- 1 How to properly format a new hard drive on Windows 10
- 2 How to format existing partition using Disk Management
- 3 How to create and format partition using Disk Management
- 4 How do I initialize a brand new hard drive in Windows or Mac OS?
- 5 Create and format a hard disk partition
- 6 How to Format a New Internal Hard Drive or Solid State Drive
- 7 Formatting HDDs and SSDs in Windows
- 8 Data Management Made Easy
- 9 How to Format an External Hard Drive for Windows 10 : HelloTech How
- 10 How to Format a Hard Drive for Windows 10
- 11 How to Partition an External Drive in Windows 10
- 12 How to Format a Hard Drive in Windows
- 13 How to Format a Hard Drive in Windows
- 14 Formatting Deletes Data—But Doesn’t Always Erase It
- 15 More on Formatting Hard Drives in Windows
- 16 Ultimate Guide: How to Format a Hard Drive
- 17 How to format a hard drive on Windows
- 18 How to format a hard drive on Mac
- 19 Identify which drive you want to format
- 20 Choose the right file system
- 21 What about formatting external hard drives or flash drives?
- 22 What does formatting a hard drive do?
- 23 Is formatting the same as deleting, erasing, wiping, reformatting?
- 24 Do new hard drives need formatting?
- 25 How long does it take to format a hard drive?
- 26 Keep your hard drive performing at its best
How to properly format a new hard drive on Windows 10
When connecting a new internalorexternalhard drive to Windows 10, it’s critical to take the time to format the drive before saving anything on it. To ensure that the disk is empty, functioning as anticipated, and devoid of malicious software that may otherwise destroy the existing setup and files, you should do this procedure. It’s also critical to format the storage device to check that it’s operating at the right settings and that there are no compatibility issues. When you format a hard drive, all of the data on the drive is erased since part of the process involves emptying the file system table, which keeps track of the locations of the files that have been written to the disk.
However, the system will continue to detect the prior data, but it will recognize that information as accessible storage space for the purpose of storing further data.
The instructions in this Windows 10 article will lead you through the process of correctly formatting a conventional hard drive or Solid-State Drive (SSD), regardless of whether it already has a partition or was never initially formatted in the first place.
- On Windows 10, it’s critical to spend the necessary time formatting a new internal or external hard drive before storing any files on it. To ensure that the disk is empty, functioning as anticipated, and devoid of malicious software that may otherwise compromise the existing setup and files, you should perform this procedure. a. It’s also critical to format the storage device to verify that it’s operating at the appropriate settings and that there are no compatibility issues afterwards. The data on your computer’s hard drive will be erased whenever you format it. This is because formatting a hard drive includes emptying the file system table, which keeps track of where all of the files that have been written to the drive have been placed. When the procedure is finished, it will specify the location where files will be kept, and it will apply a compatible file system (such as NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT) to arrange the newly created information. However, the system will continue to detect the prior data, but it will recognize that information as accessible storage space for the purpose of storing more information. When it comes to formatting a hard disk in Windows 10, there are several choices available, but utilizing Disk Management is arguably the most convenient for the majority of users. The steps in this Windows 10 article will lead you through the process of correctly formatting a conventional hard drive or Solid-State Drive (SSD), regardless of whether it already has a partition or was never started in the first place.
How to format existing partition using Disk Management
When dealing with a drive that already has a partition, you may format the existing partition to remove all of the contents on the drive and start over with a fresh set of storage space on it. The following are the steps to format a partition using Disk Management:
- The formatting of an existing partition allows you to remove all of the contents on the drive and begin with a fresh storage space when working with a disk that has already been partitioned. The following procedures should be followed in order to format a partition with Disk Management:
Once you have completed the instructions, the utility will format the selected partition on the hard drive, and you will be able to begin storing data on the partition you selected.
How to create and format partition using Disk Management
You will not be able to utilize a hard drive that has not been partitioned and formatted since it will not be visible in File Explorer. You will need to start the hard drive, create a new partition, and then format it before you can use it. If a hard disk does not have any partitions, you can usually tell since it does not display in File Explorer and does not appear as unallocated space in Disk Management when you look at it. Follow these instructions to install a new hard disk with raw space on your Windows 10 computer:
- You will not be able to utilize a hard drive that has not been partitioned and formatted since it will not be visible in File Explorer. You will need to initialize the hard drive, create a new partition, and then format it in order to use it. If a hard drive does not have any partitions, you can usually tell because it does not display in File Explorer and does not appear as unallocated space in Disk Management when you look at the disk. These are the procedures to follow in order to configure a new hard disk with raw space on Windows 10.
