How Do I Choose the Best Disk Formatting Software?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2014
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To choose the best disk formatting software for your needs, you should consider the type of formatting you want to perform and the disk format you need to create. If you want to perform low level formatting, for example, then you should typically choose a program developed by the maker of your disk; high level formatting, however, can be performed using a number of different programs. You should also be sure to choose software that can create the right type of disk format for your operating system (OS). Different types of disk formatting software are available at varying price points, so you should choose a program that is affordable and functional.

Disk formatting software typically refers to programs and utilities used to format a disk drive, usually either a floppy disk or a hard disk drive. One of the first things you should consider when looking at different programs is the level of formatting that the software is able to perform. Low level formatting makes physical changes directly on the disk, and is typically permanent. If you want to perform this type of disk formatting, then you should use software developed by the maker of your disk hardware to prevent damage.


There are a number of different types of disk formatting software that you can use for high level formatting. This type of formatting makes no changes to the actual disk, and just creates different sections, often called partitions, which can be used by an OS or similar system. You may already have a utility provided with your OS that you can use as disk formatting software, which you should consider using before purchasing or finding another program.

One thing you should consider for high level formatting is the type of format system that is utilized by your OS or operating system. You want to make sure that any hard drive or other disk you format is compatible with the format system your OS uses. Older versions of Windows®, for example, utilized a system called a file allocation table (FAT), while later versions of the Windows® OS typically used the new technology file system (NTFS).

As you consider the optimal disk formatting software, you should also look at how the program is available. While there are commercial programs that you can use for disk formatting, there are also open source and freeware programs available that can provide you with powerful formatting tools. Some programs may also have both a free trial and a commercial version available, which lets you try the software before you buy it. Any freeware program you choose should be from a reputable developer and download source, however, to avoid downloading a malicious program disguised as legitimate software.


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