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Dated: Feb. 20, 2010

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Format a Floppy Disk

Before you can use a disk, you must format it.


  1. At the C:\> prompt type: format a:
  2. The A drive will be the drive that you insert your disk into; hence, the a: after the Format command and press return.
  3. You will be prompted with the message: "Insert new diskette for drive A: and press enter when ready."
  4. Now insert the disk you wish to format and press return.
  5. Once this formatting process is done, the following message will appear: "Format Completed." Then you will be prompted for a volume label. Simply press return again.
  6. Now you will be asked if you would like to format another disk (Y/N)? Press N.

NOTE: If you receive a message like: "Track 0 bad" or "Disk unusable," your disk may be the wrong capacity. You can get help with this error message by typing: Help Format.

Change the Default Drive

To change from your hard drive to a floppy drive, you will need to indicate this change as follows:


  1. Put a floppy disk into drive A.
  2. Type: a: and press return.
  3. Your prompt should change to A:\>
  4. Type: dir and press return.
  5. You are now able to see all the files on the floppy.
  6. To change back to your hard drive, you will need to reverse this procedure.
  7. Type: c: and press return. Now your prompt should be C:\>

Diskcopy Command

Sometimes there is a need to copy all the files on one floppy diskette to another floppy. First you will need a blank formatted disk (refer to section on formatting disks.)


  1. Type: diskcopy a: a: and press return.
  2. When asked to put in the source disk, put in the diskette that has the information you want to copy into drive A and press return.
  3. Wait a few seconds. When asked to insert a target disk, take out the diskette from drive A and insert the blank floppy disk and press return.
  4. Once this process is complete, you will be prompted to write to another duplicate diskette (Y/N). Press N.
  5. Then you will be prompted to copy another disk (Y/N)? Press N.

NOTE: If your machine has two floppy disk drives, insert the original (source) disk into drive A and the blank (target) disk into drive B. Then type: DISKCOPY A: B:

Copying a File from the Hard Drive to a Floppy Disk

Sometimes there is a need to copy a file from the hard drive onto a floppy disk. This is helpful if you would like to have an extra copy of a certain file as a backup or to transport the copied file to another computer.


  1. Type: copy a: and press return.
  2. Wait for a few seconds, notice the red light on the floppy drive. Never attempt to remove a disk from the disk drive while this red light is on.
  3. To check to see if the file was copied, type a: at the C:\> prompt and press return.
  4. Type: dir and press return.
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