Here's our Windows XP Tip for.. November 27, 2006
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The Art of Formatting
When you format a floppy disk, you have two options--you can use standard formatting (the default) or you can select the Quick Format check box. Quick Format is faster, but you can't use it all the time.
When you put a blank disk or one you don't need into drive A, and you open My Computer, right-click the Floppy A icon. From the menu, choose Format. When the Format A dialog box opens, you'll see the Quick Format check box. If you select this check box, Windows performs a Quick Format as soon as you click Start. If Quick Format is not selected, you get the standard format when you click Start.
If you're sure the disk is OK, then you can save time by using Quick Format. Basically, Quick Format modifies the FAT to tell the disk it's blank. This is OK if you're absolutely sure the floppy is good. If you're not so sure, you'd better stick with the standard format, which checks each sector on the disk. This is why it takes longer.
In effect, the standard format performs a complete low-level and high-level format. Quick Format uses the formatting that already exists on the floppy and only modifies the FAT.