Formatting a hard drive

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob Varto, Jan 3, 2002.

  1. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    This might sound stupid but what is the command in DOS to format a hard drive?

    Is there a proper way to do this? I mean, should I enter does thru the START menu or log off to it? Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Thom B

    Thom B Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you formatting a drive other than the OS? If so the command is "format x:" without the quotes, where x=drive to be formatted. In windows you can also open My Computer and right click the drive to be formatted then select format from the context list.
     
  3. DavePompea

    DavePompea Auditioning

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    The DOS format command is FORMAT drive_letter /options_list. ie. FORMAT D:

    You can also format a drive by right clicking on the drive (in My Computer) and selecting Format from the popup menu.

    If you want to make the drive bootable, use the /S switch: FORMAT D: /S This will put needed system files on the drive.

    You can run the Format command at a command (MsDos) prompt, or shutdown to DOS, or startup in DOS (command prompt) mode.

    Dave
     
  4. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    I guess I should have asked the question better.

    Here's some history: I purchased an external 20GB hard drive that connects to my computer via USB cable. It works fine now but when I got the thing I used the fdisk command to set it up. Now I don't know what Im doing and the directions weren't real helpful and I somehow ended up with two partitions on this drive. I already had a C: and D: drive in my computer so this external one ended up with an E: and F: drive on it. The problem is that the E: drive is only 8 MB large. That is not too useful. Is there any way to eliminate the E: drive without re-formatting my whole hard drive? I already d/l all my music files to it (and that took about 35 minutes) not to mention it took another hour and a half to "optimize" the hard drive using Norton.

    Thom, thanks for the advice... I am supposed to help a friend format his C: drive... like the blind leading the blind.
     
  5. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Dave, you brought up a good point. In order to make a drive bootable you use the /S command with format. Can you or should you do this with anything other than the C: drive?

    What if I don't use the /S command? Thanks guys!
     
  6. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    what OS are you using?
     
  7. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Win 98. I would just be formatting and reinstalling a full version of Win 98.
     
  8. Brian_Gruver

    Brian_Gruver Auditioning

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    Rob,
    You're going to have to use the DOS FDISK utility. For information on using the FDISK utility read through this article. This article is written for all versions of Windows 9x. The section on repartitioning a slave hard drive is what you seem to need.
    All you need to do is change the active disk to your 2nd hard drive, delete the first partition and resize the remaining partition.
     
  9. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Brian, thanks for the article link... it definitely helps but I still have this question. With my 20GB external, suppose I wanted 2 partitions of 10 GB each. Do I choose FAT16 or FAT32? The article doesn't exactly say.

    Im thinking I choose FAT32 but I don't understand what option allows me to select my partition size.

    The article says to go to Step 7, but there is no step 7.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    For partitions that large, you need to go with Fat32. I think you can't go above 2GB if you use FAT16.
     
  11. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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    Like Patrick said, if partition is over 2.1GB, FAT32 will automatically be used when formatting that partition under Win 9x or DOS.
     
  12. DavePompea

    DavePompea Auditioning

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    " In order to make a drive bootable you use the /S command with format. Can you or should you do this with anything other than the C: drive? "

    Sure you can. That way if your primary drive goes belly up, you can swap cables and boot, without having to hunt around for a bootable floppy.

    "What if I don't use the /S command? Thanks guys!"

    Then the drive will not be bootable.

    Dave
     
  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    If all you want to do is resize partitions with out destroying the existing data find a copy of Partition Magic and use it to adjust the size of the partitions...works like a charm[​IMG]
     
  14. Rob FM

    Rob FM Second Unit

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    Just as an FYI, I think the /S "Switch" has been disabled for Windows 2000. No more transferring just the System files (Io.sys, Command.com, and.....that other one)
     
  15. Brian_Gruver

    Brian_Gruver Auditioning

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    I agree with the gent who recommended Partition Magic. It is an awesome tool. It allows you to do all or most of your disk management through a Windows GUI interface. Check it out here.
     

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