A few years ago while working on another boot-related project, I had need of a scripted method of formatting a drive, silently and without user intervention (don’t ask).
After mucking around with the various IOCTL in the disk and volume management WIN32 APIs, I realized there was a much easier method. Windows has always shipped with a command-line format utility (aptly named “format”) that could technically be
coerced err convinced to do the job.
The only problem with format.com is its (understandable) reluctance to actually wipe a disk without the user explicitly OKing it. At the same time, there are quite a few developers out there doing low-level work that does not involve viruses or other malicious intent that are in need of a scripted format run. And, of course, the expectation is that the developer will obtain the user’s permission beforehand.
However when all is said and done, there’s no clean way of formatting a disk behind the scenes. Enter AutoFormat for Windows.
AutoFormat is a Windows utility to programmatically format a disk without user intervention. This is basically the Windows format utility somewhat lobotomized to “forget” to ask a user for permission before formatting a disk. It goes without saying: be careful when running using AutoFormat.com, and use at your own mortal peril!
AutoFormat.com takes exactly the same command-line parameters as the bog-standard format.com, and is for all intents and purposes one and the same – except it will not wait for the user’s say-so before formatting the target volume. It supports FAT, FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS.
Again, one last time: don’t use this for malicious intent (and don’t tell us if you do; we’ll be forced to take this down). This software shall be used for Good and not Evil. You shall only use this on a genuinely licensed copy of Windows.
And without further ado:
Alternatively, learn to use pipes:
echo y | format …