The format command creates a new root directory and file system for the disk.
It can also check for bad areas on the disk, and it can delete all data on the
disk. In order for Windows NT to be able to use a new disk, you must first use
this command to format the disk.
Typing a volume label
After formatting a floppy disk, format displays the following message:
Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)?
The volume label can be a maximum of 11 characters (including spaces). If you
do not want your disk to have a volume label, just press ENTER. For information
about volume labels, see the label command.
Formatting a hard disk
When you use the format command to format a hard disk, Windows NT displays a
message of the following form before attempting to format the hard disk:
WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK
DRIVE x: WILL BE LOST!
Proceed with Format (Y/N)?_
To format the hard disk, press Y; if you do not want to format the disk, press
N. You must have Administrator rights to format a hard disk.
When formatting is complete, Windows NT displays messages showing the total
disk space, any space marked as defective, and the space available for your
You can speed up the formatting process by using the /q switch. Use this
switch only if there are no bad sectors on your hard disk.
Using format with a reassigned drive or a network drive
You should not use the format command on a drive prepared by using the subst
command. You cannot format disks over a network.
Format exit codes
The following list shows each exit code and a brief description of its