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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Erasing a volume as DOS format

Erasing a volume as DOS format
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Milkyway Galaxy
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Apr 17, 2002, 11:33 PM

I would like to erase a volume of my hard drive as a DOS-formatted volume. When I select my disk, and do Special > Erase disk..., I get the usual "Completely erase disk..." modal dialog box. However, in the Format: pop-up field, their are only two choices: HFS and HFS+ ! What happened to DOS-formatted disk? I'm almost sure it was possible to do so from the OS. I also tried using Disk First Aid, but that gives me the exact same dialog box with only those two options. I could start up from a CD and use Drive Setup, but that doesn't allow you to erase/initialize an individual volume, just the entire disk -- which isn't what I want.

I tried selecting all different kinds of volumes I have on my desktop: different sizes and HFS/HFS+ combinations -- but I always got that same dialog box with only those two options.

So how do I accomplish this? Please advise.
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Apr 18, 2002, 12:03 AM
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Mac Elite
Join Date: May 1999
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Apr 18, 2002, 12:34 AM
It's been a while, but aren't you able to format floppies as DOS format, not hard drives?

I don't recall ever seeing the option to format a hard drive as DOS format.

Mind you, I can't ever think I've needed to, so I haven't looked that closely.

Even so, FAT has a size limit of 4GB (you can't have a FAT volume larger than this), so even if the OS supports formatting DOS volumes, it might be smart enough to realize that the volume you're formatting is too large for the FAT file system.
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