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       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 filesystem to a low-level formatted diskette.
       Its syntax is:

       mformat [-t cylinders] [-h heads] [-s sectors]
         [-f size] [-1] [-4] [-8]
         [-v volume_label]
         [-F] [-S sizecode] [-X]
         [-2 sectors_on_track_0] [-3]
         [-0 rate_on_track_0] [-A rate_on_other_tracks]
         [-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]

       Mformat  adds  a  minimal  MS-DOS  filesystem  (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 option)

       The following options are the same as for 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, mlabel will assign  no  label  to  the

       f      Specifies  the  size  of  the  DOS  filesystem  to format. Only a certain number of
              predefined sizes are supported by this flag; for others use the -h/-t/-s flags. The
              following sizes are supported:

              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.

       h      The number of heads (sides).

       n      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, number of physical sectors per track (which may be bigger than
              512 bytes).

       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 disk

       8      Formats a disk with 8 sectors per track.

       MSDOS format's q, u and b options are not supported, and s has a different meaning.

       The following options are specific to mtools:

       F      Format the partition as FAT32.

       S      The sizecode. 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 sectors 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 filesystem. By default it is the physical sector size.

       N      Uses the requested serial number, instead of generating one automatically

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

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

       H      number of hidden sectors.  This  parameter  is  useful  for  formatting  hard  disk
              partition,  which  are  not  aligned  on track boundaries (i.e. first head of first
              track doesn't belong to the partition, but contains a  partition  table).  In  that
              case the number of hidden sectors is in general the number of sectors per cylinder.
              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 versions 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 enough.

       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 applicable to 12 and 16 bit
              FATs. This setting can also  be  specified  using  the  MTOOLS_DIR_LEN  environment

       L      Sets the length of the FAT.

       B      Use  the  bootsector  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 filesystem data are updated to match the target disks parameters.

       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  confuse  DOS  or  older  mtools  version,  and may make the disk
              unreadable. Only use if you know what you are doing.

       To format a diskette at a density other than the default, you must supply (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 that.

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 representation 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 following 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), run:

                     ./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.