This article describes a change in the behavior of the format command in Windows Vista and later Widows versions.
The behavior of the format command changed in Windows Vista and later Windows versions. By default in Windows Vista and later versions, the format command writes zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed. In Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows, 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 and later versions. You can use the quick format option for these four methods:
Command line: Use the format /q command.
Diskpart: Use the format command together with the quick parameter. For more information, go to the following Microsoft website: