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Disk Administrator and formatting a partition


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#1 computerdownhouse

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 03:48 PM

I want to format unused space on a hard drive. However the Quick Format option gives me the following warning:
 
"Warning: Formatting will erase ALL data on this disk. To format the disk, click OK. To quit, click cancel."
 
I assume that Disk Administrator (Windows NT 4.0) means partition and not disk, but as it's been so long since I last formatted a partition I thought I had better ask first...


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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 03:55 PM

Hi,

 

The Operating System on the machine is Windows NT 4.0??

 

Before doing anything can you post a screenshot showing the Disk Manager expanded so we can see the all disk please.


Edited by SleepyDude, 25 March 2018 - 03:55 PM.

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#3 computerdownhouse

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for replying. Sorry I did not respond sooner.

 

I have since successfully formatted the unused space. Turns out this is a standard WINNT 4.0 warning to scare away inexperienced users. Despite WINNT's misleading warning, it will not erase the entire disk. It will not even erase any previously written data in the unused sectors.



#4 britechguy

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 02:21 PM

Thanks for replying. Sorry I did not respond sooner.

 

I have since successfully formatted the unused space. Turns out this is a standard WINNT 4.0 warning to scare away inexperienced users. Despite WINNT's misleading warning, it will not erase the entire disk. It will not even erase any previously written data in the unused sectors.

 

While it may not truly erase any previously written data, it does make it effectively inaccessible to the OS by marking it as free space.  You'd have to use disc recovery tools to get at it after a quick format.

 

I agree that the warning for "the disc" if you are formatting a partition is slightly misleading, but often the partition in question is a logical disc.  But the "erase" warning, even without literally zero filling or otherwise shredding the existing data, makes sense because it will become functionally inaccessible by normal means.  The space will appear to be empty and blocks will be handed out when needed without any concern about what might have been there before.


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