What is formatting?

Answer

The BusinessDictionary defines formatting as making a digital storage media, such as a hard disk, ready to store and receive data in a logical manner. Hard disks and diskettes are like empty sheets of paper that must be divided, or formatted, into logically numbered sections called sectors. This process makes entering and finding data faster and easier.

The BusinessDictionary elaborates that each operating system has a distinct procedure to format magnetic media, and this non-standard procedure normally cannot be used by another operating system. However, an exception is optical media, such as CD and DVD, which is formatted by manufacturers based on universally followed ISO standards, so it can be used by any operating system.

According to Windows, hard disks require formatting before a person can use them. Formatting a disk involves configuring it with a file system to enable Windows to store information on the disk. New computers that run Windows already have formatted hard disks. However, Windows advises that if a user decides to buy an additional hard disk to boost computer storage, it is necessary to format the new disk. There are also other types of storage devices that are typically preformatted by manufacturers, including flash memory cards and USB flash drives. Windows warns that formatting deletes all current files on a hard disk.

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1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: what is formatting
What Is Formatting?
Mass-storage mediums store data in units called sectors. Sectors are often grouped together into larger units called tracks. Formatting is the process of initializing sectors and tracks for use in storing data.... More »
Difficulty: Easy
Source: www.ehow.com
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