Formatting drives using the Command Prompt (CMD) can be a powerful way to manage your storage devices. However, it’s essential to use this command with caution, as it erases all data on the selected drive.
step-by-step guide on how to format drives using CMD:
- Step 1: Open Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges (Fun Fact = you can also Press the “Windows + X” keys on your keyboard for a quick menu pop-up.)
From the menu that appears, select “Windows Terminal (Admin)” or “Command Prompt (Admin).” (On older Windows versions, choose “Command Prompt (Admin).”)
- Step 2: Identify the Drive – In the Command Prompt identify the drive letter of the disk you want to format by typing type the following command and press Enter:
followed by List Disk command and press Enter
This command will display a list of all the disk drives on your system along with their respective details, including the drive letters.
- Step 3: Select the Drive
Now that you know the drive letter of the target drive, proceed with caution to select the correct drive. Remember that selecting the wrong drive may result in data loss.
To select the drive, type the following command and press Enter, replacing “X” with the letter of the drive you want to format:
select disk X
- Step 4: Clean the Disk
Before formatting the drive, it is advisable to clean the disk, which removes any existing partitions or data on the drive. Use the following command to clean the disk:
- Step 5: Create a New Partition
After cleaning the disk, you can create a new partition using the following command:
create partition primary
- Step 6: Format the Drive
use the format command followed by the desired file system. i.e to format the drive with the NTFS file system, use the following command:
format fs=ntfs quick
The quick parameter is optional but recommended as it performs a faster format.
- Step 7: Assign a Drive Letter
After formatting, you need to assign a drive letter to the newly formatted partition so that it becomes accessible in File Explorer.
Use the following command to assign a drive letter (replace “Y” with the desired letter):
- Step 8: Exit CMD
To exit the Command Prompt, simply type:
After following these steps, the selected drive should be formatted and ready for use. Remember that formatting will erase all data on the drive, so be sure to have a backup of any important files before proceeding.