format drive: [/q] [/c] [/x] [/fs:file-system] [/r:revision] [/v:label] [/p:count] [/?]
Tip: See How To Read Command Syntax if you're not sure how the format command syntax above works.
drive: = This is the letter of the drive/partition that you want to format.
/q = This option will quick format the drive, meaning it will be formatted without a bad sector search. I do not recommend doing this in most situations.
/c = You can enable file and folder compression using this format command option. This is only available when formatting a drive to NTFS.
/x = This format command option will cause the drive to dismount, if it has to, before the format.
/fs:file-system = This option specifies the file system you want to format the drive: to. Options for file-system include FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, or UDF.
/r:revision = This option forces the format to a specific version of UDF. Options for revision include 2.50, 2.01, 2.00, 1.50, and 1.02. If no revision is specified, 2.01 is assumed. The /r: switch can only be used when using /fs:udf.
/v:label = Use this option with the format command to specify a volume label. If you don't use this option to specify a label, you'll be asked to after the format is complete.
/p:count = This format command option writes zeros to every sector of the drive: once. If you specify a count, a different random number will be written to the entire drive that many times after the zero writing is complete. You can not use the /p option with the /q option. Beginning in Windows Vista, /p is assumed unless you use /q [KB941961].
/? = Use the help switch with the format command to show detailed help about the command's several options, including ones I did not mention above like /a, /f, /t, /l, /n, /s, and /d. Executing format /? is the same as using the help command to execute help format.