is probably working differently that Windows.
I will accept this. But is Windows a “modern” file system? Perhaps, but I don’t think it does this.
And this is a good example of “stuff happening in the background”. The size of windows, and which file they are from, etc. is often stored in windows’ AppData folders; many programs include an Autosave option (but it only kicks in if you have altered the contents.) AFAIK, never made a detailed study, the regular autosaves don’t go into recycle when replaced; but you can see Office programs, for example, will create a temporary file in the same folder that replicates the file name but replaces the first two characters with “~$”; but only one such file.
Windows does regular updates - with Windows 10 you have to go out of your way to turn these off 9and for good reason).
I have a 1TB drive, my windows folder is 35GB. Log files, etc. are a tiny tiny fraction of that. One large document is a tiny fraction of that. The King James Bible is about 4MB; a 24Mp photo (huge) is about 6MB. What we think of as “a lot of data” is nothing compared to what is accumulated over time.
So really the question becomes “what order does the OS use or re-use sectors/clusters of disk space?” The answer is, like for so much of life today - “it depends”.
One major caveat, as mentioned earlier, is that SSD and other NVRAM devices typically go out of their way to “spread the load” and reuse as little as possible, since each bit can accommodate a limited number of writes. For older tech magnetic hard drives, the algorithms probably favor least fragmented and close together (to minimize head movement between tracks) so who knows. So most likely, your data is still there but every case is different.
(Back in the “good old days” head movement was a more important issue, as was rotational delay, since devices were slower. Today, magnetic disks have built in RAM buffers, algorithms that “guess” to read ahead - i.e. you started reading this file chain of clusters, I’ll assume you want to keep going and I will read ahead into the buffer. Fancier disks and controllers also have write buffer RAM, so that waiting for the disk to write does not delay the program. As has been mentioned over and over, the OS takes care of these details and what it does is a mystery to mortal men, or at least those without a slide rule or programmable calculator in their pocket.)
Windows NTFS supports tail packing.