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Will Initializing Disk Format It?

Posted on Apr 28, 2017 by Jean to Resource


Here you can fully understand the difference between initializing disk and format disk, and get a confirmed answer to 'will initializing disk format it?'. Do not hesitate to download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data in case you have very important data on a disk that is unknown and not initialized.

Will initializing disk format it?

"What does initialization do to a hard disk? Please give me a hand. When using the Windows disk management utility, I receive the instruction showing as you must initialize a disk before logical disk manager can access it. The disk is NTFS 100% data with no operating system on it. I'd like to know if it is safe to go ahead and initialize the disk. Does initializing a disk format it? I am not expecting any data loss on it."

This is a post we found in Microsoft Community, and it seems that over 150 thousand of people have the same question. Will initializing a disk erase data in the same say format does? What's the difference between the two items?

Initialize disk vs format

Typically, both initializing and format would erase data on a hard drive. However, Windows will only ask you to initialize a disk that is brand new and hasn't been used yet. Format is totally different, and it is needed more frequently. For a new hard drive, to put it in daily use on a computer, the process should be Initialize -> Partitioning -> Format

Don't worry, let's distinguish the two concepts more thoroughly. It's easy to decide whether to perform initializing on a new hard drive with zero data on it, however, many of you many have a confusing moment that a used hard disk would require initializing.

And the error message is always about "disk 0 (1 or 2) unknown, not initialized, unallocated". It occurs when this hard drive is initially connected to a computer. So, how are you going to decide whether to proceed to follow the instruction or cancel it? 

How to initialize a disk without formatting?

The most acceptable way to make the connected hard drive usable is to initialize it without losing data. Is it possible then? Luckily, EaseUS Data Recovery Software is able to recover data from the uninitialized hard drive. When you encountered the disk unknown not initialized issue, try to utilize the third-party hard drive recovery software to recover files off from it. After that you can feel no hesitate to take actions on the disk.

Step 1. Select the hard drive and click "Scan".
Step 2. Run quick scan and deep scan to find all existing and lost files.
Step 3. Select files and click "Recover". Save the recovered data to another hard disk.

recover data from uninitialized hard drive

To start initializing the hard drive, open Windows Disk Management, right-click on the disk shows unknown not intialized, select Initialize Disk and follow the wizard to finish the task.