Change in the behavior of the format command in Windows Vista

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Article ID: 941961 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

This article describes a change in the behavior of the format command in Windows Vista.

MORE INFORMATION

The format command behavior has changed in Windows Vista. By default in Windows Vista, the format command writes zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed. In Windows XP and in earlier versions of the Windows operating system, the format command does not write zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed.

The new format behavior may cause problems for the on-demand allocation modes that a volume storage provider, such as a Storage Area Network (SAN), supports. Problems may occur because the new format behavior prematurely triggers allocation of the backing space.

In the on-demand scenario, zeros do not have to be written to the whole disk because the volume storage provider initializes the on-demand-allocated data. To avoid causing unnecessary on-demand-allocation, you must use the quick format option.

You can use four methods to format a volume in Windows Vista. You can use the quick format option for these four methods:

Properties

Article ID: 941961 - Last Review: February 23, 2009 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
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