High Level Formatting

What is High-Level Formatting?

High-level formatting refers to the third part of the formatting process where a new file system is typically generated on the hard disk. In other words, it is the process where root directory and file allocation tables are created and configured.

Technically, high-level formatting is a method of creating vital file system areas by initializing parts of the hard drive.

It typically uses the data structures used by the operating system. This is vital to find the contents of the logical drive or partition.

Understanding High-Level Formatting

What is High-Level Formatting

High-level formatting is a specific type of formatting a hard disk which, in simple words, means creating a new file system within a hard drive.

A high-level format is called ‘format’ simply, and the program or the format command used to perform high-level formatting is usually called format.com, which is the same disk format utility used to frame floppy disk drives.

Typically, formatting involves three different parts namely, low-level formatting, partitioning and high-level formatting, in that order. The three stages can be summarized as follows:

The process of high-level formatting does not erase all of the data stored on the hard drive. The actual process of high-level formatting involves the following:

Therefore, after high-level formatting, data can be easily recovered from the formatted hard drive.

In this typical process of erasing and recreating the data structure, the existing data is not wiped off the drive. It is a process to actually prepare the drive to install different apps or software or upgrade the system.

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However, depending on the circumstances, high-level formatting may also refer to different other tasks and performing other functions and processes, and they are abridged as follows:

Usually, the high-level formatting process cannot be initiated if there are errors already existing on the hard drive.

In that case, low-level formatting has to be performed first on the disk so that high-level formatting can be done on the drive successfully.

Moreover, if you consider the z/OS Unix System Services in particular, high-level formatting is typically performed at three different levels. These are:

While creating a file system on the disk partition or a logical volume, high-level formatting uses the data structures that are typically used by the operating systems.

This is a significant aspect of the process because it helps in identifying the contents stored in the partition or the logical volume.

In high-level formatting, which may also occur when a new disk is added or while the operating system is being installed, it is common for the distributed file system or the disk to specify other things such as:

Typically, formatting a complete partition or a logical drive may take a considerable amount of time because it may optionally scan the entire hard disk for any defects.

On the other hand, high-level formatting, in comparison, is usually a pretty fast operation, which is why it is also referred to as quick formatting at times.

Example of High-Level Formatting

One of the most common examples of high-level formatting is the use of the format command in MS-DOS.

It is also done when a hard drive is erased by the users to reinstall an operating system on it or to create and configure new file allocation tables or root directories on it.

In addition to the above, high-level formatting may also be needed to be done during several other situations such as:

Such type of formatting is also useful to fix a few specific problems such as:

Sometimes, it is also needed while new data is written on the fly in a few specific older access methods.

What is the Function of High-Level Formatting?

In simple words, the main function of high-level formatting is to write on a file system, a partition label, a cluster size, and others for a newly created volume or partition.

However, some other functions of high-level formatting involve the following:

In general, the function of high-level formatting is not to do any harm to the hard disk. On the contrary, it is useful to manage the file system and the hard drive in a much better way.

How to Perform High-Level Formatting?

Performing high-level formatting is not a difficult process at all. It can be done easily in different ways such as with the Administrator, DiskPart, the Windows built-in Disk Management tool, and others.

Performing high-level formatting on a hard drive by using the Windows Disk Management tool involves the following few steps:

Performing high-level formatting on your hard drive by using DiskPart involves opening the Run box in the same way as above, but typing ‘diskpart’ this time in the Run box.

When Diskpart opens, you will need to implement the following commands:

Normally, both of these methods will successfully complete high-level formatting on your hard drive for Windows 7.

Windows 8, and Windows 10. However, they may not work every time, especially when there are the following limitations and conditions to formatting:

A better, safer, and more useful alternative is to use a reliable third-party software utility program designed specifically for performing high-level formatting on a hard drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, for example.

Usually, the functionalities of these software programs are not restricted by the type of the file system or the capacity or type of the hard disk.

You can use them for any type of storage system apart from the traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) including the following:

You can use these programs for different types of file systems as well such as:

High Level Formatting Vs Low Level Formatting

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High-level formatting is the process of initializing portions of a hard drive to reinstall the data structures of the file system on it.

Through this article, you now have a fair idea about the process, how it works, and the ways in which you can perform high-level formatting on your hard drive for better file management.