I have an 1TB WD my passport hard disk(HD). I connected that HD to my laptop this morning and it didn't show in My Computer. After trying for several times, I went to disk management, and as soon as it opened it said I need to initialize my disk.

What does initialize exactly means? If I need to initialize which option do I need to choose MBR or GPT? Will I be able to recover my data after initializing the HD by using recovery tools like recuva or any other?

  • "Initialize Disk" is an option given by "Disk Management" only to a new drive.
  • Initializing the disk will erase all the data on your drive, and will ask you to create a new partition / partitions so as to make the disk usable.
  • If you had data on your drive and if it was important, and Windows is showing you this option you need to consider taking your drive to a data recovery pro.
  • If NOT, you can try recovering you data using another host like Linux (Live Knoppix or Ubuntu).

If you consider initializing your disk, and risk losing all your data:

  • You should use "MBR" (Master Boot Record).
  • Initializing basically means, "begin using a brand new drive, which is not partitioned along with Windows"

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