“Does formatting a disk erase data completely?”
“I have an old external hard drive and want to sell it, but there are many business
documents in it, even I deleted them and formatted my drive, but I still worry about
that someone could retrieve my data with some program data recovery, so, I was
wondering does formatting a disk wipe everything without recovery chance?”
Formatting vs. Erasing a disk: which way to go?
Before answering the question above, we need to figure out the difference between
formatting and erasing a hard drive.
Formatting a hard drive is a process of wiping its partition table and unlinks all
the data in the file system. It also sets up a new file system to use with
certain applications or operating systems. Although all the data seems to be
deleted already, it just becomes invisible, and can be recovered easily with a
certain data recovery programs.
Erasing a hard drive is a process of completely and
permanently removing everything on the drive, as well as anything you have previously deleted that might still exist. What’s more, the erased data is
unable to be recovered in any way.
So, does formatting a disk erase data totally? The answer is obvious, NO. As for
which one is better, that depends on your individual needs. If you upgrade to a new
hard drive and giving your old one to your friend, need a fresh start on your
existing drive, or want to restore SSD drive performance,
wiping the drive is the best way to avoid the risk of exposing sensitive personal data
like social security numbers, account numbers, passwords, etc.
How to erase all data from a disk permanently?
By far, the easiest way to erase a hard drive completely is to use a professional and
reliable hard drive data eraser such as AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It is a powerful disk partition management
software for Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista, allowing you to conveniently manage your hard
disk and partitions.
It offers two different methods to wipe HDD completely and erase SSD securely without
causing damage to the SSD drive. Besides that, you can use “Extend Partition Wizard” to
increase partition size to solve low disk space issue, or “Allocate Free Space” to directly transfer a part of unused disk space from one partition to another. And you can create partition, merge partitions,
delete partition, format partition, copy partition and so on.
Before you do: backup something important if necessary since the wiping process will
make the data unable to be retrieved in any software.
Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click the hard drive you
plan to erase and select “Wipe Hard Drive”.
Step 2. Select a wiping method in this window. Here we choose “Fill sectors with
random data” .
Step 3. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” to start wiping the
Since the “SSD Secure Erase” function only works on Windows 7 at present, please
connect your SSD to a Windows 7 based computer and make sure it is detected.
Step 1. In the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the SSD drive fromw which you need to erase data and select “SSD Secure Erase”.
Step 2. Choose the SSD you are going to erase and click “Next”.
Step 3. There are chances that the selected SSD is in a frozen state. To continue
with secure erase, you can follow the given link to perform a hot swap to unfreeze the SSD. After that, click “Next”.
Step 4. Then wait for the SSD secure erase process to be completed.
Till here, we have cleared your doubt about “does formatting a disk erase data”, and
introduced the best way to erase data from disks when necessary. After wiping HDD or erasing
SSD permanently via the aforementioned software, you can create partition on it for reuse or throw it away without worrying about data leakage. If you just want to format the disk,
AOMEI Partition Assistant can also work as a great disk formatting utility. It can
format a write-protected, RAW or corrupted disk with ease.