Cmd format: How to Format a Hard Drive Using the Command Prompt

Format — Format a disk — Windows CMD

Format — Format a disk — Windows CMD —

  • SS64
  • CMD
  • How-to

Format a disk for use with Windows.

      FORMAT volume [/FS:file-system] [/V:label] [/Q] [/L] [/A:size] [/C] [/I:state] [ /X] [/P:passes] [/S:state]
      FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q] [/F:size] [/P:passes]
      FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q] [/T:tracks /N:sectors] [/P:passes]
      FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q] [/P:passes]
      FORMAT volume [/Q]

   volume          The drive letter (followed by a colon), mount point, or volume name.

   /FS:file-system The type of the file system (FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, UDF, ReFS).
/V:label The volume label.
/Q Perform a quick format. This switch overrides /P (zero out bytes).
/C Compression - files added to the new disk will be compressed by default (NTFS only). /X Force the volume to dismount first if necessary. All opened handles to the volume would no longer be valid. /R:revision UDF only: Force the format to a specific UDF version (1.02, 1.50, 2.00, 2.01, 2.50). default= 2.01 /D UDF 2.50 only: Metadata will be duplicated. /L NTFS Only: Use large size file records. By default, the volume will be formatted with small size file records. /A:size Override the default allocation unit size. Default settings are strongly recommended for general use. See below for allocation unit sizes. NTFS compression is not supported for allocation unit sizes above 4096. /T:tracks The number of tracks per disk side. /N:sectors The number of sectors per track. /P:count Zero every sector on the volume. After that, the volume will be overwritten "count" times using a different random number each time. If "count" is zero, no additional overwrites are made after zeroing every sector. This switchis ignored when /Q is specified. /S:state Support for short filenames (enable, disable) Short names are disabled by default /I:state ReFS only: enable integrity on the new volume. "state" is either "enable" or "disable" Integrity is enabled on storage that supports data redundancy by default. /F:size The size of the floppy disk to format (720, 1. 2, 1.44, 2.88, or 20.8). /DAX[:state] NTFS Only: Enable direct access storage (DAX) mode for this volume. In DAX mode, the volume is accessed via the memory bus, boosting IO performance. A volume can be formatted with DAX mode only if the hardware is DAX capable. State can specify "enable" or "disable". * Windows 10+ /DAX is considered as /DAX:enable. /LogSize[:size] NTFS Only: The size for NTFS log file in kilobytes. The minimum supported size is 2MB, so specifying size smaller than 2MB will result in a 2MB log file. Zero indicates the default value which generally depend on the volume size. * Windows 10+ /NoRepairLogs NTFS Only: Disable NTFS repair logs. * Windows 10+ If the flag is set spotfix (i.e. chkdsk /spotfix) will not work. Allocation unit sizes: ReFS supports 64K. NTFS supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K. FAT supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K, (128K, 256K for sector size > 512 bytes). FAT32 supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K, (128K, 256K for sector size > 512 bytes). exFAT supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K, 128K, 256K, 512K, 1M, 2M, 4M, 8M, 16M, 32M.

The FAT and FAT32 files systems impose the
following restrictions on the number of clusters on a volume:

FAT: Number of clusters <= 65526

FAT32: 65526 < Number of clusters < 4177918


@echo off

Echo Warning this will reformat the entire D: disk!

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 commands

DISKPART — Disk Administration.
SYSPREP — (Generalize) a Windows installation.
Q140365 — Default cluster size for NTFS, FAT, and exFAT.
Q17423 — How to create a Bootdisk.

Equivalent bash command (Linux): mkfs, in FreeBSD & OSX: newfs, fsck_exfat


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How to Format Disk to exFAT in Command Prompt? [Ultimate Guide]

  • Partition Wizard

  • Partition Manager

  • How to Format Disk to exFAT in Command Prompt? [Ultimate Guide]

By Ariel | Follow |
Last Updated

A lot of users don’t know how to format disk to exFAT in Command Prompt Windows 10/11. In this post, MiniTool provides a full guide and an alternative if you format disk to exFAT via CMD.

exFAT is a file system developed by Microsoft in 2006. It broke through the limitation of the FAT32 file system for creating large partitions or saving files larger than 4 GB. It owns excellent compatibility that can work with all versions of Windows and certain versions of macOS.

