Difference between format and quick format
Forma vs quick format:
It is a well-known fact that Windows provides two ways to format a partition, Full Format and Quick Format. Many applications provide partition format feature, too, especially, partition magic software. Why you need to format partitions? Different people may give different answers, but normally, it was used to delete all files of a partition or reconstruct the file structures. Although all of us do formatting to our computers, the majority is unaware of the difference between format and quick format. Therefore, this article hopes to shed some light on the fact and to enlighten those who are yet blind to the fact.
What is formatting?
Hard disks, which are the primary storage devices on your computer, need to be formatted before you can use them. Formatting a disk means configuring the disk with a file system so that Windows can store information on the disk. Disk formatting is the process of preparing a hard disk or other storage medium for use, including setting up an empty file system. A variety of utilities and programs exist for this task. Large disks can be partitioned, that is, divided into distinct sections that are each formatted with their own file systems. This is normally only done on hard disks because of the small sizes of other disk types, as well as compatibility issues. People usually format their disk when they are manipulating partitions, encounter viruses, or get a computer from someone else and just want to clean it out and start fresh. Formatting the disk will delete everything on the disk, including the operating system (Windows, Linux, etc.). So if one is interested in doing a disk format for a fresh start then he needs to make sure he is prepared to install an operating system. The formatting process that performs basic medium preparation is often referred to as “low-level formatting.” The term “high-level formatting” most often refers to the process of generating a new file system. Low-level formatting (i.e., closest to the hardware) marks the surfaces of the disks with markers indicating the start of a recording block (typically today called sector markers) and other information like block CRC to be used later, in normal operations, by the disk controller to read or write data. This is intended to be the permanent foundation of the disk, and is often completed at the factory. Partitioning creates data structures needed by the operating system. This level of formatting often includes checking for defective tracks or defective sectors. High-level formatting creates the file system format within the structure of the intermediate-level formatting. This formatting includes the data structures used by the OS to identify the logical drive or partition’s contents). This may occur during operating system installation, or when adding a new disk. Disk and distributed file system may specify an optional boot block, and/or various volume and directory information for the operating system.
What is quick format?
Quick format is much faster but may be less secure because until the whole volume has been filled with files, it may be possible to tell how much data it contains (if the space was not filled with random data beforehand). If one is not sure whether to enable or disable Quick Format, it is recommended to leave this option unchecked. Quick Format can only be enabled when encrypting partitions/devices. Quick format typically leaves the existing file system in place, but removes the file markers and indicates the space as available. A quick format doesn’t actually delete everything from a pen drive. A quick format simply deletes the registry entries for all data on the drive. With the proper software, you can recover just about everything from a quick formatted drive. Quick format does not check to see if the disk is damaged, so it probably should not be used when installing an operating system or transferring important files. Quick format is typically a lot faster, particularly when used on actual hard drives. The reason, of course, is that it does a lot less work. During the process of quick format, it writes control information to the very first sectors of the drive. Then it creates an empty “root” directory of files and folders on the drive. Depending on the format chosen, may write additional file system overhead information, as well as the initial volume label on the drive. In this case, the surface area of the disk is not overwritten, and whatever was stored in those areas of the hard disk remains.
What is the difference between quick format and format?
When your computer needs to be formatted, you either format it in NTFS or FAT, or you format it in NTFS or FAT (quick). When you choose to run a regular format on a volume, files are removed from the volume that you are formatting and the hard disk is scanned for bad sectors. The scan for bad sectors is responsible for the majority of the time that it takes to format a volume. If you choose the Quick format option, format removes files from the partition, but does not scan the disk for bad sectors. This option is best when your hard disk has been previously formatted and you are sure that your hard disk is not damaged nor has bad sectors. This can be a problem later because bad sectors that are not located can cause damage to the hard drive. For example, if data is later installed on this “bad sector”, the data will read as errors or as corrupted files.
Another difference between quick format and full format is that full format removes everything, while quick format only deletes the root folder and FAT (file allocation table). Deleting the fat has the effect that your pc doesn’t find the files on your hard disk any more, but they are still there. But because your pc doesn’t find them anymore, it just writes over them. In simple terms, a Full format will truly scrub through the hard drive from scratch, rebuild all of its file structures, and scans the drive to make sure that everything is on a satisfactory level. On the other hand, what a Quick format does is lay down a blank FAT and directory table without checking for bad sectors. A quick format is sort of like simply taking the list of residents off of the front door and declaring the building empty. A full format takes the extra step of actually emptying the apartments of all their contents.