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Windows 7: Format new HDD - quick or full ?

15 Jun 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1
 
 
Format new HDD - quick or full ?

When installing a new drive in Win 7 Pro 64bit...does it matter if you use quick format or the regular full format options ? Will windows automatically check the drive for errors and/or mark off bad clusters/sectors using quick format...or is it best to do an old fashion full format befor cloning an existing HDD to a newly purchased larger/faster HDD ?

Thanks, TR


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jun 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

1) With Full format, files are removed from the volume that you are formatting and the hard disk is scanned for bad sectors (Please note bad sectors are NOT repaired, only scanned). The scan for bad sectors is the reason why the Full format takes twice as long. With quick format, files are removed but the disk is not scanned for bad sectors. This option is best when your hard disk has been previously formatted and you are sure it is not damaged nor has bad sectors. So basically, a Full format scrubs the hard drive, rebuilds file structures, and scans the drive.

2) The format command behavior has changed in Windows Vista and Windows 7. By default, the format command writes zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed. In Windows XP and in earlier versions of the Windows operating system, the format command does not write zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed.

3) For a brand-new unformatted hard drive, I would suggest a Full Format unless you're certain it has a clean slate and has no bad sectors. However, if you do format using Quick format, you can check your hard drive by using the chkdsk /r command afterwards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Yeah, what Bill2 said.

Also - a full reformat is going to ensure that the recording fidelity of the media is good. Detection of the bad sectors takes place at that time as well as a simple phyisical exercise of the media - all the sectors get recorded so you'll know the drive is in good working order when you're done.

-Max
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15 Jun 2010   #4

Windows 7
 
 

a quick format resets the partition table, it does not remove any files at all.

once the partition table is reset, all sectors are flagged as writeable/empty and any data previously allocated under the previous partition table is overwritten.

Further, a full format does not write 0's and 1's, All format techniques available to windows are high level, this remains true with even windows vista and 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #5

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by squall leonhart View Post
a quick format resets the partition table, it does not remove any files at all.

once the partition table is reset, all sectors are flagged as writeable/empty and any data previously allocated under the previous partition table is overwritten.

Further, a full format does not write 0's and 1's, All format techniques available to windows are high level, this remains true with even windows vista and 7.
Differences between a Quick format and a regular format during a "clean" installation of Windows XP

Change in the behavior of the format command in Windows Vista
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #6

Windows 7
 
 

yeah, and i said 0 and 1's :P, which is typical low level / scramble format.
0's only is still a high level format technique.

that said, a proper low level format writes 1's across the entire drive then 0's which has the benefit of forcing a repair on bad sectors.

As for the quick format description.
Microsoft can TRY saying whatever they want, but i know how a quick format works, and its got nothing to do with removing files(on platter drives).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I suggest you do a quick format because a full format can take forever. Then run the cmd command chkdsk /f - that will fix possible bad sectors. In my experience this is a more efficient way to setup a new disk. Chances are high that there are no bad sectors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #8

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by trinaz View Post
When installing a new drive in Win 7 Pro 64bit...does it matter if you use quick format or the regular full format options ? Will windows automatically check the drive for errors and/or mark off bad clusters/sectors using quick format...or is it best to do an old fashion full format befor cloning an existing HDD to a newly purchased larger/faster HDD ?

Thanks, TR
Thanks all...should have mentioned this but didn't want to get too deep in on first question...

I also have Acronis (free version) which I have always used with working with Win 7...although I obviously have the MS options available.

Old drive is 500gb...new drive is 750gb. I thibnk the old 500gb took around 3 hours to format long/full.

Does it matter which I use (Win 7 or Acronis ) and there's bascially no difference betweeen full format and quick followed by checkdsk /f as far as verifying the intergrity of the drive before cloning to it ?

Thanks...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #9

Windows 7
 
 

use Windows 7, i've heard of some issues with acronis created partitions on windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #10

Windows
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by squall leonhart View Post
yeah, and i said 0 and 1's :P, which is typical low level / scramble format.
0's only is still a high level format technique.

that said, a proper low level format writes 1's across the entire drive then 0's which has the benefit of forcing a repair on bad sectors.
Real low level is done at the manufactorer. It is the process of creating the physical structure on the harddrive. It the old days on old drives you could also do this yourself.

Full format in modern Windows will overwrite each and every sector. This is different from xp and earlier.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Format new HDD - quick or full ?




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