It is an ideal choice for many flash drives, such as SD cards, USB flash drives, and PS4 hard drive. However, many users are confused about how to format drive to exFAT via CMD on Windows 10/11. Here’s a true example from the forum:

How to format drive to exFAT using Command Prompt in Windows 10? I have an internal hard drive that I use as storage where I dump the stuff I need as a backup. I want to format it to exFAT instead of NTFS so that it doesn’t have to deal with permissions. it only appears to be available to format as NTFS. Is there a way to force it to be formatted as exFAT?

How to Format Disk to exFAT in Command Prompt Windows 10/11

When it comes to formatting a hard drive, a lot of users may format it in Disk Management or File Explorer. However, they will find that Windows provides no exFAT format option for an internal hard drive. In this case, you have to format disk to exFAT in Command Prompt forcefully.

How to let CMD format drive to exFAT on Windows 10/11? The answer is Diskpart. It is a Windows built-in partition utility that can format/create/delete partitions via command lines. Here’s how to format drive to exFAT via CMD.

Step 1. Press Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box, and then type diskpart in it and press Enter. Then click on Yes to open the tool in Command Prompt.

Step 2. To format drive to exFAT via diskpart, you can type the following commands in order and press Enter after typing each one.

  • list disk
  • select disk * (* represent the disk number where the drive you want to format)
  • list partition
  • select partition * (* represent the partition number you want to format)
  • format fs=exfat quick

Sometimes, however, you may encounter various errors when formatting a drive, such as “Diskpart virtual disk service errors”, “DiskPart failed to clear disk attributes”, etc. What to do if you can’t format partition to exFAT in Command Prompt? Let’s keep reading.

How to Fix It If You Can’t Format Disk to exFAT via CMD

If there is no option to format drive to exFAT using Command Prompt on Windows 10/11, a professional disk formatting tool can help you. MiniTool Partition Wizard is such a tool that can format a drive to exFAT easily and quickly.

In addition, the MiniTool software breaks through many limitations of the Windows utility, such as “format a drive larger than 32 GB to FAT32, convert NTFS to FAT32 without data loss (vice versa), resize/move partitions, recover lost partitions, etc.” Here’s how to use it.

Free Download

Step 1. Launch the MiniTool software to enter its main interface, and then select the partition that you want to format and click on Format Partition from the left panel.

Step 2. Select exFAT from the File System drop-down menu and click on OK. Besides, you can set the exFAT cluster size and partition label from here according to your needs.

Step 3. Click on Apply to execute the formatting process.

Windows can’t make CMD format disk to exFAT for my internal hard drive. Fortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard provides this option.Click to Tweet

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How do I open a CMD file? File extension .CMD

Windows Command Format

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    Executable files

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What is a CMD file?

CMD is a file extension commonly associated with Windows Command Format files. The Windows Command Format specification was created by Microsoft. CMD file format is compatible with software that can be installed on Mac OS, Windows system platform. CMD file is categorized as Executable just like #NUMEXTENSIONS # of the other file extensions listed in our database. The most popular program for processing CMD files — Microsoft Windows , but users can choose from 7 different programs that support this file format. On the official website of the Microsoft Corporation developer, you will find not only detailed information about the Microsoft Windows software, but also about CMD and other supported file formats.

Programs that support CMD file extension

Below you will find an index of programs that can be used to open CMD files divided into 2 categories according to system platform supported. CMD files can be found on all system platforms, including mobile ones, but there is no guarantee that each will properly support such files.

Programs that support the CMD file


  • Adobe ExtendScript

  • Microsoft Windows

  • Notepad++ text editor

  • Nvu

  • PSPad

  • Windows Notepad

  • word pad


  • Parallels Desktop

How do I open a CMD file?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening CMD files on given system. What is important, all common issues related to files with CMD, extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is fast and does not require the participation of an IT specialist. The list below will guide you through the process of resolving your issue.

