How does formatting work in Windows


How does formatting work in Windows?

Does it erase all the data on the drive to 0? What's the difference between fast format and normal format? If it doesn't set all the data in the drive to 0, how can I do that?

Best Answer

  • A fast format (sometimes called quick format) only recreates the necessary table structures for the filesystem. The files aren't actually deleted, but when the table structures are reset to it's initial state they will be overwritten in time. This is because the system marked those positions as 'writable'.

    A normal format recreates the table structures and clears out every block on the hard drive.

    You can manually set the blocks to zero if you want using a tool like 'dd' on Linux.