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.

  • Binaryspiral

    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.