Step 1: Download and install Microsoft Windows

The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports CMD files installed on the system. The most obvious solution is to download and install Microsoft Windows or one of the following programs: WordPad, Windows Notepad, NotePad++ text editor. At the top of the page is a list of all programs grouped by supported operating systems. One of the safest ways to download software is to use official distributor links. Visit the Microsoft Windows website and download the installer.

Step 2: Make sure you have the latest version of Microsoft Windows

Still cannot access CMD files although Microsoft Windows is installed on your system? Make sure the software is up to date. It may also happen that software developers update their applications to add compatibility with other, newer file formats. The reason that Microsoft Windows cannot handle files with CMD may be that the software is outdated. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by previous versions of given program should also be able to be opened with Microsoft Windows.

Step 3: Set Microsoft Windows for CMD files

If you have the latest version of Microsoft Windows installed and the problem persists, set it as the default program to use to manage CMD on your device. The process for associating file formats with a default application may vary in detail depending on the platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Change default app in Windows

  • Right click on the CMD file and select «Open with option».
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • The last step is to select the option Find another application on this… specify the path to the folder where Microsoft Windows is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open CMD files and clicking OK.

Change default application in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with CMD extension, select Information
  • Find the Open with option — click the title if it is hidden
  • Select the appropriate software and save the settings by clicking Change all
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with CMD 9 extension0103 . Then click the Forward button to complete the process.

Step 4: Check CMD for errors

If the problem still occurs after steps 1-3, check if the CMD file is valid. Problems with opening a file can occur for various reasons.

1. Make sure the CMD is not infected with a computer virus

If the CMD is indeed infected, malware may be blocking it from opening. It is recommended to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. CMD file is infected with malware? Follow the instructions of the antivirus software.

2. Make sure the CMD file is complete and free of errors

If the CMD file was sent to you by someone else, ask that person to send you the file. While copying a file, errors can occur that make the file incomplete or corrupted. This may be the source of problems with the file. When downloading the file with the CMD extension from the Internet, an error may occur resulting in an incomplete file. Try uploading the file again.

3. Make sure you have the appropriate permissions

There is a possibility that this file can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Switch to an account with the required privileges and try opening the Windows Command Format file again.

4. Make sure the system has enough resources to run Microsoft Windows

If the system is overloaded, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with the CMD extension. In this case, close other applications.

5. Check if you have the latest operating system and driver updates

Up-to-date system and drivers not only make your computer more secure, but also can solve problems with Windows Command Format file. Outdated drivers or software may have resulted in the inability to use a peripheral device required to process CMD files.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the CMD file extension, we will be grateful if you share it with the users of our site. Use the form here and send us your CMD file information.

File Extension CMD — File Extension CMD

How to open CMD files

If you have a situation in which you cannot open a CMD file on your computer, there may be several reasons. The first and at the same time the most important (the most common) is the lack of a suitable application that supports CMD among those that are installed on your computer.

The easiest way to solve this problem is to find and download the appropriate application. The first part of the task has already been completed — you will find programs for servicing the CMD file below. Now it is enough to download and install the appropriate application.

This site defines other possible causes causing the problems with CMD files.

Possible problems with files in the CMD format

The inability to open and work with a CMD file does not mean at all that we do not have the appropriate software installed on our computer. There may be other problems that also block our ability to operate the Microsoft Windows Command Script Format file. Below is a list of possible problems.

  • Corruption of the CMD file being opened.
  • Incorrect links to the CMD file in registry entries.
  • Accidental deletion of the CMD extension description from the Windows registry
  • Incomplete installation of an application that supports the CMD
  • format

  • The CMD file which is being opened is infected with an undesirable malware.
  • There is not enough space on the computer to open the CMD file.
  • Drivers of equipment used by the computer to open a CMD file are out of date.

If you are sure that all of the above reasons do not exist in your case (or have already been excluded), the CMD file should work with your programs without any problems. If the problem with the CMD file has not been solved, it may be due to the fact that in this case there is another rare problem with the CMD file. In this case, only the help of a specialist remains.

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