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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Geometry and Low-Level Data Structures ]

Hard Disk Formatting and Capacity

Most PC users are familiar with the concept that a hard disk--in fact, all storage media--must be formatted before it can be used. There is usually some confusion, however, regarding exactly what formatting means and what it does. This is exacerbated by the fact that modern hard disks are not formatted in the same way that older ones were, and also the fact that the utilities used for formatting behave differently when acting on hard disks than when used for floppy disks.

This section takes a look at issues surrounding disk formatting and capacity, discusses unformatted and formatted hard disk capacity, and looks briefly at formatting utilities.

Next: Two Formatting Steps

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