How to Format Hard Drive Using Command Prompt & Formatting Tool

Jean updated on May 13, 2019 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

Diskpart 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 in solving some device related issues. 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 the specific drive can be put into use on Windows, Mac or other platforms.
  • 2. To clean install Windows OS on a hard drive, formatting is the primary job.
  • 3. The hard drive is corrupted or develops bad sectors. Or the access is denied due to the RAW file system, then Windows asks you to format it before you can use.

Actually, there are still many situations that require you format your hard disk. Generally, there are three ways to initiate the task, either using Windows quick format, Windows command prompt, or a free third-party hard drive format tool.

Windows quick formatting 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 users, who get used to managing a computer with diskpart command.

Second, average users who are with little technical background are not suggested to format with cmd for 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.

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

How to Format Hard Drive from Command Prompt

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

How to Format Hard Drive with Hard Drive Formatting Software

The recommended hard drive formatting software 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: Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: Then you will see a warning window, click "OK" in it to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting the partition on your hard drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

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.

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 Windows 10 is supported


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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

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Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.