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Replacement Utilities for MS-DOS FORMAT

This article was previously published under Q81283
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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SUMMARY
Third-party utilities, such as Norton Utilities by Symantec and PCTools by Central Point Software, give you the option of choosing analternative method of formatting hard disks and floppy disks.

These utilities rename the FORMAT utility that comes with MS-DOS. Ifyou are using one of these third-party utilities and you invoke theFORMAT command, you are probably formatting with that third-partyutility.

To use the MS-DOS FORMAT utility, change to the MS-DOS directory anduse the XXFORMAT or FORMAT! command.
MORE INFORMATION
Both Norton Utilities version 6.0 and PC Tools version 7.0 open agraphical dialog box that gives you formatting options, in contrast toMS-DOS, where options are text based. Other utilities and versions of theseproducts may or may not produce graphical dialog boxes, but the messagesdisplayed differ from those that MS-DOS displays.

Norton Utilities renames the MS-DOS FORMAT utility to XXFORMAT.*., andPC Tools changes the name to FORMAT!.*. For example, if your versionof MS-DOS has a FORMAT.EXE file, it is renamed to XXFORMAT.EXE orFORMAT!.EXE; if you have a FORMAT.COM file, it is renamed to XXFORMAT.COMor FORMAT!.COM.)

If you want all future FORMAT commands to be the MS-DOS version ofFORMAT, you can rename it to FORMAT.* from its present name, orretrieve it from the original MS-DOS floppy disk set. Microsoft alsorecommends that the MS-DOS directory be placed in the path before anyother utility, or the alternative (third-party) FORMAT utility may beinadvertently used.

If PC Tools is installed after Norton Utilities, PC Tools also renames theFORMAT utility associated with Norton Utilities, and any other FORMATprogram on the hard drive(s) to FORMAT!.*.

The products included here are manufactured by vendors independent ofMicrosoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding theseproducts' performance or reliability.
6.22 Safe Format, PCFormat 1.00 1.10 2.10 2.11 3.00 3.10 3.20 3.21 3.30 4.00 4.01 5.00 5.00a 6.00 6.20 PCTools 3rdparty
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Article ID: 81283 - Last Review: 05/12/2003 20:54:40 - Revision: 2.0

  • Microsoft MS-DOS 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 2.11 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.1
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.21 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.3 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.3a
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 4.01 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0a
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.21 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 Standard Edition
  • KB81283
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