Originally Posted by miles17
I'm installing Windows 10 home clean on my new PC build from the Windows USB thumbdrive. I normally do a full format with a new HDD to A) check and mark bad sectors and B) stress test the new drive at the same time.
Is there a way when preparing to install Windows 10 to select a full format, or does it force a quick format?
Yes, there's a way. During Windows Setup, when you get to the drive selection screen (using the Custom Install mode), press [Shift]+[F10] to open the Command Prompt. Type diskpart
and press [Enter]. Type list disk
and press [Enter]. Your desired installation drive should be listed as Disk 0
. If not, shut down and double-check your SATA connections and try again. Otherwise, type select disk 0
and press [Enter]. To quick format the entire drive, type clean
and press [Enter]. Or, to zero the entire drive from end to end, type clean all
and press [Enter]. There will be no progress indication, but you will be returned to the DISKPART>
prompt when it completes (anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours depending on the type and size of the drive being erased).
After cleaning a drive, you can convert between GPT and MBR from within diskpart. When you're done, close the Command Prompt, refresh the Windows Setup drive selection window, and choose to install Windows on the Unallocated space. This way, Windows will partition, align, and format the drive optimally. If you wish to partition the drive, wait and do so from within Windows (shrink the C:\ partition down to make room for new partitions using Disk Management).
Just to clarify some other things I saw posted here earlier:
- Quick Format simply erases the filesystem database and create a new, blank one. >99% of all the data on the drive is left fully intact, but is now invisible as the index and tables of contents for that partition have been cleared. Nothing is verified on the disk.
- Full Format on Windows XP (or earlier) executes a quick format, and then reads the entire disk from end to end. Any areas that fail to read are added to the $BadClus file on the new partition so that the space is not available for anything else. On the other hand, Windows Vista (and later) start by writing zeros from beginning to end of the partition, and they execute a quick format to place a new filesystem database on the newly erased partition.
- Diskpart -> Clean simply erases the partition table at the beginning of the drive with zeros, leaving the drive with no partitions (but >99% of all data still intact). At this point, you can choose between writing a MBR or a GPT partition table (called "Initializing" a disk by Disk Management).
- Diskpart -> Clean All erases the drive from beginning to end with zeros—effectively "zeroing the drive". No data is left. At this point, you can choose between writing a MBR or a GPT partition table (called "Initializing" a disk by Disk Management).