when is a format not a format.

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by david, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. david

    david Guest

    I am running windows2000, and recently formatted all drives. Since
    then I ran a utility to detect certain types of files and was surprised
    to see that files were detected which had been downloaded years prior to
    the format.How come? I thought a format was supposed to wipe the disc clean.
     
    david, Dec 20, 2004
    #1
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  2. david

    hawhaw Guest

    I can recover all my files, even after using active killdisk, I can't if I
    have it set as a raid array or sata though, unrecoverable.
     
    hawhaw, Dec 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. david

    Guest

    On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 21:17:56 +0000, david
    <> wrote:

    |> I am running windows2000, and recently formatted all drives. Since
    |> then I ran a utility to detect certain types of files and was surprised
    |> to see that files were detected which had been downloaded years prior to
    |> the format.How come? I thought a format was supposed to wipe the disc clean.

    Running Format /Q or a quick format will only delete(clear) the fat
    table, the rest of the hard drive/floppy remains intact.


    --
     
    , Dec 20, 2004
    #3
  4. david

    Ditoa Guest

    On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 21:17:56 +0000, david
    <> wrote:

    > I am running windows2000, and recently formatted all drives. Since
    >then I ran a utility to detect certain types of files and was surprised
    >to see that files were detected which had been downloaded years prior to
    >the format.How come? I thought a format was supposed to wipe the disc clean.


    The way hard disks work mean that it is possible to get back data you
    deleted.

    How this works gets really technical and I don't understand it beyond
    a basic level.

    Why this happens is simpler. There are two types of formatting. Quick
    and Full. Quick just deletes the MBR (Master Boot Record) and
    partition table. The actual data isn't touched so recovery tools just
    search the drive and locate file chunks. Normally if you just quick
    format you can get back a very high amount of data (in the 95%+
    areas). A full format writes over the drive with blank data, normally
    just FF (hex value). A full format normally means you can't get much
    back however it isn't perfect. Like I said there are ways to get data
    back even from a full format, just not as much (I don't have a %
    sorry).

    It is because of this reason that the DoD, etc. use multi pass secure
    formatting methods such as overwriting the drive several times with
    random data. There are several free tools that do this for you such as
    Eraser [http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser/] as well as commercial ones.
     
    Ditoa, Dec 20, 2004
    #4
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