- For hard drives smaller than 2TB in capacity, the Master Boot Record (MBR) is used
- For hard drives bigger than 2TB in size, the GUID Partition Table (GPT) is used.
- Windows Central is the source of this information. Click on theOKbutton
- Right-click on theUnallocated spacepart of the storage and pick theNew Simply Valueoption from the context menu
- Windows Central is the source of this information. To proceed, click theNextbutton. If you’re going to use the full hard drive to store data, keep the default size in the “Simple volume size in MB” area of the configuration window. Alternatively, provide the amount of space in megabytes that you wish to dedicate to the partition
- And/or Windows Central is the source of this information. To proceed, click theNextbutton. Select a new drive letter from the drop-down option labeled “Assign the following drive letter.” Windows Central is the source of this information. To proceed, click theNextbutton. Using the “File system” drop-down menu, pick the NTFS option (which is highly recommended for Windows 10)
- Select the Default option from the “Allocation unit size” drop-down menu
- Fill in the “Value label” box with a descriptive name for the storage device
- And Check the option to “Perform a fast format”
- Windows Central is the source of this information. Fast tip: To do a complete format, which includes a disk check, uncheck the quick format option in the Advanced Options menu. If you choose the full format option, keep in mind that it may take several hours to complete depending on the size of the document. Remove the checkmark from theEnable file and folder compressionoption
- Click theNextbutton
- And then click theFinishbutton.
The new hard drive will be started, partitioned, and correctly formatted when you have completed the stages in this procedure. If the drive is displaying issues while using the Disk Management tool, either as a consequence of data corruption or another issue, you can address the problem by using theDiskPart command-line tool. Although we’re concentrating on Windows 10, the information in this article should be applicable to Windows 8.1 as well as Windows 7.
More Windows 10 resources
More useful information, coverage, and answers to frequently asked concerns regarding Windows 10 may be found at the following websites and resources:
- Everything you need to know about Windows 10 on Windows Central
- Help, hints, and tips for using Windows 10
- Windows 10 discussion boards are available on Windows Central.
How do I initialize a brand new hard drive in Windows or Mac OS?
Prior to being able to access a newly created or formatted drive in your operating system, you must first initialize the drive and then establish a partition on the drive. A partition designates a portion of the hard disk that will be used for data storage. A file system is used by the partition (for example, ex-FAT, NTFS, and so on).
Initialize a drive
Remember that you should only initialize a drive if it is the first time you use it. If you are unable to locate an uninitialized disk in Disk Management, proceed to the next step and attempt to partition your device instead.
- To enter Computer Management, press theWindowskey + R, type compmgmt.msc, and clickRun
- Navigate toDisk Management
- And, when requested, initialize your drive (s). If you are operating Windows ®7 or later and you are utilizing a hard drive that is greater than 2TB, you should initialize the disk(s) with the GPT partitioning scheme. For older versions of Windows, you must initialize the disk(s) with the MBR (Master Boot Record). For further information, please see the following frequently asked questions: ClickOK
Create a partition in a drive
To launch Computer Management, press the Windowskey + R, type compmgmt.msc, and then clickRun. Then navigate toDisk Management and initialize your drive when requested (s). You should use GPT to start your disks if you are operating Windows ®7 or later and your drive is greater than 2TB. Initialize the disk(s) using the MBR if you are using an earlier version of Windows. You may find out more by looking at these Frequently Asked Questions: ClickOK;
- Right-click UnallocatedorRAWvolume and pick New Simple Volume from the context menu. To proceed with the New Partition Wizard, select Next. Choose the primary partition
- Continue by leaving the partition size at its default setting and clicking Next
- Then, either assign it a drive letter or leave it at the default setting, and clickNext. In order to format the partition, you must enter the following settings:
- Then, in the File System area, type NTFS. Set the size of the allocation unit to the default value. Fill in the labelfield with your name or reference number
- Check the option that says “Perform a fast format.” Remove the check mark from theEnable file and folder compressioncheck box.
Ntfs is entered into theFile System box. The default unit size for the allocation unit has been set to default. Specify your name or reference in theVolume labelfield Check the box labeled “Perform a fast format.” Disable file and folder compression by unchecking the option.
Prior to being able to access a newly created or formatted drive in your operating system, you must first initialize the drive and then establish a partition on the drive. A partition designates a portion of the hard disk that will be used for data storage. There is a file system in use on the partition (for example, HFS+, ex-FAT, NTFS, and so on).
Initialize a drive
When Mac OSX finds a disk that needs to be initialized, it will automatically prompt you to do the necessary actions. If you are requested to initialize the drive, select Initialize from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, if you are not requested to initialize the drive and the drive cannot be found in Finder, you will need to create a partition on the disk.
