What is disk formatting?

Andrey Semykin
Andrey Semykin
January 17, 2013
What is disk formatting?

Any storage medium, be it a hard disk, flash drive, or antediluvian floppy disks and tape drives, must be formatted before you begin. It happens, there is a need to re-format in cases of any failures. About all this, probably, very many have heard. But not everyone is well aware of what disk formatting is in detail. What exactly happens to the media during formatting? Let's try to figure it out.

Formatting is the process of marking media, during which the recording area is divided into sections (clusters). In addition, a certain table of contents is created for the sections, which allows to subsequently find the necessary information on the disk.

Formatting Winchester

Telling what hard disk formatting is, I mean high-level formatting, i.e. a process that has to be performed by computer users themselves.There is also a low-level formatting (marking tracks and sectors), which is produced at the factory during the manufacture of a hard disk. Modern hard drives do not need to re-low-level formatting, and you will not have to face this process.

When formatting a hard disk, a master boot record is created with a partition / structure table of the file system. The size and organization of partitions here are determined by the type of file system: FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, etc. Specific recommendations on formatting a hard disk can be found in the article “How to format a hard disk?”.

As a result of formatting, we have a disk with which our operating system can work.

What is formatting a flash drive

Formatting a flash drive is performed for the same purpose - to provide the operating system with the ability to read / write your USB drive.