SAMdisk — format

The format command performs a low-level format of tracks on the disk. In most cases this does NOT include file-system level structures.

Format Floppy

To format a floppy disk to the default SAM Coupé 10-sector format:

SAMdisk format a:

To format a floppy disk to the 18-sector format used by 1.44M DOS disks:

SAMdisk format a: -s18

The track size is too big for double-density, so high density is selected automatically.

Note: DOS/Windows will not recognise this as a usable disk as it does not include the required FAT filesystem structures. If you need that, write the disk image of a pre-prepared empty disk instead.

To unformat the first 4 cylinders on head 0:

SAMdisk unformat a: -c4 -h0

This writes empty tracks containing no sectors. It’s not suitable for erasing single-density media to re-use in a modern drive (with narrower head). For that you’ll need to use a demagnetiser.

Format Drive

To format a hard disk or compact flash card the default Atom Lite BDOS format:

SAMdisk format 1:

To format a drive to the legacy Atom BDOS format:

SAMdisk format 1: --atom

To wipe a drive, with simple zero-filling:

SAMdisk format 1: --no-sig