While working on computers on a daily basis, most of us might have formatted our C drive once in a while. The reasons for formatting your main partition may vary from malware attacks to erasing data. If your system has crashed due to some error, then formatting the C drive is usually the ultimate solution.
However, formatting the C drive from the same system that you’re working on might not be a good idea. That would be like cutting the branch of a tree that you’re sitting on, it can’t be done. One of the ways to format your C drive is by making use of a System Repair Disc.
In this article, we are going to describe steps to format the C drive of a PC using a system repair disc. For the process, we will need to create a system repair disc from a Windows 10, 8 or 7 PC. All the steps required to successfully format a C drive of a PC is given below.
HOW TO FORMAT C DRIVE IN A PC
Step I: Create a System Repair Disc of Windows:
You could create a system repair disc from any version of windows such as Windows 10, 8 or 7. If you don’t have access to any other systems containing these operating systems, you could ask your friend who has and asks him to create a system repair disc.
Step II: Boot to the System Repair Disc:
After the system is turned on, insert the disc and click on the ‘press any key to boot from CD or DVD’ option provided at the start. Sometimes, windows automatically detect the repair disc and only displays the “Windows is Loading Files…” message.
Step III: System Recovery Options
Select the preferred language and the keyboard input method and click on Next to continue.
Step IV: Selecting the Operating System
After clicking on Next, another system recovery window will appear, as shown in the figure below. From the window, select the option of “Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows…” and select the desired operating system and click on the Next option.
Sometimes, your operating system might not be displayed if you’re using a Windows XP, you can just click on next in such scenarios.
Step V: Choose Command Prompt from the System Recovery Options
From the list of methods displayed, click on the option of ‘Command Prompt’.
This Command Prompt is fully functional and provides all the commands that can be used from the inside of the system.
Step VI: In the command prompt, type the following command and press Enter.
“format c: /fs: NTFS”
The format command used in the prompt will format the C drive using the NTFS file system. The drive containing the Windows files, usually represented as the C drive, may not be identified as the C drive from a System recovery disc.
Many windows installations have made use of the D drive instead of C. Hence, make sure that you input the correct drive name for formatting.
Step VII: Enter the Volume label
“Enter current volume label for drive C”
Enter the volume label you have provided for the drive you’re formatting when asked.
If the C drive has an already assigned label, then you will be asked to enter the volume label for the drive.
If you have not given any name to the drive, then the above command won’t appear. You can move on to the next step.
Step VIII: After the format command, input Y and press enter when the following screen appears:
Before the above step, make sure that you’re using the correct drive as all of the data present in the mentioned drive would be erased and cannot be undone. This process will remove your current operating system and prevent your system from starting up until a new OS has been installed.
Step IX: After the format, enter a new volume label:
The format may take time depending on the size of the drive being formatted. Once the format process is finished, you will be asked to enter a new volume label for the formatted drive. Enter your desired volume label and press the Enter key.
Step X: Remove the repair disc and turn off the computer.
The command “Creating file structures…” would be displayed on the screen. Wait till the file structures are created and once the command prompt reappears, remove the system repair disc and turn off your computer.
You don’t have to exit the command prompt, just turn off your system.
With the above step, the formatting of your C drive is completed. You have removed your entire operating system from the computer and it won’t boot up until you install a new operating system.
Unless you install an operating system, you will be greeted with the “BOOTMNGR is missing” or the “NTLDR is missing” errors.
Thus you have successfully formatted your C drive.
As you know formatting the drive erases entire data, the first thing you need to do is taking the backup of all the important data files in some other drive or any removable storage device. In case you forgotten to back up your files, and after formatting the C: drive, if you realize that some files are important, how will you get back those files?
Recovering Files from Formatted Drive:
Many data recovery tools are available online to recover deleted files from C drive after formatting, partition corruption, accidental deletion, or due to any reasons. Yodot Hard Drive Recovery is one among the top data recovery tools. The software scans each and every sector of the formatted drive and recovers over 300 types of files in a few minutes. Demo version of the software is available for free download, and one can preview the recovered files prior to purchasing the licensed version of this tool.