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Summary :

format hard drive from BIOS

Chances are that you are trying to format hard drive from BIOS for certain reasons. But can you really format hard drive from boot? If you can, how to do? Don’t worry, and you can get answers from this post. MiniTool Partition Wizard is one of the best boot managers to help format hard drive from BIOS in Windows 10.

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It is a common operation to format hard disk for installing Windows or other purposes. Also, many users ask on the forum about formatting hard drive from BIOS. Here is a typical case of formatting hard drive from BIOS raised by Windows user:

My computer is in a boot loop and it doesn't even get to the Windows logo. I need a way to format the from bios because I have no other way to format the drive. Am I able to format a hard drive from a bios? Thank you for any kind help! www.reddit.com

If you have the same problem and want to make this operation as well, you need to figure out firstly whether you can format your hard drive from BIOS in Windows 10 successfully.

Can We Format Hard Drive from BIOS?

Can we format hard drive from boot? The truth is we can’t! Actually, we cannot format any drive or partition directly from BIOS setting.

BIOS is an integral part of your computer and is the program that is made accessible to the microprocessor on an erasable programmable read-only memory chip. BIOS determines whether all of the attachments are in place and operational when you boot up your computer. Also, it loads the operating system into your computer’s random-access memory from the hard drive.

You should know that BIOS only supports detecting the hard drive and allows you to boot the computer from it. It is the operating system you boot up that allows you to format hard disk, except the current system drive.

Now that we cannot format hard drive from BIOS, why plenty of users still wonder if there is any method? The reasons are following:

  • To format the system partition or system disk for personal reason. If computer is booted from hard drive, it is impossible to format system partition/disk because the OS is installed on this drive.
  • To reinstall operating system. Reinstalling operating system requires format C partition and this format cannot be executed if computer is booted normally.
  • Something goes wrong with the bootable partition and the computer is unable to boot from it properly.

Although you are not allowed to format hard drive from BIOS, you can boot your Windows 10 PC from bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive by changing BIOS settings and then perform formatting. Here are 2 effective ways for you.

Note: The process of formatting will delete all the data on the system partition. You are strongly suggested to back up the partition in advance before formatting using either method.

Format Hard Drive from BIOS Using Windows Installation Media

You can use Windows installation media (a USB flash drive or DVD) to install a new copy of Windows, perform a clean installation or reinstall Windows 10. Of cause, you can format the system partition using Windows installation media.

To create the Windows installation media, you need the help of Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. If you have created installation media using this tool, either a bootable USB flash drive or the ISO file burned to a DVD, then just keep reading.

With the installation media in your hand, you can format hard drive from BIOS via Command Prompt or during Windows installation. Let’s see the specific steps.

Format Via Command Prompt

With Windows installation media, you can choose to format the system partition via Command Prompt. You can format it successfully with several simple commands, but things might be a little complicated when you try to find the system partition in Command Prompt. Here is the tutorial.

Step 1: Boot your computer from this installation media by setting it as the boot drive in BIOS.

Step 2: Once Windows Setup loads, you will be presented with a Windows Setup window like the following screenshot. In this interface, you need to set your preferred Language, Time and current format, and Keyboard, then click Next.

choose your Windows Setup options

Step 3: Click Repair your computer.

select Repair your computer

Step 4: Choose Troubleshoot among these options.

choose Troubleshoot

Step 5: Then you will get advanced options in the following page, just click Command Prompt to open it.

open Command Prompt

Step 6: You need to find the system partition first because the system partition might be shown with another drive letter here instead of letter C. To do that, just type the following commands one by one and hit Enter key after typing each command:

  • diskpart (to enter diskpart.exe)
  • list volume (to list all the existing volume)
  • exit (to exit diskpart.exe)
  • dir F: (to list the directory of the selected volume. F: can be replaced with the drive letter of any existing volume.)
Note: To find out the system partition, you need to see the directory of volumes one by one until you find it. If Windows is shown in the directory of the selected volume, then it is the system partition that you are finding.

find the system partition

Step 7: After finding the system partition, enter format F: /fs:ntfs (F should be the drive letter of the system partition you have found) and press Enter to format it to NTFS. Normally, we recommend to format the system partition to NTFS file system rather than FAT32 or exFAT for its better stability and higher security.

Note: If the selected volume has a label, you will receive a prompt requiring you to Enter current volume label for drive F: after entering the format command. You can find the label after entering command list volume in diskpart.exe.

format the system partition

Step 6: When you are prompted with a warning that you will lose all data on the selected volume, type Y and press Enter to confirm the formatting. Then you just need to wait until the process is completed.

Note: You cannot undo the format! Be sure that you want to format the system partition, because this will remove your operating system and prevent your computer from starting until you install a new one. Also, as mentioned before, you should make sure the drive is really the system drive.

Format During Windows Installation

Alternatively, you can format system partition when choosing to install Windows with installation media. Detailed tutorial is provided for you as well.

Step 1: When you get the following interface after finishing Step 1 and 2 mentioned above, select Install now instead of Repair your computer.

click Install now

Step 2: Then, you will get pages that require you to Enter Your Windows Product Key and Accept the License Terms. Just do as the messages prompt.