Create a partition on a drive
Please keep in mind that the following procedures generate an HFS+ (Mac OS Extended (Journaled)) partition that takes up the full available disk space. Create a partition on a new disk by following the steps outlined below:
- Open the Finder, navigate to Applications, and then select Utilities. This will launch the Disk Utility. Make a selection of the new drive and then select thePartitiontab
- Check the GUID Partition Table setting by clickingOptions and selecting it from the drop-down menu. Specify what the partition will be called. ClickPartition
The drive should now be visible in the Finder’s File Explorer. For items that are relevant to this article, please visit this page.
Create and format a hard disk partition
Create a partition or volume on a hard drive while signed in as an administrator. There must be either unallocated disk space or open space inside an expanded partition on the hard disk before you can proceed with the operation. It is possible to generate more disk space if there is no available unallocated space by downsizing an existing partition, removing a partition, or using a third-party partitioning application.
- Selecting theStartbutton will bring up the Computer Management window. Afterwards, go to Control PanelSystem and SecurityAdministrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management. SelectDisk Management from the Storage section of the left pane. Create a new simple volume by selecting New Simple Volume from the context menu of a previously unallocated section on your hard disk. Next should be selected in the New Simple Volume Wizard. Select Next after entering the size of the volume you wish to create in megabytes (MB) or accepting the maximum default size, and then clicking Finish. After selecting Next, accept the default drive letter or pick a different drive letter to designate the partition
- Then click Finish. Select one of the following options from the Format Partitiondialog box:
- By selecting theStartbutton, you can access Computer Management. Afterwards, go to Control PanelSystem and SecurityAdministrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management
- SelectDisk Management from the Storage section on the left pane. Select New Simple Volume from the context menu of a previously unallocated region on your hard disk. Continue to the next step in the New Simple Volume Wizard. The size of the volume you wish to create in megabytes (MB) or the maximum default size should be entered, and then click Next. After selecting Next, accept the default drive letter or pick a different drive letter to identify the partition. Select one of the options from the Format Partitiondialog box:
The first three partitions you create on a basic drive will be formatted as Primary Partitions, and the rest will be as secondary partitions. Beginning with the fourth, each one will be setup as a logical drive within an extended partition, with the exception of the first two.
Warning: Formatting a disk will completely wipe out all data contained within the partition. Before you begin, make a copy of any data you wish to keep safe on your computer.
- Selecting theStartbutton will bring up the Computer Management window. Afterwards, go to Control PanelSystem and SecurityAdministrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management. SelectDisk Management from the Storage section of the left pane. Format a volume by selecting it from the context menu of the right-clicking mouse button. When prompted, choose OK twice in the Formatdialog box to format the volume with the default settings. When prompted, press OK once more.
- You will not be able to format a disk or partition that is presently in use, including the partition that houses the Windows operating system. The option to do a fast format will produce a new file table, but it will not completely overwrite or wipe the contents on the drive. It is far faster to do a rapid format than it is to perform a conventional format, which completely erases all data on the disk.
How to Format a New Internal Hard Drive or Solid State Drive
When a disk or partition is actively in use, including the partition that houses Windows, it is not possible to format it. The option to do a fast format will generate a new file table on the volume, but it will not completely overwrite or destroy the data on the disk. When compared to a standard format, which completely erases all data on the disk, a quick format is far quicker.
Formatting HDDs and SSDs in Windows
Formatting a data drive is wiping it clean and resetting the drive’s internal file system to use a certain format, such as FAT32, NTFS, EXT4, or another format. The format of a certain file dictates how precisely individual bits should be recorded on the hard disk for that file. Formatting disks is not a tough operation with Windows 10, thus it is not the method itself that is problematic. The most difficult element is gaining the courage to follow the directions and complete the task on your own – yet even that isn’t that difficult.
1. Launch Disk Management
To do so, most people start by going to the Start Menu and typing in “Drive Management,” which brings up a Control Panel option named “Create and format hard disk partitions.” Disk Management will be launched when you click on it. If you’re using Windows 8.1 or 10, though, there’s a quicker way: press Win + X to access the Power Menu, then clickDisk Management. There are other options as well, but they are superfluous when you can just do what you’re doing.
2. Partition the Data Drive (optional)
Partitioning is the process of dividing a physical data disk into many distinct portions, which are known as partitions. This allows you to take a 500 GB disk and divide it into, say, two partitions of 300 GB each and another of 200 GB each. As a result, Windows will see it as two independent disks (C: and D:, for example). Multiple partitions can also be combined to form a single larger partition. It is not required to complete this step because most current drives are already arranged as a single partition by the manufacturer; although you should consider separating your drive for better organization.
