Hard Disk Drives
Formatting Hard Disk

Hard Disk Formatting

A hard disk format method enables to use the space efficiently. Before installing an operating system, you can create a primary partition link on the first physical hard disk (Disk 0) on your computer, and then apply hard disk format operation to create a file system on that partition. This partition is named the "System partition". Alternatively, you can create a separate partition for the operating system on any physical hard disk. This is named the startup partition.

It is recommended to create several partitions on your hard disk. When installing a hard disk drive (commonly called a hard drive) for the first time, attempting to remove errors from your drive, getting rid of a nasty virus, or even cleaning a hard drive because you are selling or donating your computer -- those are just a few of the many reasons why one might consider formatting their hard drive. Format actually means to prepare a storage medium, usually a disk, for reading and writing.

When you format a disk, the operating system erases all bookkeeping information on the disk, tests the disk to make sure all sectors are reliable, marks bad sectors (that is, those that are scratched or otherwise damaged), and creates internal address tables that it later uses to locate information. You must format a disk before you can use it. When you take a disk that has been formatted and run it through the format process again, it is referred to, logically, as reformatting.

The key steps to formatting back it up! Before the format process, you want to make sure that if your goal is hard drive recovery, you back up as much personal data and information from your hard drive as you need. In some instances where a virus has caused serious system damage, this may not be possible, but if your format is planned ahead of time you certainly can copy and archive data off your hard drive before you start the format process.

How to Format If you purchased your computer from systems vendor such as a Dell, HP Compaq or Gateway system, you most likely will have a set-up or a restore-and-recovery CD (also referred to as a master CD) which came with the system. If this is the type of system you use, then a format is an easy process as the master CD will format the hard drive, reinstall your Windows operating system, and install any software and programs which came with the system. If you no longer have your master set-up CD, you should contact the manufacturer to get a replacement.

If you aren't using this type of mass-market system, then a hard drive format will consist of you formatting the hard drive manually, installing your Windows OS from CD, then installing your software programs and hardware drivers. Before you begin the formatting process, it is important to make sure you have your entire driver CDs located, Windows CD and your software CDs to ensure a smooth set-up. It's also important to know about your operating system before you format.

To overwrite the disk would mean to format, then fill the disk completely with data, and format again. The easiest way to do this is to use a software program that will overwrite the disk for you. Most of these programs, which are often referred to as Data Dump software, will meet even the strict deletion requirements of the U.S. military. As an added bonus, a few good data dump programs can be freely downloaded from the Internet.

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