Format...please explain!

  sorefingers 11:07 14 Jan 2003
  sorefingers 11:07 14 Jan 2003

I read that you only use the Format command with the following (/s) in order to prevent the loss of the system files! (...what are these?). Can someone explain why/when you should use this extension and what does it do - as opposed to using the full Format command - which I believe wipes everything from your hard-drive!
Thanks for any help!

  Diemmess 11:16 14 Jan 2003

You are right... Format does wipe your drive:

If you use the switch " /s " this will put the system files on to the newly wiped HD.

Whether or not you need these files depends on why you formatted in the first place.

If the drive is for data you don't need the system files.

If you are going to install an operating system, this will put the required system files on there anyway.

  Mac & Beth 11:16 14 Jan 2003

Format with /s doesn't prevent the loss of system files just adds the system files to the disk after formatting it.

It makes the disk bootable. On a floppy it makes a boot disk and on a hard drive it makes a bootable drive ready for the installation of a Operating Systen without a Boot Disk.

  BlueMeanie 22:24 14 Jan 2003

The above comments are spot on.

Format will erase the Hard disk and prepare it for reinstalling the new operating system.

Try Format C: /c /u /s , This will format your hard disk, CHECK for bad spots, UNCONDITIONAL, ie will not save any previous info, SYSTEM and will install just three files (approx) so that the hard disk is bootable by the PC.


Format C: /q This would perform a QUICK format, takes just seconds, removes all files etc but does not do any checks. Only do this if you know the Hard drive is perfect. I use this when I am trying various options when making/repairs PC's.


This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

See iconic duo Smith and Foulkes' epic animation for the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts