Question Does Re-Initializing a Drive Erase its Contents or Only Re-Creates the MBR


Sep 6, 2011
I have a Toshiba 1TB external USB hard drive that is now showing as Unknown, Not Initialized and Unallocated 931.51GB in Windows 10 Computer Management.

I've always thought that if you initialize a drive, it WILL erase the drive, yet some sites are saying the initialization will NOT erase the drive, but only create, or in my case, re-create the MBR partition, which then I can use recovery software to access the drive.

Does most recovery software require a drive to be initialized before they can access the drive? If I can safely re-initialize it, and I select MBR, yet find out later Toshiba used GPT, how much would that likely affect the recovery process? Though honestly, what's the chances they would've used GPT on a 1TB drive?