I was just wondering, if you did a full partition copy onto another hard drive, would it also copy the "deleted" data that can be sometimes recovered with recovery tools or would it just leave that space clean.
It depends on the tool you use. Most partitioning tools just copy existing files. You can notice this because empty partitions are moved much faster.
The possibility for recovery is based on the principle that, if you delete a file it's actual data is not deleted from the hard drive but released for overwriting. You can recover the data as long as no new data is written in those sectors. You can keep this data by copying the partition bit by bit. This can achieved e.g. with Linux tool
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If it's a true disk image it will be an exact sector-by-sector copy of the original and will include the deleted but possibly recoverable files.
But I don't think you should assume that any given partition copy application will necessarily capture a true disk images without verifying. It's conceivable an individual developer might decide to leave out unallocated blocks to make for a smaller backup file. And of course, a file backup will generally never include deleted files (except perhaps those in the recycle bin.)