Formatting partition is also called formatting volume; these two terms are often used interchangeably. Formatting is actually the act of creating a file system on a volume (you can also use this function to change the file system among NTFS, FAT 32, FAT, etc) so that the operating system can store and retrieve data on that volume/partition. NTFS file system has lots of advantages over FAT and FAT32 file system (such as file and folder permission, encryption and file compression), but sometimes we still have to change from NTFS file system to FAT32 file system because FAT32 has a better compatibility than NTFS and some applications only support FAT32, such as XBOX360, PS3 and some players. Formatting a partition will delete all data on the original partition and a new partition will be created but it's empty.
NTFS - New Technology File System: a file system for formatting computer hard disks in order that they can save information.
FAT - File Allocation Table: A file system used by MS-DOS and other Windows operating system to organize and manage files. Also, it is a data structure that Windows creates when you format a partition by using FAT or FAT32 file system. Windows saves information about each file in the file allocation table for it can retrieve the file later.
Before You Do
Before formatting a hard drive partition, you'd better back up all the important files and data that you want to keep (Formatting will delete all data, take special care when performing the operation). The free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard can help you create a backup for those data.
If AOMEI Partition Assistant recognize there are programs running on the partition which you are trying to format, you will receive a notice from Partition Assistant to let you close these programs.
To ensure the operating system can work properly, AOMEI Partition Assistant won't allow you to format system partition and boot partition. However, if you really need to format system partition or boot partition, you need to create a bootable media with AOMEI Partition Assistant first, after that, you can format these partitions by entering the bootable media. In this situation, you need to reset the first boot sequence of your computer from the original location to the bootable media you creates. To do this, sometimes, you need to change the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) settings of your PC.
To Format Partition
Step1: Run Partition Assistant, in the main console, right-click the partition you want to format (Let's take G partition for an example), and then select "Format Partition".
Step2: In the pop-up window, you can reset the partition label, file system, and the cluster size (smaller cluster size makes less wasting of disk space, and we usually recommend you use the default size if you don't know which one is better). Click OK to confirm the changes.
Step3: You can see the changes in the main window and click Apply to execute the operation.
The formatting process will take time to complete the operation, please let your computer to finish this task before using it for anything else.
Formatting won't erase the data once and for all and anyone can successfully recover data from a formatted partition with data recovery software. If you want to erase all data to prevent data from recovering with the help of related software (AOMEI Partition Assistant can do this with its Partition Recovery Wizard), we suggest you use the “Wipe Partition”.
For setting Cluster Size: the smaller of the cluster size may let your partition generate many file fragments during the process of the data read-write and the bigger cluster may waste the disk space but the speed of the read-write for the disk will be faster.
If you need to store some big files greater than 4GB to the partition, we suggest that you can use NTFS to format due to the 4GB limitation of FAT32.
More easily, you can go to step2 above directly by clicking Format Partition in Partition Operations column on the left, but Format Partition is available only when one existing partition is selected. Since an unallocated space has no file system, you can think it is not a partition. So if you select an unallocated space, you cannot see "Format Partition feature. Click "Format Partition" after choosing a partition, you will go to the second step stated above. and the rest steps are the same.