How to Format Floppy Disk without Losing Data

Is your floppy disk giving you error messages to format it while you are trying to access it? Learn the various methods to format the floppy disk and recover data with Recoverit.

Jun 08, 2020 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

While trying to copy my crucial data from one of my floppy disks, I got the message “You need to format the disk, before using it.” Can anyone suggest how to format the floppy disk without losing data?

Floppy disk is a portable storage device that is capable of storing your computer data. As earlier, there were no USB or CD-ROM drives, so it was the only medium to store information. Because of its low capacity, it is not widely used now. But some people use floppy diskettes to store small files.

Like other external storage devices, a floppy disk is also prone to corruption. On developing some faults, it starts displaying error messages to format a disk for making it usable.

Instead of following the message, read this article to recover and read files of your floppy disk. We will guide you with the different ways of formatting disks on Windows and Mac operating systems and how to recover data with the Recoverit data recovery software.

  • Part 1: Overview of Formatting Floppy Disk
  • Part 2: How to Format Floppy Disk in Windows 10/8/7
  • Part 3: How to Format Floppy Disk on Mac
  • Part 4: How to Recover Data from Hard Drive after Format?

Part 1- Overview of Formatting Floppy Disk

The primary hardware- floppy disk is used for storing and transferring a small amount of data between different computers. But the disk can encounter problems and lead to data corruption which displays error messages that requires formatting of the drive.

What is a floppy disk?

The thin and flexible magnetic storage device that is enclosed in a sealed square plastic case is known as floppy, diskette, or disk. There are three standard sizes of floppy disks. The first invented size was 8-inch, and then it came in 5¼-inch with a storing capacity from 100K to 1.2MB. Later microfloppies were also invented with a size of 3½-inch and have the largest storing capacity from 400K to 1.4MB.

You can read or write data to the removable diskette drive, but they are slower to access. Now it is no longer a familiar storage device because of its less storage capacity in comparison to other storage mediums like USB drives, etc.

What does formatting a floppy disk mean? Does formatting a floppy disk erase data?

Formatting a floppy disk means to prepare it for first-time use. However, mostly the disks come pre-formatted. But with time the initial formatting is lost, and disk can become corrupted. So, it is also required and done at later stages to erase the corrupted data, or to create additional space, etc. The format will provide you the access to an empty and new disk.

Formatting a floppy disk is beneficial in many ways, but the process should be initiated only when it is essential.

Are you wondering if formatting will erase the stored floppy disk information? Well, the answer to your question is absolute, yes! Formatting will surely erase the stored or pre-existing data of your drive or disk. It is necessary to take a backup before you begin to format floppy disk. The backup enables you to restore your files after formatting.

Reasons for Formatting Floppy Disk

Various reasons lead to formatting of the floppy disk. Some of the error messages or formatting reasons are:

Part 4- How to Recover Data from Hard Drive after Format?

If you find your critical data lost after disk formatting, what should you do to get them back? Recoverit data recovery software can help you in recovering the lost files from your hard drive.

Recoverit Data recovery

Recoverit Mac Data Recovery is the leading data recovery software with a high recovery rate in retrieving lost and deleted data. It supports above 550 file formats and helps you to restore data from the external device, recycle bin, desktop, and even from the crashed computer.

Follow these three easy steps to regain access to your deleted data:

Step 1- Insert Floppy Disk

Before initiating with the Recoverit data recovery software, connect your floppy disk with the computer. Make sure it is visible in the list of drives.

Step 2- Select the Disk

To recover the deleted data, select the floppy disk from where you have lost your data. Select your disc from the available drives that are visible on the computer. Once you have chosen the location, begin the scanning by clicking on the “Start” button.


Step 2- Scan the Floppy Disk

The software starts the scanning with the all-around scan. Depending on the file size, it takes time ranging from a few minutes to hours to complete the scan. You can even pause or stop the running scan anytime for your convenience. Like if you have found your lost data or it might be any other reason.


Step 3- Preview and Recover Data

Before moving on to the recovery step, Recoverit lets you view the files that are found during the scan. You can see by selecting them and clicking on the preview button. Some of the vital information like modified date, file path, size, and name can also be seen here.

After previewing and confirming the files found during the scan, select the targeted ones. Complete the recovery procedure by clicking on the “Recover” button and save the data to your desired path.


It is vital to mention here that you should never save recovered files on the location from where you have lost them originally. Doing so will increase the chances of data overwriting and can even lead to loss of data permanently. So, it is necessary always to select a new location for saving data after recovering it.

If you are thinking about “how do I format a floppy disk in Windows 10 making it unrecoverable” than formatting alone is not enough. As only with formatting the disc, recovery software can make you recover the formatted or deleted data. So if you want to erase the data making it unrecoverable even with Recoverit data recovery software, then you can do it with the disk wiping software.

Closing Words

So if you are using the floppy disk drives to store small-sized files, then while using them you can come across certain errors. When the disk shows some errors and directs you to format it to use the floppy disk you can do it with the detailed steps that are mentioned above. Whether you are a Mac or Windows user, we have discussed for both the scenarios.

It is necessary to take a backup of the drive before beginning the formatting, as when you format the floppy disk, it will delete all the stored data on it. However, if you forgot taking a backup, Recoverit data recovery software would help you to recover your deleted data.

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Theo Lucia

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