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How to format a Drive using the Command Prompt in Windows 7

Description: If formatting a drive through Windows is unsuccessful, the Command Line becomes a very useful tool to complete the process.

  1. Open the Elevated Command Prompt by going to Start » All Programs » Accessories » Right-Click on Command Prompt and click Run as administrator. A prompt will appear for Administrator Access. Click Yes to allow.
    Windows 7 Start Menu, Command Prompt, Administrator
  2. Once in Command Prompt, type in Format X: (X being the drive to be formatted. If it’s a removable drive, make sure it is connected) and hit Enter. A confirmation will appear. Press Enter again.
    Windows 7 Command Prompt Window
    Windows 7 Command Prompt Window
  3. The formatting will begin. Depending on the size of the drive, it could take quite some time. The ETA is determined by the percentage completed.
    Windows 7 Command Prompt Window
  4. Once completed with the format, it will allow the Volume Label to be set or changed. To change it, type in the label desired. To proceed or skip, hit Enter.
    Windows 7 Command Prompt Window
  5. The format has now been completed and will display a summary of the drive. To exit, click the X in the top right corner, or, type Exit into the Command Line.
    Windows 7 Command Prompt Window