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What is disk formatting?

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    The question what is disk formatting is often asked on the internet, so we are going to make a brief introduction in this post. Disk formatting contains low-level formatting and high-level formatting. The former is often performed by hard disk manufacturers while the latter is made by users themselves.

    What Is Low-level Disk Formatting


    Low-level formatting is the process of marking out cylinders and tracks for a blank hard disk, and then dividing tracks into multiple sectors. This process is often called the “real” formatting since it creates physical format which defines where the data is saved. If users perform low-level formatting when data have been installed, all existing files will be erased, and it is almost impossible to recover them. Therefore, some users make such a format to avoid privacy leakage. Nevertheless, performing low-level formatting will bring great influence on hard disk, thus shortening hard disk service time. Therefore, it is not suggested.

    To low level format a hard disk, users can make use of specific tools as well as Debug assembler languages. That’s relatively complicated.

    What Is High-level Disk Formatting


    After a low-level formatting has been completed, users need to make high-level formatting which makes it possible to save data and should be done on a partition. It is the process of writing a file system, cluster size, partition label, and so on for a newly created partition or volume. And we can also say high-level formatting just clears data on hard disk, generates boot information, initializes FAT, and labels logical bad sectors when the partition has existed. This process does no harm to hard disk in general situations, so we suggest taking such a format to fix a logically damaged partition or device, for example, Windows asks to format a SD card.

    It can be every easy to high level format a drive, and users can complete this operation in Windows snap-in Disk Management tool, diskpart, cmd, etc. Nevertheless, if users perform such a format on partitions with data saved, all these data will be lost. Nowadays, many users hope to reformat an existing partition like convert file system, change drive letter, and change cluster size without data loss. Aiming at this situation, we will give a good solution

    How to Reformat Partitions without Data Loss


    Firstly, users need to download a piece of free partitioning tool, like MiniTool Partition Wizard. Then, install in on computer and launch it to open the main interface:

    what is disk formatting

    In this interface as long as users select the partition which needs reformatting, all performable functions will appear on the left pane. Just select the most suitable function and perform corresponding operations according to prompts. For example, if we want to change cluster size, we need to choose “Change Cluster Size” module. When all operations are done, apply them to computer by clicking “Apply” button on the top left corner.

    Now users would get a basic understanding of what is low-level disk formatting and high-level formatting.