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cant fotmat hard drive

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Apr 5, 2002
i cant format my hard drive
i start it up with cd rom support , get it yo C: type format c: and it says bad command or file name
What bootdisk are you using?
What OS do you use?
I don't think that format will let your format the C drive if it is running from the C drive (cuz it would format over itself). I could be wrong though.... Try making a floppy boot disk and sticking format on it, then formatting from the A drive.

It sounds like you might need to make a new win98 bootfloppy. If you have access to win98, just make a new one and try it out. If not, I'm sure you can get a bootfloppy from a friend.

Once you make a new bootfloppy, try booting from it. You won't need CD-ROM support, so that can save you time booting up.

First, try formatting (format c:\) If that does not work with the new bootfloppy, type "fdisk". Use fdisk to delete the partitions and recreate them how you would like.

If you've played around with Non-MicroSoft OSes, you may have to "fdisk /mbr" to get rid of any bootloaders.

hope this helps
Here is a detailed tutorial of how to get into fdisk to format your hard drive:

Place a blank, formatted floppy in the drive of a working windows 9x, NT, 2k or, as far as I know, XP computer. Go to 'My Computer'. Right click on the floppy drive and select format. FInd the option to copy system files only. Select Start. When this completes, do a search for fdisk and copy the prog to the floppy too. Now boot the comp from the floppy and type fdisk. You will want to delete the primary dos partition, then create a new one, using all the space on the drive, with support for large hard drives, etc.

Now boot from the windows CD. It should prompt you to format the drive...

Ta Da!

If it sounds like I've done this a few times, well...

I have

The reason you can't format from the boot disk is that M$ does not install "format.com" on the boot floppy. It is only located on the Win 98 CD. If you have another computer you can copy the "format.com" file from windows onto the floppy and then format directly from the floppy.

What Gnufish says is right, but it is complicated. Fdisk is a very confusing program. I have used it a thousand times and I get confused every time! Maybe that's why computers are referred to as "confusers."
Go to www.bootdisk.com and download the boot for your O/S onto a floppy. Leave floppy in the drive and reboot your system. Get your c:/ prompt and type format c: ( c:/ format c: ). I believe, at bootdisk.com there are some tutorials on formating and partitioning you may want to read. I think there are some here too.
Good luck. :)
last time I checked, when you boot into DOS on a windows-based PC, fdisk.exe is found at A:>fdisk and format.exe is found at D:>format (or the first virtual drive after your last physical hdd)...so you would have to run format from there, not C:>...after windows starts your computer, it will tell you "the diagnostic tools have been successfully loaded to drive X"...that drive is where format will be.


after fdisk...

X:>format c: /q (or/u)

/q just writes the FAT tables...
/u checks the disk, then writes the FAT tables
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with a WINDOWS 98 CD-ROM
boot from the CD
at the prompt, move to CD-ROM Drive

d:\> x: (were x is your CD-ROM)

x:\> cd\win98 (the win98 dir on the cd-rom)

x:\> fdisk (if you havent set up partitions yet)

x:\> format c: (and the format will start)

all the files you need are in the X:\win98 dir on the win98 CD-ROM