Formatting a New Floppy Disk in Windows Me

Some new floppy disks don't work straight out of the box; your computer burps out an error message if you even try to use them fresh. Floppy disks must be formatted, and unless you paid extra for a box of preformatted floppy disks, you must format them yourself. The My Computer program handles this particularly boring chore quite easily. It's still boring, though, as you'll discover when repeating the process 10 or 12 times — once for each disk in the box.

Here's the procedure:

1. Place the new disk into drive A or drive B.

2. In either Windows Explorer or the My Computer window, click the drive's icon with your right mouse button and choose Format from the menu.

3. If you're formatting a high-capacity disk in drive A, select the Full setting under Format type and select Start in the top-right corner.

Almost all disks are 1.44MB these days, so choose that option if you're not sure. Your disk drive whirs for several minutes, before announcing it's finished.

4. Click the Close button when Windows Me is through.

Then remove the floppy disk and return to Step 1 until you've formatted the entire box.

  • You can format disks in your drive B by clicking the drive B: icon with your right mouse button. Likewise, you can change a disk's capacity by clicking the little arrow in the Capacity box.

  • Don't get your hopes up: The Quick (Erase) option won't speed things up unless your disk has already been formatted once before.

  • In fact, if Windows Me ever goes on vacation, you should have an emergency disk. The Add/Remove Programs icon in the Windows Me Control Panel makes one for you. (The straight-faced Windows calls it a Startup Disk.)

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