Difference between format and quick format?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by Matt_Smi, Jan 27, 2006.

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  1. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi

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    What is the difference? I have heard that with quick format there is no error checking or something along those lines. Right now I am formatting a 400 GB hard drive with regular format and man it is taking a while. I am a bit over 70% now at its been going for about an hour and half, maybe a bit longer.
     
  2. doctorgonzo

    doctorgonzo Professional gadfly

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    You are correct; with a regular format, the entire disk is checked for bad sectors. With a quick format, this check is skipped. Formatting a 400 GB disk and checking the entire surface is going to take a while.
     
  3. Panama Red

    Panama Red If I'm not here, I may be cruisin'! Staff Member

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    From MS KB:

    "If you choose the Quick format option....Only use this option if your hard disk has been previously formatted and you are sure that your hard disk is not damaged."

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302686/en-us
     
  4. rspassey

    rspassey ~ Ryan ~

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    Normally, I will do a regular format when installing the OS for the first time, and then a quick when I reformat and re-install the OS.
     
  5. enhanced08

    enhanced08 Foldin' For PCMech!

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    I used to do a quick format if at all possible, but my ITech teacher said how some virus's can hide and not be deleted with a quick format. Now i ALWAYS do a full format just incase.
     
  6. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    If you are reformatting due to malware, a zero fill may be even smarter.
     
  7. FireRaven

    FireRaven

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    this is impossible for a virus to get into your new windows because of a quick format. if the drive's file system header is deleted then there is no way of indexing the files on the disk. the data can be accessed through software but not mean anything and will never be executed.

    as far as i know the file system header is never actually deleted but every index is null-terminated so it can be undeleted, but no one is going to undelete a virus from a prepartition unless you already have a virus willing to try.
     
  8. TwoRails

    TwoRails

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    I usually do a quick format to get things going, especially for secondary / additional drives. A surface scan can be done at a later time, like when you're going out for dinner :)
     
  9. ComputerNut

    ComputerNut Its the Dark Side!

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    I remember when I was full formatting my 160GB hard drive. I set it up and let it be for several hours. Its pretty easy to forget that you started it then you come back and after awhile it will be conveniently finished! :)

    HTH
     
  10. rjfvillarosa

    rjfvillarosa Moderator Staff Member

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    Due to the amount of nonsense that is lurking on the internet these days I honestly think the "zero fill" option is always the best and if you have any doubts about the drives fitness use the manufacturers diagnostics at the same time. The "zero fill" utility is generaly bundled with the manufacturers diagnostics anyway, so the whole process is easy.
     
  11. bailey

    bailey

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    I was under the impression that a quick format only removes the file system and does not remove any of the data on the drive, and the full format removes all the data.
     
  12. EzyStvy

    EzyStvy Computing Professor Staff Member

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    From the link that Panama Reb posted:

    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. Only use this option if your hard disk has been previously formatted and you are sure that your hard disk is not damaged.
     
  13. ironanimal

    ironanimal

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    ok...here's the deal... I'm going to do a full format... last time I did I turned a 40g hdd into a 35... why??? and now I have programs that I will not be able to register and activate again because the company no longer has any support ... I have a 320g usb hdd... is there any way I can locate my current activation info...save it to the ext. hdd and reload it to my pc after I reinstall everthing????
     
  14. EzyStvy

    EzyStvy Computing Professor Staff Member

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  15. QuiescentWonder

    QuiescentWonder

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    The ONLY DIFFERENCE between a quick format and a regular format is that the entire volume is scanned for bad sectors, these are physically bad places on the discs in your hard-drive. NO, old files or registry strings CAN NOT just pop-up, this is impossible. If you have bad sectors on your hard-drive you should probably just throw it away anyway.

    A regular format does not erase any more than a quick format does. A zero-fill is never necessary, and it would take a long, long, long time compared to even a regular format. Plus, you would need to find a utility that zero-fills a drive. This is just a waste of time unless you are trying to hide information from someone who actually knows what they are doing.

    Quick formats work just as well as regular formats because they both do exactly the same thing, except for check for bad sectors on the drive.

    THIS IS THE POST TO END ALL DISCUSSION. Unless someone has some other question that has nothing to do with why a quick format is better/different from a regular format.
     
  16. Cricket

    Cricket Shiro Usagi

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    Why did you dig up this old thread?

    :) Cricket
     
  17. mairving

    mairving

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    As Cricket says why dig up an old thread to state what had already been stated.

    We aren't really big fans of shouting around here either.

    In the future it would be appreciated if you don't do either.

    Thanks,
    mairving
    Moderator PCMech Forums
     
  18. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Excuse me? WE (as in the forum staff) determine this. Arrogance is not appreciated here, I'm closing the thread. You might want to read the forum rules, we insist on civility around here, unlike too many other forums out there. Thank you for your input.

    - Forum Administrator -
     
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