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Does formatting a hard drive ease data permanently?

Does formatting a hard drive ease data permanently? If it doesn't how does the drive not run out of space?
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  1. No, it does not erase it, but the computer marks it as usable space, so that it can be overwritten by fresh data. That is why you can retrieve data unless it has been overwritten, and sometimes even then. To permanently erase it, you need a special 'scrub' program.
  2. It's mostly permanent. There are some utilities that can possibly recover data, but in normal use, Windows just treats it as all blank space.
  3. Best answer
    Hi
    It depends on which Windows version (or other operating system) and options taken

    Vista & later if Full Format box ticked should wipe contents of a partition by overwriting each sector

    This can be done during re install while booting off DVD or USB containing Windows

    If you want to be sure use DBAN boot CD or similar utility (single pass is enough)

    [Windows XP does not over write during Full Format]


    regards

    Mike Barnes
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