Formatting Hard Drives – Formatting storage devices such as flash drives before use is essential for the operating system to interact with them. Every storage device needs to be formatted at least once in order to do data read and write operations. But there are also several storage devices such as floppy drives and hard drives, usually labelled Preformatted. Which usually means you can use it directly without needing to format it first.
Formatting is required to prepare the storage device so that the operating system can use it properly. Basically, formatting is the process of marking out data storage areas and establishing a file system structure. Without a file system, operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS or Linux will not be able to interact with these storage devices.
There are many types of file systems. Microsoft Windows has NTFS, exFAT and FAT32, macOS has HFS+ and APFS and Linux has Ext3, ZFS and so on. Each file system shares common principles, but operates differently and has its own characteristics. Windows or Linux can’t interact with storage devices formatted using the macOS APFS file system and vice versa.
Formatting Hard Drive
If you have accidentally made a mistake by formatting the storage media, for example, a hard disk. But if you have not saved new information to the hard disk, you can still recover data using special software, such as the many Partition Recovery software tools out there. However, to prevent disk or drive formatting mistakes and data loss you can use the following ways:
1. Do Regular Backups – Formatting Hard Drives
Performing regular backups is the most appropriate and effective way to prevent data loss. When you accidentally format a disk drive, you can restore lost data with a backup. Even though the backup data may not be the most recent version of it. Microsoft Windows itself has a data backup and restore feature.
2. Enables Overwrite Protection – Formatting Hard Drives
If you’re using a floppy drive, memory card or flash drive, there is usually a write-protect option to prevent accidental formatting. This write-protect option is in the form of a switch on the side or bottom. When enabled, its status changes to read-only so you can’t save files to it nor can it be formatted.
3. Double Check the Disc Before Formatting
Disk Formattion or partitioning in Windows is not a hard thing to do. Because of such ease, sometimes you get careless and format the drive incorrectly. Luckily, before the formatting process runs, a warning message will appear. You can use this warning message to double-check the drive or disk to format or you can also move files to another storage medium before formatting.
4. Choose the Right File System
When you format the disk for use on a Windows computer, select one of the file systems that are compatible with Windows, for example NTFS. If you format a disk using a macOS computer and select the HFS+ file system, while the disk is for use on a Windows computer, Windows won’t be able to interact with the disk. Formatting with an incompatible file system can cause you to lose the data completely.
5. Prevent the Formatting Process from Interruption.
What happens when the laptop battery is running low and the laptop just turns off? Or you yourself unknowingly remove the flash drive from the USB port while the formatting process is in progress? This may cause damage to the storage device and data on it may be lost. Even though the formatting process may take some time, you need to wait for it to complete without any interruption.