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How to Format Hard Drive Using Command Prompt & Format Tool

Posted on Jan 03, 2018 by Jean to Partition Master

Summary:
Go and format hard drive from command prompt or third-party free hard drive formatting tool in Windows 10, 8 and 7. Both methods are helpful, choose either of which according to your own preference.

Diskpart Format VS Hard Drive Formatting Software

Hard disk formatting, including any other storage devices such as USB flash drive, pen drive and memory card, is meaningful and helpful. Let's give some examples.

  • 1. Incompatible file system error - in most cases that you have to convert FAT32 to NTFS or NTFS to FAT32 by means of formatting so that a specific drive can put it in use on Windows, Mac or other platforms.
  • 2. To clean install Windows OS on a hard drive, formatting is the primary job.
  • 3. Hard drive corrupted, developed bad sectors, access denied due to RAW file system that Windows asks you to format before you can use it.

Actually, there are still many situations that require a format of your hard disk, and generally there are 3 ways to initiate the task, Windows quick format, Windows command prompt and a free third-party hard drive format tool.

Windows quick format is easy to get started but with limited functions. So the last two options become the best choices. What's the difference though? And which way fits you the best?

First, Hard disk formatting through Windows Command Prompt is widely known by typically higher-leveled users, who get used to managing a computer with diskpart command.

Second, average users who are with little technical background are not suggested to attempt formatting with cmd. It's prone to cause error such as diskpart has encountered an error access denied, and no professionals are there to give you a support.

Note - Both formatting solutions will erase hard drive data completely, so make sure that you have backed up all important data.

How to Format Hard Drive from Command Prompt?

To format a hard drive using cmd via Command Prompt, use the diskpart commands given below carefully. Try your best to avoid mistakes.

Step 1. In Windows 10, for example, type cmd in the search box, you can get the best match called Command Prompt. Right-click on it and choose Run as administrator.

Step 2. On the Command Prompt black window, type diskpart and press enter.

type diskpart to format hard drive with command prompt

Step 3. Now type list disk and press enter. All the disk drives will be listed, including your external drives that connected to the computer.

type list disk to format hard drive with command prompt

Step 4. Refer to the list disk information, type select disk + disk number, for example, select disk 1 and press enter. You're telling diskpart to format disk 1.

type select disk 1 to format hard drive with command prompt

Step 5. Go on to type clean. This step starts to clean up all files and folders on the selected hard disk.

type clean to format hard drive with command prompt

Step 6. Type create partition primary and press enter.

type create partition primary to format hard drive with command prompt

Step 7. After diskpart successfully created the specified partition, type format fs=ntfs (or format fs=exfat) and press enter. You're telling diskpart to format the drive with a file system, let it be NTFS, exFAT, etc.

type format fs=ntfs to format hard drive with command prompt

Step 8. At last, assign a drive letter to the newly created partition by typing assign.

type assign to format hard drive with command prompt

That's a complete guide of formatting hard disk with diskpart format commands. A little time consuming but still good to know the method.

How to Format Hard Drive with Hard Drive Formatting Software?

The recommended hard drive formatting software, tool or utility for Windows 10, 8, 7, XP or Vista is EaseUS Partition Master, a free partition manager that offers easy steps to format an internal HDD or external USB stick, pen drive or SD card. Much easier to handle than the command prompt.

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 Windows 10 is supported

Step 1. Make sure your target drive has been correctly connected to the computer. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, it will display all the drives available on Windows. Right-click on the desired drive partition and click Format partition.

select format partition to format hard drive with hard drive format tool

Step 2. Configure the label you want in the Partition Label box.

configure a label to format hard drive with hard drive format tool

Step 3. Select the file system type to be created from the "File System" drop-down list. (FAT/FAT32, NTFS, EXT2/EXT3). If the USB drive is larger than 4GB, you can only choose FAT32, NTFS or EXT2/EXT3; and if the partition is smaller than 4GB, you can choose FAT, FAT32, NTFS or EXT2/EXT3.

select a file system to format hard drive with hard drive format tool

Step 4. Choose the Cluster Size (512 bytes, 1, 2, 4...64KB) from drop-down list and click "OK" to apply the format operation.

choose a cluster size to format hard drive with hard drive format tool

Note: Smaller cluster size makes less wasting of disk space. The smaller cluster size is, the bigger file allocation table (FAT) will be. The bigger the FAT is, the slower the operating system works with the disk.

Step 5. Click "Apply" to confirm to format the selected drive partition.

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 Windows 10 is supported