PoiNtEr->: What happens when you format a disk?

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

What happens when you format a disk?

A new disk is like a blank sheet of paper. When it is formatted, it becomes organized into numbered blocks with an index to what is in each square, and which blocks are free to write to.
Each format type organizes the disk into a certain number of blocks of a certain size so that it can quickly read from and write to each block.
The index and the numbering system use space on the disk. So even though the empty size is 100% the formatted size is 90% or something.
When you format an old disk, you have two ways. Just erase the index, and the system thinks it can write to every block. This is a 'quick format' and leaves all the old information on the disk. A 'deep format' erases everything and starts over with no information on the disk. A disk recovery application can easily find information on a quick formatted disk.

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