mformat(1)                  General Commands Manual                 mformat(1)

       mformat - add an MSDOS filesystem to a low-level formatted floppy disk

Note of warning
       This  manpage  has  been  automatically generated from mtools's texinfo
       documentation, and may not be entirely accurate or complete.   See  the
       end of this man page for details.

       The mformat command is used to add an MS-DOS file system to a low-level
       formatted diskette. Its syntax is:

       mformat [-t cylinders|-T tot_sectors] [-h heads] [-s sectors]
         [-f size] [-1] [-4] [-8]
         [-v volume_label]
         [-F] [-S sizecode]
         [-M software_sector_size]
         [-N serial_number] [-a]
         [-C] [-H hidden_sectors] [-I fsVersion]
         [-r root_sectors] [-L fat_len]
         [-B boot_sector] [-k]
         [-m media_descriptor]
         [-K backup_boot]
         [-c clusters_per_sector]
         [-d fat_copies]
         [-X] [-2 sectors_on_track_0] [-3]
         [-0 rate_on_track_0] [-A rate_on_other_tracks]

       Mformat adds a minimal MS-DOS file system (boot sector, FAT,  and  root
       directory) to a diskette that has already been formatted by a Unix low-
       level format.

       The following options are supported: (The S, 2, 1 and M options may not
       exist  if  this  copy  of  mtools  has been compiled without the USE_2M

       The following options are the same as for MS-DOS's format command:

       v      Specifies the volume label. A volume label identifies  the  disk
              and  can  be  a  maximum  of  11  characters. If you omit the -v
              switch, mformat will assign no label to the disk.

       f      Specifies the size of the DOS file system to format. Only a cer-
              tain  number of predefined sizes are supported by this flag; for
              others use the -h/-t/-s flags.  The  following  sizes  are  sup-

              160    160K,  single-sided,  8  sectors  per track, 40 cylinders
                     (for 5 1/4 DD)

              180    160K, single-sided, 9 sectors  per  track,  40  cylinders
                     (for 5 1/4 DD)

              320    320K,  double-sided,  8  sectors  per track, 40 cylinders
                     (for 5 1/4 DD)

              360    360K, double-sided, 9 sectors  per  track,  40  cylinders
                     (for 5 1/4 DD)

              720    720K,  double-sided,  9  sectors  per track, 80 cylinders
                     (for 3 1/2 DD)

              1200   1200K, double-sided, 15 sectors per track,  80  cylinders
                     (for 5 1/4 HD)

              1440   1440K,  double-sided,  18 sectors per track, 80 cylinders
                     (for 3 1/2 HD)

              2880   2880K, double-sided, 36 sectors per track,  80  cylinders
                     (for 3 1/2 ED)

       t      Specifies the number of tracks on the disk.

       T      Specifies  the  number of total sectors on the disk. Only one of
              these 2 options may be specified (tracks or total sectors)

       h      The number of heads (sides).

       s      Specifies the number of sectors per track. If the 2m  option  is
              given,  number  of 512-byte sector equivalents on generic tracks
              (i.e. not head 0 track 0).  If the 2m option is not given,  num-
              ber  of physical sectors per track (which may be bigger than 512

       1      Formats a single side (equivalent to -h 1)

       4      Formats a 360K double-sided disk (equivalent to  -f  360).  When
              used  together  with  -the  1 switch, this switch formats a 180K

       8      Formats a disk with 8 sectors per track.

       MS-DOS format's q, u and b options are not supported, and s has a  dif-
       ferent meaning.

       The following options are specific to mtools:

       F      Format the partition as FAT32.

       S      The size code. The size of the sector is 2 ^ (sizecode + 7).

       X      formats  the  disk  as  an  XDF  disk. See section XDF, for more
              details. The disk has first to be low-level formatted using  the
              xdfcopy  utility  included in the fdutils package. XDF disks are
              used for instance for OS/2 install disks.

