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How To Use the Recovery Console to Format a Hard Disk in Windows 2000

This article was previously published under Q313672
This step-by-step article describes how to format a hard disk for use with Windows 2000 by using the Windows 2000 recovery console. To start the Recovery Console, start your computer by using either the Windows 2000 CD-ROM or the Windows 2000 Setup disks. Note that Windows 2000 Setup disks are not included with Windows 2000. For additional information about how to create Windows 2000 Setup disks, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
197063 How To Create Setup Boot Disks for Windows 2000
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Start the Recovery Console

  1. Insert either your Windows 2000 CD-ROM or the first Windows 2000 Setup boot disk into the proper drive, and then restart your computer.
  2. Press a key to start Windows 2000 Setup from your CD-ROM, or follow the instructions on the screen if you are using Windows 2000 Setup boot disks.
  3. At the Welcome to Setup page, press R to repair a Windows 2000 installation, and then press C to use the Recovery Console.
  4. In the Recovery Console, press the number key for the Windows 2000 installation that you want to repair, and then press ENTER. Note that if you press ENTER without pressing a number, the Recovery Console quits, and your computer restarts.
  5. When the Recovery Console prompts you for a valid administrator password, type your administrator password, and then press ENTER.
  6. At the command prompt, type format drive letter:, where drive letter is the letter of the drive you want to format. For additional information about switches that you can use with the format command, type format /?, and then press ENTER.
  7. When the format is complete, remove the CD-ROM or disk from the drive, type exit at the command prompt, and then press ENTER to restart your computer.
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For more information about the Recovery Console, please see the following Microsoft Web site:back to the top


Article ID: 313672 - Last Review: 03/27/2007 01:35:29 - Revision: 3.3

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB313672