How to Format a Hard Drive Using the Command Prompt

Formatting a drive is the same as buying a new hard drive since the process erases all the data in one fell swoop. When you format your hard drive, you can clean internal as well as external storage media.

In this tutorial, we explain how you can format a hard drive using the command prompt. Before proceeding further, make sure you backup all available data to prevent data loss. Follow the steps below to format a drive:

STEP 1:    Open Command Prompt As Administrator

Search for command prompt, right click and run as Administrator.

STEP 2:    Use Diskpart

Once command line is open, type 'diskpart' and press Enter.

STEP 3:    Type List Disk

The above command will open a Diskpart window. In this window, type 'list disk' and press Enter. It will list all the available drives.

STEP 4:    Select the Drive to Format

Now type 'select disk (disk number)' as shown above. Specify the drive number which needs to be formatted.

STEP 5:    Clean the Disk

In this step, type 'clean'. This command will permanent delete all files and folders, and successfully clean up the disk.

STEP 6:    Create Partition Primary

To make the drive again accessible, type 'create partition primary'.

STEP 7:    Format the Drive

Now format the drive with FAT or NTFS file system. Type 'format fs=ntfs' and press Enter.

STEP 8:    Assign a Drive Letter

To assign a drive letter, you can type 'assign' as shown below.

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  • ehmkec
    Am I missing something? Couldn't you just bring up a command prompt and type "format e:" - or some other drive letter?
  • tcaster6263
    would be kind of short for a tutorial don't you think?
  • polomint
    Or use Computer Management -> Disk Management if you want to remove all partitions on a drive then format it...