General discussion


I had a few diskettes (3 1/2" high density which had data on them in Fat 32 file system)which I deleted, and then I tried to format these diskettes again. I get a message "unable to format - the file system is RAW." Why did this happen? How can I format these in the Fat 32 mode? My machine is a P3-733 MHZ, running Win XP Pro with the NTFS file system.I tried formatting them from Command Prompt too: Format a: /u but no dice. Any help would be appreciated. I know, diskettes are cheap these days and I could just throw them away, but for me it is learning process.

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When you format a floppy from WinXP

When you format a floppy from WinXP you should only see a selection for the ''FAT'' File System (actually I believe it is FAT16).

My own WindowsXP Pro system uses NTFS on my hard drive, but the only selection I have, when going to format a floppy, is ''FAT''

There are outside tools, that I've see, that may give possibilities to format a floppy with NTFS or FAT12 and a couple other file systems as well, but doing so will not be useful to the common user. As far as I have seen, I have never seen a tool (or a reason) to format a floppy to FAT32 (the other file system that your WinXP might be using).

There is little reason for attempting other than FAT (FAT16) on a floppy. There is just not enough space on a floppy to gain any space advantage. Heck, most computers now don't even have floppy drives in them, unless you want to pay extra! and with USB drives being faster, smaller, and gobs more useful, most people don't see any use of a floppy anyway Wink.

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Formatting a 3.5" floppy from Win XP

I think my help request was not clear. Through ignorance I mentioned Fat 32. What I did was I clicked on my diskette drive icon and clicked on "format a:" A window popped up asking me to confirm and that I would lose all data on the diskette. I clicked OK. WinXP then tried to format the diskette and came back with the message: Unable to format this diskette. The file system on this diskette is RAW file system. I tried to "send" a small file to this diskette, & I get a message saying the diskette is not formatted, do you want to format? I click OK, and I get the same Raw file system message.

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are they really 1.4MB?

I know you said they were 1.4MB formatted floppies, but I ask you to re-verify.
The reason is because you can get that sort of error if you try to format a 720KB floppy to the higher density of 1.4MB.

The 1.4MB floppy is physically identifiably different by having TWO holes on the outer edge of the case. One hole, kati-corner from the ''angle-cut'' corner, which is the write-protect hole, the other being the hole=hi-density (1.4MB) identifier.

Have you got BOTH?
BTW, the write-protect hole, usually has the shutter slid over to block the hole, to allow you to write to (or format) the floppy. That isn't your problem, right now, because lacking that would report a wholly different, and more meaningful error.

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Formatting a 3.5" floppy from Win XP

Hi, Chuck,

Thank you for your post. Bingo, you got it, all four diskettes were double density (720K - single hole) Thank you so much for your perseverence. I guess the next two questions are:how do I format these from WinXP? If it is not possible, could I go through the command prompt, and what would be the command? Thanks for your help.

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try: FORMAT A: /T:80 /N:9

If your diskettes are the double-density (marked 2D, or 720KB) then you can format them with this DOS command, in WinXP (I just tried it, it worked):
FORMAT A: /T:80 /N:9

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FORMAT A: /T:80 /N:9

Hi ChuckT,
Once again, thanks a bunch for your help. Yes it worked just as you said. I wonder whether the for format command from WIN XP deleted the old FAT file system. I remember the old DOS command for this format was: FORMAT A: F:720. But the command has now changed. If you know of any helpful sites on the NET where I could get such info., I wonder if you could guide us. There must be a treasure trove out there.

Thank you.
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