       2      2m format. The parameter to this option describes the number  of
              sectors  on track 0, head 0. This option is recommended for sec-
              tors bigger than normal.

       3      don't use a 2m format, even if the current geometry of the  disk
              is a 2m geometry.

       0      Data transfer rate on track 0

       A      Data transfer rate on tracks other than 0

       M      software  sector  size. This parameter describes the sector size
              in bytes used by the MS-DOS file system. By default  it  is  the
              physical sector size.

       N      Uses  the  requested  serial  number,  instead of generating one

       a      If this option is given, an Atari style serial number is  gener-
              ated.  Ataris store their serial number in the OEM label.

       C      creates the disk image file to install the MS-DOS file system on
              it. Obviously, this is useless on physical devices such as flop-
              pies  and  hard  disk  partitions,  but is interesting for image

       H      number of hidden sectors. This parameter is useful  for  format-
              ting  hard disk partition, which are not aligned on track bound-
              aries (i.e. first head of first track doesn't belong to the par-
              tition, but contains a partition table). In that case the number
              of hidden sectors is in general the number of sectors per cylin-
              der. This is untested.

       I      Sets  the  fsVersion id when formatting a FAT32 drive.  In order
              to find this out, run minfo on an existing FAT32 drive, and mail
              me  about  it, so I can include the correct value in future ver-
              sions of mtools.

       c      Sets the size of a cluster (in sectors).  If this  cluster  size
              would generate a FAT that too big for its number of bits, mtools
              automatically increases the cluster size, until the FAT is small

       d      Sets  the  number  of FAT copies. Default is 2. This setting can
              also be specified using the MTOOLS_NFATS environment variable.

       r      Sets the size of the root directory (in sectors).  Only applica-
              ble  to  12  and 16 bit FATs. This setting can also be specified
              using the MTOOLS_DIR_LEN environment variable.

       L      Sets the length of the FAT.

       B      Use the boot sector stored in the given file or device,  instead
              of using its own.  Only the geometry fields are updated to match
              the target disks parameters.

       k      Keep the existing boot sector as much  as  possible.   Only  the
              geometry  fields  and other similar file system data are updated
              to match the target disks parameters.

       K      Sets the sector number where  the  backup  of  the  boot  sector
              should be stored (only relevant on FAT32).

       m      Use  a  non-standard  media  descriptor  byte for this disk. The
              media descriptor is stored at position 21 of  the  boot  sector,
              and  as  first byte in each FAT copy. Using this option may con-
              fuse DOS or older mtools version, and may make the disk  unread-
              able. Only use if you know what you are doing.

       To format a diskette at a density other than the default, you must sup-
       ply (at least) those command line parameters that  are  different  from
       the default.

       Mformat returns 0 on success or 1 on failure.

       It  doesn't record bad block information to the Fat, use mbadblocks for

See Also
       Mtools' texinfo doc

Viewing the texi doc
       This manpage has been automatically  generated  from  mtools's  texinfo
       documentation.  However,  this  process is only approximative, and some
       items, such as crossreferences, footnotes and indices are lost in  this
       translation process.  Indeed, these items have no appropriate represen-
       tation in the manpage format.  Moreover, not all information  has  been
       translated into the manpage version.  Thus I strongly advise you to use
       the original texinfo doc.  See the end of this manpage for instructions
       how to view the texinfo doc.

       *      To  generate a printable copy from the texinfo doc, run the fol-
              lowing commands:

                     ./configure; make dvi; dvips mtools.dvi

       *      To generate a html copy,  run:

                     ./configure; make html

       A premade html can be found at `

       *      To  generate  an  info  copy (browsable using emacs' info mode),

                     ./configure; make info

       The texinfo doc looks most pretty when printed or as html.  Indeed,  in
       the  info  version  certain  examples  are difficult to read due to the
       quoting conventions used in info.

mtools-4.0.18                       09Jan13                         mformat(1)
Man Pages Copyright Respective Owners. Site Copyright (C) 1994 - 2022 Hurricane Electric. All Rights Reserved.