Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/179920/what-is-the-difference-between-a-quick-and-full-format/
Both types of formatting will get you on your way to setting up a new operating system, but is one version of formatting preferable to, or better than the other? What is the difference between the two? We explore the answer to those questions in today’s SuperUser Q&A post.
My answer to this question, before reading the article, would be: A quick format erases everything on the disk while a full format erases the data and scans for bad sectors.
The replies are only partially correct.
A Full Format - AKA Low-Level format - creates the FAT structure on the disk drive. A Quick Format - AKA High-Level format - only works on a disk drive that already has the FAT structure on it. The Quick Format basically cleans up the "first sector" pointers in the FAT, so to the operating system, it looks like a new disk. Almost all hard drives are shipped with a low-level format already performed- maybe as a final QC check, maybe to reduce the confused consumer calls. A full Format can erase data, but it isn't guaranteed to.
So would you say that if you are getting rid of a drive (selling it online) doing a full format is enough?
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