Using backup server and copy of your production data, restore all deleted machines to normal group. Then export all their SDB and audit logs to files. Ideally by objectID. Keep them safe for occasional use.
in a word, no - the only thing you can do with items in the bin is restore them.
best thing would be to restore them to a new group, then run reports off and wipe any you really don't need.
You can also permanently remove deleted objects from primary database, once you have got all audit and exported SDB files.
Restoration of deleted objects on primary database might be not the best option, since it consumes licenses.
do machines or users in the deleted items count against license usage if they say in the deleted items?
no, deleted things don't count against the licences - but it's a good idea, I might submit a feature request!
I use the Objects>Save List (v5) option in EEM to get a list of all machines in Deleted Items (Gawd bless this feature McAfee, impossible in V4!). Prior to extracting the list, I order the objects by ID so the oldest are first in the list. Then I simply restore the oldest 1,000, run a report on their last synch activity and blow away the ones over xx months old. The remaining I just throw back into Deleted Machines and flag them in my spreadsheet as processed.
I also have a snapshot of the Database on another server, taken before I began all these activities. So when we get it wrong and a user calls for a reset and the Admin gets "Object Not Found", I'm able to restore the object on the backup server then generate a recovery code for the user. Once in, I can export the SDB file from backup to live and when the user synchs, the Machine object begins talking to the client again (be aware that the Machine ID of the imported object will not be the same as the machine ID of the original object prior to deletion BUT the client will update it's Machine ID to the restored object provided the restored object still has the same object name as the client).
This system works well but is a bit manual and does require me to have to keep a large backup of the database so I can restore the deleted items. This is a backup additional to the regular Database backup I take in the event of Server Failure.
Would be interested to know if anyone uses a 'smoother' system.