August 21, 2010

Pros and Cons of Formatting your Hard Disk

Hey guys, are you aware of the advantages and disadvantages of formatting your Hard Disk frequently? 

In this post, I will things in general with regards to Hard Disk Formatting. If you didn't know, there are two types of formatting; the Quick Format and Full Format.

The Quick Format erases the drive's MFT file and boot sectors.

  • The MFT file is like a giant database detailing where each file starts and ends. It's like a directory where you can find all the data on a hard drive.
  • Deleting MFT file would only cause the computer to forget where the information is located but the information is still be physically there in case you need to recover it. 
  • If you choose the Quick format option, it will removes files from the partition, but does not scan the disk for bad sectors (only use this option if your hard disk has been previously formatted and you are sure that your hard disk is not damaged.)
The Full Format erases everything and resets all Magnetic platters. 

  • When you choose to run a Full Format on a volume (or partition), files are removed from the volume that you are formatting and the hard disk is scanned for bad sectors.
  • The scan for bad sectors is responsible for the majority of the time that it takes to format a volume. 
  • I always prefer quick format because it's fast not like full it will take much time.
Here are things you should know: 

Pros
  • Formatting removes  bad programs and sophisticated viruses
  • It will your partitions and your system becomes fresh for your new installation.
  • It scan and repairs bad sectors (Full Format)

Cons (Disadvantage / Negative / Drawbacks)

  • Formatting your windows will gives you lesser chance to backup necessary file. If you choose to Format only the Windows partition then you can still save the other partitions you have. 
  • Note: Special Folders like My Documents, My Pictures , My Music  and the Desktop is situated in the Windows Drive, meaning if you Format the Windows partition --all the data in special folders including desktop files will be wiped out.
  • All the programs that you have installed will be deleted.
  • Formatting will take enough time to finish.Installing an XP OS will take  more or less 40 minutes.
  • Drivers and necessary programs installation will take up 2 to 3 or depending on the number of program.
  • It requires DVD Reader, OS installer, program installers, etc
  • Frequent Formatting can cause graduate deterioration of your pc hard drives or reduces its lifetime. Twice a year might be good as experts advised.