Negosentro.com | Does Formatting A Disk Erase Data? | Does formatting a disk erase data? You may have this question, like many other users, they want to get a clear answer while encountering the following situation or similar. Thus, they know what to do and don’t need to worry about data loss during the formatting process.
“Hello, I have an external drive, with lots of invaluable family pictures on it. When I plugged it in this time it says that you need to format the disk before you can use it. Will this delete all my files and data?”
Except for this situation, some users may want to sell their hard drive, but there are many business documents in it. They deleted it and formatted the drive, but still worried about their data could be retrieved by someone else. Therefore, they want to know if formatting a disk wipe everything and make it difficult to restore their data?
Then, in this article, you will get the following contents:
- What happens when you format a disk?
- Can you format a hard drive without data loss?
- Can data be retrieved after formatting?
- How to wipe disk thoroughly to prevent data retrieving?
Now, let’s started to get them.
What happens when you format a disk?
For disk formatting, the most common situation is that you are asked to format disk when you plug in an external hard disk into your computer, at this time, you can choose Format disk or Cancel.
If you choose Format disk, it will delete all the data on the hard drive and change file system to NTFS/FAT32 so as to prepare for storage. However, the data has not completely disappeared, just become invisible and can be recovered by a professional data recovery software. That’s because the formatting we are talking about here is quick format, which will not overwrite data.
But if you uncheck quick format during the process, the format type turns to full format. It will not only removes files from your hard drive, but also scan for bad sectors.
Can you format a hard drive without data loss?
When you are asked to format a hard drive, you can choose to cancel it. That’s to say, you can copy data from one hard drive to another (if possible) and then format the problematic hard drive manually.
Also, you can try to recover files using cmd or a professional data recovery software before formatting. It is suitable even when you have formatted the hard drive. Only this way, you can greatly reduce data loss after formatting.
Can data be retrieved after formatting?
As mentioned earlier, quick format does not overwrite data, thus the data formatted in the hard drive can be retrieved. If you don’t expect others see your data on the hard drive, you need to uncheck Quick Format during the formatting process. Also, you can choose to use a more thorough disk wipe tool, such as, AOMEI Backupper Standard.
How to wipe disk thoroughly to prevent data retrieving?
To wipe disk and data thoroughly, the best way is to use a professional disk wipe tool. Here I recommend you free backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard. It allows you wipe entire disk or specific partitions or unallocated space, and supports 4 disk wiping methods, such as, fill sectors with zeros, fill sectors with random data, DoD52220.22, Gutmanm.
The first one is able to make data difficult to retrieve and available on the free version of AOMEI Backupper. While for the other 3 options in the professional version, they are more thorough, it is capable of overwrite data on your disk with random data instead of zeros, and the process can be repeated up to 35 passes, depending on the methods you are choosing.
Then, let’s see the steps to wipe disk thoroughly with AOMEI Backuper Standard.
Step 1. Download, install, and open AOMEI Backupper. Click Tools and choose Disk Wipe.
Step 2. Here you will see two disk wiping types, choose Wipe Disk and click Next. To wipe specific partitions or unallocated space, choose the first option.
Step 3. Select the hard drive in trouble and click Next. If the disk you are wiping is a system disk, this software will create Windows PE environment automatically and then reboot to complete this disk wiping process.
Step 4. On the Wiping Method page, choose Fill sectors with Zero. Then click Start to begin the disk wipe process.
Step 5. Wait until the process ends and exit.
The way forward
Now, you may get clear answer to this question: does formatting a disk erase data? If you use Quick Format, the answer is NO. If you use Full Format, the answer is YES.
In addition, some users still worry about their data will be retrieved after formatting. In this case, it’s suggested to erase hard drive with a professional disk wipe tool, AOMEI Backupper Standard, for example.