SOFTWARE

How to Run Diskpart Format Command in Windows 10

In computing, Diskpart is a command-line disk partitioning utility in Windows 2000 and later Windows operating systems. The utility can help you create a partition, delete a partition, format a partition, and so on. 

This post focuses on the Diskpart format command, showing how to use the command and how to use the command alternative: MiniTool Partition Wizard when the command does not work.

Diskpart Format

Diskpart format is a Diskpart command that can quickly format a disk or partition to FAT32 or NTFS in Windows 10/8/7. How to run the Diskpart format? The tutorial is detailed in the following part.

Run the Diskpart Format Command

Here is the tutorial on how to run the command.

Note: Make sure there is no important file on the drive that you want to format.

Step 1: Launch the Diskpart utility.

There are many ways to launch the Diskpart utility. Here takes one for example: 

  1. type cmd in the Windows search bar.
  2. right-click the search result and choose the Run as administrator option.
  3. type diskpart on the Command Prompt and hit the Enter key.

Step 2: Now the Diskpart utility is enabled. Then, you can run type the following commands one by one and hit the Enter key after typing each command.

Note: In the following commands, the symbol * refers to the partition number, and the symbol # refers to the file system to be formatted to, for example, format fs=ntfs quick, or format fs=fat32 quick.

list volume

select volume *

format fs=# quick

Well, the disk has been formatted by the Diskpart format command and can be used for storing files or other purposes.

The format command can be used with different parameters in Windows Recovery Environment. And the parameters are shown in the following screenshot.

Diskpart format parameters

Diskpart Format Alternative

You may find that Diskpart refuses to format a drive to FAT32 that is larger than 32GB and prompts a message saying, “the volume size is too big”. And you will run into the same issue if you try formatting such a drive using other Windows built-in formatting tools like Disk Management or the Format feature in File Explorer.

receive an error message

What to do if you want to format an over 32GB drive to FAT32? You can try MiniTool Partition Wizard, a professional partition manager that can complete the task with ease.

Here’re the steps to format a drive to FAT32 via MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to access its main interface.

Step 2: Locate the partition to be formatted and highlight.

Step 3: Choose the Format Partition feature from the left panel or right-click the partition to choose the Format feature.

Step 4: On the Format Partition window, choose FAT32 as the file system, and click the OK button.

Step 5: Click the Apply button to execute the pending task.

format a partition using MiniTool Partition Wizard

Now your drive should have been formatted to FAT32 by MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Bonus: Diskpart Format vs. Diskpart Clean

Some users have some confusion between Diskpart format and Diskpart clean. So, we would like to briefly talk about it.

Is the Diskpart format command the same as the Diskpart clean command? 

run Diskpart clean

The two commands have some similarities: whether you run the Diskpart format command or the Diskpart clean format, data on the target disk can be removed and the data can be restored, based on our tests.

The two commands also have some differences: running Diskpart format just removes data but the existing partitions remain, while running Diskpart clean removes existing partitions, making the whole disk unallocated. Moreover, you will see a window that promotes you to initialize the disk once you open Disk Management after running the Diskpart clean command.

unallocated space after running Diskpart clean

So, the Diskpart format command is not the same thing as the Diskpart clean command. If you just want to remove data on a disk, run the Diskpart command; if you want to remove data and all partitions on a disk, run the Diskpart clean command.

Summary

On Windows 10/8/7, running the Diskpart format command can help you format a drive quickly. But the command can’t work when the target drive is larger than 32GB, and in this case, you can try the command alternative: MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Then, running Diskpart format and Diskpart clean leads to different results. Therefore, run Diskpart format or clean Diskpart according to your needs.

Lastly, one thing, needing to be emphasized, is that make sure there is no important file on the drive before you format it in case of data loss. If you formatted a drive containing important files, don’t be panic as these files are still recoverable before you overwrite them. 

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