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Why does formatting the disk in Windows take 10 minutes, but when I type "format c:\" in CMD it only takes several seconds?

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migrated from Aug 24 '10 at 1:23

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The difference is because you can ask to fill the disk with zeros (full-format) which has to write all blocks of the partition or just rewrite new meta info on disk, without wiping all data, which is quick-format and only takes a few seconds.

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Long format does not write zeros to the drive, a common misconception, it deletes any data on the disk by deleting/recreating the partition, then scans the drive for bad… –  Moab Aug 30 '10 at 20:15

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