Partition Magic - Partition Manager Software

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Formatting Hard Disks

  • Within each of the partitions information has to be organized in a way understandable for the operating system that uses the partition. This organization is the file system. Format and location of information (the logical structure of a partition) for MS-DOS and Windows is created by the FORMAT program.

    FORMAT program performs the following functions:
    • It creates the boot record
    • It creates the file allocation table (FAT)
    • It marks bad clusters so they are not ever used afterwards
    After formatting logical disks created by the FDISK program are organized as follows:
    • Logical disks start with the boot sector
    • One or several copies of file allocation table (FAT) are placed after the boot sector
    • Next goes the root folder
    • Next goes the data area
    Each logical disk has to be formatted with FORMAT separately.

    Formatting a partition is done by issuing a DOS command:


    To create a system (bootable) logical disk, it has to be formatted with FORMAT with /S parameter:

    FORMAT C: /S

    Another way is to transfer the system to the partition that has been formatted with /B parameter is booting the computer from a system diskette and issuing the command

    SYS C:

    IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM files that are necessary for the operating system to be booted are copied from the diskette to the disk. Initial loader code is written to the boot sector.

    • Other operating systems provide hard disk formatting means to create file systems that are recognizable by these OSes.