I've been using the built-in full format feature on Windows 10

However - after the full format - I feel uneasy when I see files displayed on a HDD in the Windows file Explorer that Windows automatically displays because I can't discern whether they are actually on the physical volume that I had just formatted.

What, preferably open-source, program allows me to full format a secondary HDD on Windows 10 without creating a file system on it afterwards?

  • Doesn't the term "format" imply creating a file system? Every utility I've used connects "format" with some form of file system identifier, be it NTFS, xFAT or any other.
    – fred_dot_u
    Jul 30, 2018 at 0:53
  • 1
    If you use Windows own disk management tool, you can create a volume with no file system Jul 30, 2018 at 9:52
  • fred_dot_u You are of course right. What I meant to write is "wiping without creating a file system" rather than "formatting without creating a file system" Aug 1, 2018 at 6:51

1 Answer 1


Regardless of the answer to my comment question, I suspect you may discover that GParted will do as you require. It is a live-boot CD or USB program that provides direct access to your drives.

It is important, of course, to ensure that you select the new drive if you are going to perform any such activities. If you accidentally erase or re-partition your existing operating system drive, you'll feel terrible.

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