format

FORMAT.com

Format a disk for use with Windows.

Syntax FORMAT drive: [/FS:file-system] [/V:label] [/Q] [size] [/C]

Key /FS:file-system The file system (FAT or NTFS).

The NTFS file system does not function on floppy disks.

/V:label The volume label.

/Q Quick format.

/C Compression - files added to the new disk will be compressed.

[size] may be defined either with /F:size or /A:size

/F:size size is the size of the floppy disk (720, 1.2, 1.44, 2.88, or 20.8).

/A:size Allocation unit size.

Default settings (via /F) are strongly recommended for general use.

NTFS supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K. FAT supports 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K, 128K, 256K. NTFS compression is not supported for allocation units above 4096.

Example

@echo off

Echo Warning this will reformat the entire D: disk!

PAUSE

format D: /FS:NTFS /x

"The disks had a recording density of 1,100 bits per inch, and could move data out of the drive at 77 kilobytes per second" - Early hard drive specs.

Related:

Q314878 - Choosing Cluster Size when formatting a hard drive

Q252448 - How to create an NT Bootdisk

Floppy Disks - History from Wikipedia

Equivalent bash command (Linux): fdisk - Partition table manipulator for Linux