Preparing Disks for Use
3. Use the “File system” list to set the filesystem type. The options you have
depend on the size of the volume and type of device, but they include FAT,
FAT32, and NTFS.
4. The “Allocation unit size” list sets the cluster size for the filesystem. A cluster is a
logical grouping of file sectors. In most cases, you’ll want the “Allocation unit
size” list to be set to Default. This allows Windows Vista to optimize the cluster
size based on the volume size.
5. The “Perform a quick format” checkbox allows Windows Vista to format the
volume without checking the partition for errors. While this option can save you
a few minutes, it’s usually better to allow Disk Management to check for errors
and mark any bad sectors it finds on the disk so that they aren’t used.
6. The “Enable file and folder compression” checkbox turns on compression for
the disk. Built-in compression is available only for NTFS. If you select this
option, files and folders on the volume are compressed automatically. See the
“Compressing Drives” section of this chapter for more information.
7. Click OK to continue. Because formatting a volume destroys any existing data,
Disk Management displays a warning. Click OK to start formatting the volume
or Cancel to cancel.
Changing Drive Letters
Assigning a drive letter to a volume is the fastest and easiest way to access and work
with a volume. On most systems, the drive letter B and drive letters E through Z are
available, with drive letter A reserved for a floppy disk, C assigned to the primary
disk, and D assigned to the CD/DVD drive. If your computer has a secondary hard
disk, a secondary CD/DVD drive, or both, you may find that drive letter E or the
drive letters E and F are already assigned as well.
Figure 19-13. Formatting the volume