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SQL Server 2005 introduced a feature called Instant File Initialization. While this feature is not enabled by default, it allows SQL Server to perform data file creation-modification operations much faster. In the case of database restores, SQL Server does not have to first zero-out the allocated disk space for the database data files. Instead, SQL Server leverages the used disk space as is and overwrites as new data is written to the files. Microsoft disables this feature by default because the database files may contain old data that resided on the hard drives prior. This is not data that causes SQL Server any issues, but should someone get their hands on the raw data files, they may be able to mine them for information. It’s something to be aware of, despite the great performance benefits.