Computer Hardware
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Hard Disk Drives
The Difference Between

Difference between formatting and zero filling?

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Wiki User
12/11/2006

Formatting a disk just replaces the beginning of track marks and initializes the FAT. Zero filling overwrites everything and makes it almost impossible to recover data even with more sophisticated equipment. When you format the disk, all of the old data is still there, it's just not readily accessable since the FAT does not "point" to the disk location any longer. You could still perform a disk "absolute address" read and extract the data.