Why does Windows 7 takes FOREVER to format a usb stick?

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Thread: Why does Windows 7 takes FOREVER to format a usb stick?

  1. #1
    Tiger Shark ant19's Avatar
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    Why does Windows 7 takes FOREVER to format a usb stick?

    I have just upgraded my netbook from XP to Windows 7 and am transferring some files I backed up. It takes forever to format the usb stick, like 10 mins to do 1gb so I cancelled that and just did the "quick format" option. Is there any drawback to doing that instead? On XP it took about 30 seconds to format a 16gb usb stick (complete format not quick).

  2. #2
    Great White Shark
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    Short answer:
    Windows XP lied to you. Windows 7 does not.

    Long answer:
    Windows XP took shortcuts reporting time, and often attempted to background complete tasks to make them appear as if they had finished faster. Windows 7 does not do this. It actually reports accurate times to sit there and zero out the contents of flash drive.

    When formatting a flash stick, it will take a long time. You are talking about doing a read-modify-write operation on every flash cell in the stick. Quick formatting simply overwrites the File Allocation Table with a blank one, allowing the immediate overwrite of any data previously stored. It doesn't actually format the drive. Thus the reason it takes much less time. USB flash drives are extremely slow devices, especially after being well used.

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  3. #3
    nuclear launch detected kpxgq's Avatar
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    theres really no drawback to doing a quick reformat unless you have some critical/private data on there... with normal use, the old data will eventually get over-written
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