MKNTFS(8) System Manager's Manual MKNTFS(8)
mkntfs - create a NTFS 1.2 (Windows NT/2000/XP) file system
mkntfs [ -s sector-size ] [ -p part-start-sect ] [ -H heads ] [ -S sec-
tors-per-track ] [ -c cluster-size ] [ -L volume-label ] [ -z mft-zone-
multiplier ] [ -f | -Q ] [ -n ] [ -q ] [ -v ] [ -vv ] [ -C ] [ -F ] [
-I ] [ -V ] [ -l ] [ -h ] device [ number-of-sectors ]
mkntfs is used to create a NTFS 1.2 (Windows NT 4.0) file system on a
device (usually a disk partition). device is the special file corre-
sponding to the device (e.g /dev/hdXX). number-of-sectors is the num-
ber of blocks on the device. If omitted, mkntfs automagically figures
the file system size.
Specify the size of sectors in bytes. Valid sector size values
are 256, 512, 1024, 2048 and 4096 bytes per sector. If omitted,
mkntfs attempts to determine the sector-size automatically and
if that fails a default of 512 bytes per sector is used.
Specify the partition start sector. The maximum is 4294967295
(2^32-1). If omitted, mkntfs attempts to determine part-start-
sect automatically and if that fails a default of 0 is used.
Note that part-start-sect is required for Windows to be able to
boot from the created volume.
Specify the number of heads. The maximum is 65535 (0xffff). If
omitted, mkntfs attempts to determine the number of heads auto-
matically and if that fails a default of 0 is used. Note that
heads is required for Windows to be able to boot from the cre-
Specify the number of sectors per track. The maximum is 65535
(0xffff). If omitted, mkntfs attempts to determine the number of
sectors-per-track automatically and if that fails a default of 0
is used. Note that sectors-per-track is required for Windows to
be able to boot from the created volume.
Specify the size of clusters in bytes. Valid cluster size values
are powers of two, with at least 256, and at most 65536 bytes
per cluster. If omitted, mkntfs determines the cluster-size from
the volume size. The value is determined as follows:
lB lB lB l l r. Volume size Default cluster size 0 -
512MB 512 bytes 512MB - 1GB 1024 bytes 1GB -
2GB 2048 bytes 2GB + 4096 bytes
Note that the default cluster size is set to be at least equal
to the sector size as a cluster cannot be smaller than a sector.
Also, note that values greater than 4096 have the side effect
that compression is disabled on the volume (due to limitations
in the NTFS compression algorithm currently in use by Windows).
Set the volume label for the filesystem.
Set the MFT zone multiplier, which determines the size of the
MFT zone to use on the volume. The MFT zone is the area at the
beginning of the volume reserved for the master file table
(MFT), which stores the on disk inodes (MFT records). It is
noteworthy that small files are stored entirely within the
inode; thus, if you expect to use the volume for storing large
numbers of very small files, it is useful to set the zone multi-
plier to a higher value. Note, that the MFT zone is resized on
the fly as required during operation of the NTFS driver but
choosing a good value will reduce fragmentation. Valid values
are 1, 2, 3 and 4. The values have the following meaning:
lB lB lB lB c l. MFT zone MFT zone size multiplier (% of
volume size) 1 12.5% (default) 2 25.0% 3 37.5%
-f Same as -Q.
-Q Perform quick format. This will skip both zeroing of the volume
and bad sector checking.
-n Causes mkntfs to not actually create a filesystem, but display
what it would do if it were to create a filesystem. All steps of
the format are carried out except the actual writing to the
-q Quiet execution; only errors are written to stderr, no output to
stdout occurs at all. Useful if mkntfs is run in a script.
-v Verbose execution.
-vv Really verbose execution; includes the verbose output from the
-v option as well as additional output useful for debugging
-C Enable compression on the volume.
-F Force mkntfs to run, even if the specified device is not a block
special device, or appears to be mounted.
-I Disable content indexing on the volume. (This is only meaningful
on Windows 2000 and later. Windows NT 4.0 and earlier ignore
this as they do not implement content indexing at all.)
-V Print the version number of mkntfs and exit.
-l Print the licensing information of mkntfs and exit.
-h Print the usage information of mkntfs and exit.
mkntfs writes the backup boot sector to the last sector of the block
device being formatted. However, current versions of the Linux kernel
(all versions up to and including todays 2.4.18) either only report an
even number of sectors when the sector size is below 1024 bytes, which
is the case for most hard drives today (512 bytes sector size) or they
return the correct number but accessing the last sector fails. Either
way, this means that when a partition has an odd number of 512-byte
sectors, the last sector is either not reported to us at all or it is
not writable by us and hence the created NTFS volume will either have
the backup boot sector placed one sector ahead of where it should be or
it cannot be written at all. For this reason, mkntfs marks the NTFS
volume dirty, so that when you reboot into Windows, check disk runs
automatically and creates a copy of the backup boot sector in the cor-
rect location. This also has the benefit of catching any bugs in mkntfs
as check disk would find any corrupt structures and repair them, as
well as report them. - If you do see any problems reported, please
report the messages to the author.
There may be other bugs. Please, report them to the author.
This version of mkntfs has been written by Anton Altaparmakov
<aia21ATcantab.net> (if that fails, use <antonaATusers.net>).
mkntfs is part of the ntfsprogs package and is available for download
from http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=13956 in
source (tar ball and rpm) and pre-compiled binary (i386 rpm and deb)
ntfsprogs version 1.9.4 March 2002 MKNTFS(8)