What Is A Quick Format ?

Q: Whenever I have to format a drive I am presented with the option to perform a Quick Format, is there any difference between using this option and a regular format ?

A: While the use of the word “quick” might seem enticing and technically reduce the over all time it takes to format a drive, I would advise against using it. A quick format means that you want to format without performing any error checking, in the case of a normal format Disk Management would perform error checking and mark any bad sectors found on the drive, thus locking them out.

In the long run it’s not worth it.

One thought on “What Is A Quick Format ?”

  1. This is true, error checking does occur when you do a full format. However, how many layers is your OS and NTFS file system above the bare metal?

    Physical machine – one hard drive. Probably a good idea.
    Physical machine – raid control card + multiple drives. The raid control card is going to handle the striping, parity, and error corrections for your. Skip the full format.
    Virtual machine – skip it. You have a VMFS file system controlled by the hypervisor which is most likely sitting on top of yet another file system your SAN controllers have created. Formatting it again is redundant and a waste of resources, especially if you’ve thin provisioned them.

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