What does “format” do

formattinghard drive

  1. What does the computer do when we format our hard disk or flash disk.
  2. If formatting clears all data on a disk, what is the difference between deleting all files in the disk and formatting the entire disk?
  3. Is it bad to format multiple times?
  4. How many times can a disk be formatted?
  5. Will formatting reduce the lifespan of my drive?
  6. What is the difference between quick formatting and standard formatting?

Best Answer

  • 1) What does the computer do when we format our hard-disk or Pen-drive.
    2) Formatting clears all Data on a Disk , then what is the difference between deleting all files in the disk and Formatting the entire disk

    Before answering this, you should know how a file system is built. A file system is a kind of library in which we have books that represent files. These books can be found using the Library's catalogue, telling you in which shelf the books are stacked.

    Over time, the catalogue will still contain books that are no longer present in the library or books will be in the library that are not recorded in the catalogue. There will be decay in the system and errors might occur. Also the library might decay and fall into ruin.

    When we delete all files from a media, we clear out the entire catalogue but leave all the books in the shelves. When we want to add a file (book), we make room for the new book by removing some of the other old books from the shelf and putting the new book there.

    However, if we format the media, we demolish the entire library and rebuild it. The books may then still be recovered from all the rubble of the old library, but once the new library is getting filled up, that books will decay.

    3) Is it Bad to format Multiple times
    4) On an average how many times can you format your disk
    5) Will Formatting reduce hard-disk lifespan

    There's no real reason to format several times. Media, as well as hard drives and especially USB thumb drives have a number of write cycles in which according to the manufacturer, proper operation is guaranteed. Formatting media will contribute to the number of write cycles being done. Yet, you won't actually damage the drive.

    6) What is the difference between quick Formatting and the standard Formatting

    From Wikipedia:

    High-level formatting is the process of setting up an empty file system on the disk and installing a boot sector. This alone takes little time, and is sometimes referred to as a "quick format".

    In addition, the entire disk may optionally be scanned for defects, which takes considerably longer, up to several hours on larger hard disks.