That is the only partition on the drive. The whole drive is one partition. If I uncheck that box, and press start, will it zero the drive?No. It does a quick format of the PARTITION, which is ON the drive. There may be OTHER partitions on the drive as well. Partitions can be assigned drive letters so that EACH partition LOOKS like it is it's own drive, but in reality a partition, like the C: partition that your OS gets installed on, is only an allocation of space on a drive that has it's own drive letter and can be managed independently from other partitions on the drive.
But yes, it will clear, sort of, THAT partition, by marking the partition as empty. If you want to actually, sort of, eliminate any existing data on that drive, you need to uncheck the quick format option and allow it to do a full format where it writes zeros over the top of the existing data.
Technically, what you probably WANT to do, is to use disk management or a third party partition manager to DELETE all the existing partitions on the drive, and then when there is nothing but unallocated space remaining, create a single new partition on the drive, and format it with the NTFS file system. That will start you from a blank slate. But for most purposes a quick format is fine if all you want is to mark everything as deleted and start writing new data over the disk space.
I want the final result to be that it is physically impossible to recover the data.What do you mean by "zero a drive", because that is not something I've ever heard of before. If you mean "format" or "erase" or "delete", or something similar, then yes, it will, but a quick format merely MARKS the information as no longer there, in reality it IS still there and can be recovered by means of various recovery utilities. If you are trying to simply start fresh with the partition then yes, it will work for that. If you are trying to make sure that any sensitive data is at least superficially unrecoverable without more advanced recovery methods, then you will want to uncheck it and do a full format, which in the end will have the same result, except the data on there now won't be easily recoverable like it will with a quick format.
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