Step 3: Select the Custom installation when you get the following page.

select Custom installation

Step 4: Then you will get the following interface directly and all the partitions of installed drive(s) will be detected and displayed here. To format the system partition, you should select the partition first, then click Format among the listed options.

select the system partition and click Format

Step 5: You will get the following warning message after clicking Format, just click OK button to continue. After that, the system will be formatted successfully.

warning message

Format Hard Drive from BIOS Using MiniTool Boot Manager

Apart from Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, you can also use MiniTool Boot Manager Pro Ultimate to create bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive to format your hard drive from BIOS. 

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As a professional partition manager, MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you back up files from one drive to another to secure data and upgrade your hard drive without Windows reinstallation.

Compared with Windows installation media, the bootable media created by MiniTool Partition Wizard enables you to enter MiniTool Recovery Environment, rather than Win-PE. Most importantly, you don’t need to spend time finding the system partition because MiniTool Partition Wizard displays it directly and intuitively in the main interface.

To format the system partition with this convenient tool, just follow the instruction below.

Move 1. Create Bootable USB or CD/DVD

At first, you need to create a bootable USB or CD/DVD. The creation of both media is almost the same, here I will create a bootable USB flash drive as example.

Note: All the contents of the USB will be deleted when you make bootable media, please make sure all the important files have been backed up.

Step 1: Prepare a USB which is big enough to store the bootable media and connect it to a normally running computer. Run MiniTool Partition Wizard to get the main interface and click Bootable Media from the upper Tool Bar.

activate Bootable Media

Step 2: Then, you will get a pop-up window like the following screenshot. Please click WinPE-based media with MiniTool plug-in.

select the media type

Step 3: Next, you need to choose a destination for the bootable media. To create a bootable USB, please choose USB Flash Disk.

choose media destination

Step 4: In this interface you can see the process of creating bootable USB flash drive. When the operation has completed, please click Finish.

process interface of building bootable USB

Move 2. Format Hard Drive

After you finish creating a bootable USB flash drive, please connect it to the computer where you want to format hard drive from BIOS. Then, set it as the first boot device in BIOS to boot from this bootable USB.

With the preparatory work done, it’s time to format the hard drive. Just do as the following instruction to format hard drive with ease.

Step 1: MiniTool Partition Wizard will be launched automatically after successfully booting. If not, please click Partition Wizard of the list on the following page to launch the program in WinPE.

choose Partition Wizard

Note: You can also choose Command Console module to enter Command Prompt to format with cmd. The command used here is the same as that of formatting with Command Prompt in Windows. Please refer to the process of Formatting Via Command Prompt mentioned before.

Step 2: In the main interface, select the partition you want to format and click Format Partition from the left panel. Alternatively, you can right-click it and select Format from the context menu.

activate Format feature

Note: When you operate on the system partition, you will get a warning showing that formatting system partition may cause your computer to be unbootable. Just click Yes to continue if you confirm this change.

warning for formatting system partition

Step 3: Set Partition Label, File System and Cluster Size for the formatted partition, then click OK.

set for the formatted partition

Step 4: Click Apply button to confirm the pending operation.

click apply

Tip: After formatting, you can use MiniTool Partition Wizard as well to restore your lost data of this partition.

The above is all the steps to format hard drive from BIOS with the help of Bootable MiniTool Partition Wizard.

I learned two effective tools to help me format my hard drive form BIOS – Windows Installation Media and Bootable MiniTool Partition Wizard. Both are reliable and the steps are not so complicated. I share with you all and hope they will be helpful for you.Click to tweet

how to format a hard drive thumbnail
How to Format a Hard Drive with Ease in Windows 10/8/7?

Do you know how to format a hard drive? This post shows detail information about how to format a hard drive in Windows 10/8/7 and for Mac.

Read More

Bottom Line

I have separately introduced how to format hard drive from BIOS with Windows Installation and MiniTool Boot Manager. You can choose either mentioned tool to format your system partition with the tutorials above.

If you have any problems carrying out the two mentioned methods, please feel free to let us know by sending an email to [email protected] or leaving your doubts in the Comment Zone.

Format Hard Drive from BIOS FAQ

Can I reformat hard drive from BIOS?
You cannot format any hard drive from BIOS. If you want to format your disk but your Windows cannot boot, you have to create a bootable USB flash drive or CD/DVD and boot from it to perform formatting. You can also use a professional third-party formatter.
How do I completely format a hard drive?

If you want to completely move the data on your hard drive, performing format is not enough as others can restore the original data after formatting.

MiniTool Partition Wizard provides a feature of Wipe Partition to help you clean the data completely. After launching it, just select the target drive and choose Wipe Partition. Then, choose a wiping method, click OK and Apply to start wiping.

How do you format a hard drive in Windows 10?

To format a hard drive, you can use Disk Management, a built-in tool in Windows 10.

  1. Press Windows + R, input diskmgmt.msc and click OK.
  2. Right-click the drive you want to format and choose Format.
  3. Confirm the Volume label and File system for the drive.
  4. Check Perform a quick format.
  5. Click OK to start formatting.
How do I format my hard drive from Command Prompt?

To format hard drive from Command Prompt, you just need execute the following command one by one (* refers to disk or partition number):

  • List disk
  • Select disk *
  • List partition
  • Select partition *
  • Format fs=ntfs quick

After that, the selected drive should be formatted to NTFS file system.

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