new disk setup

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http://www.linuxquestions.org – I am doing a fresh install of gentoo or I might do Debian but this isn't a comparison question. I'm trying to do the cleanest and most fresh installation and I'm wondering if my disk is "fresh and clean or blank" if I create a new disk label and partition table using fdisk. I know that nothing is done to erase data, so is it really fresh? I don't want to have to wait to write 0s over my hard drive using dd; it takes too long, but I will if it is the only way to have my drive fresh. (HowTos)