For further information on how to partition disks in Windows, please see our guide on partitioning drives in Windows.
3. Format the Right Drive
Look through the list of volumes at the top of the screen until you discover the disk that you want to format. Please keep in mind that, despite the fact that I saiddrive, Disk Management really formats individualpartitions. It’s important to remember that Windows treats each partition as a distinct disk, which means you may format them individually. To format a drive, pick Format from the context menu by right-clicking on the drive. Please make absolutely certain that this is the drive you desire!
Note: Unformatted drives will display as RAW under the File System column, whereas formatted drives will appear as either FAT32 or NTFS under the File System column.
Linux disks are typically formatted as EXT4. Please keep in mind that you are unable to format the Windows system disk (usually the C: drive but not always). It is necessary to use more advanced procedures in order to format the Windows drive, which is outside the scope of this tutorial.
4. Select the Right Settings
The drive’s name is shown by theVolume Label. You’ll see something similar in File Explorer while you’re viewing This Computer. Any name you desire as long as it is solely comprised of letters and numbers will suffice for now. You’ll want to select NTFS as the file system for your computer. As of this writing, it is the most contemporary file system supported by Microsoft, and most modern data storage devices, particularly solid-state drives (SSDs), are suited for it. If you are unable to utilize NTFS for whatever reason, FAT32 is an acceptable alternative (unless you need support for file sizes greater than 4 GB, in which case you should use exFAT).
- We recommend that you uncheck the box.
- When it is enabled, the drive is presumed to be error-free, and all of its contents are just recorded as destroyed, with the exception of the partition table.
- The drawback is that it takes somewhat longer, whereas a rapid format is virtually immediate in comparison.
- Enable file and folder compression since it can have a negative influence on your drive’s overall performance on a daily basis.
5. Format and Finish
A warning about losing data will appear when you click OK. Before you proceed, double-check that the drive does not contain any essential information. And if it does, create a backup of the information and store it in a secure location. Click “OK” once again, and your drive will appear in Disk Management with the status “Formatting” under the Status column. Wait for it to complete its task – this might take several minutes or even hours if you opted to follow a conventional procedure. Once it’s completed, you’re finished!
Data Management Made Easy
Keeping your drives organized and clean is simple if you know what you’re doing and how to accomplish it. It is impossible to overstate the importance of keeping up with the filling of drives and the refreshing of your system on a regular basis. Everything has a shelf life, and data drives are no exception to this rule. Hard drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) both degrade with time; the only question is how long they will endure. So be sure to familiarize yourself with the warning indications of a failing hard drive as well as the warning signals of a failing solid state drive.
11 Incredible Android Apps That Will Transform the Way You Use Your Phone Here is a list of the most fantastic Android applications that will completely transform the way you use and interact with your smartphone on a daily basis.
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How to Format an External Hard Drive for Windows 10 : HelloTech How
While the vast majority of external hard drives are pre-configured to function with Windows PCs, there are occasions when you will need to format one. You could want a drive that is compatible with both Macs and PCs, or you might want to partition it so that it can be used in two distinct formats at the same time. How to format an external hard drive for Windows 10 and how to partition an external hard drive are both covered here.
How to Format a Hard Drive for Windows 10
Please keep in mind that formatting your disk will completely remove all of the files currently stored on it. As a result, if your external hard disk already contains essential files, make a copy of them before continuing.
- Connect your external hard drive to a Windows computer using the included USB cable. Your computer will immediately recognize your external hard drive if it is functioning properly, and the disk will display in the This PC window under Devices and Drives alongside your internal drives if it is functioning properly. Alternatively, it may be found in the File Explorer’s left-hand sidebar. Note: If you have already used your external hard drive on a PC, make a copy of any data that were stored on it. When you format your hard disk, all of the data on it is erased. Format the external hard disk by selecting it with the right-click menu. Select a file system format from the File System drop-down menu. Windows systems will automatically choose NTFS (New Technology File System) as the default file system because it is the native Microsoft filing system. However, if you want your external hard drive to run on both a Mac and a PC, you need use the exFAT file system. Note that the exFAT file system is only compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.5 or later, as well as Windows XP SP3 or later. Select Quick Format from the drop-down menu and press Start. Depending on the size of the disk and whether or not there are files to be destroyed on it, this might take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes to complete. When the Format Complete pop-up screen opens, click OK to proceed.
You now have a hard drive that has been formatted for Windows; but, what if you wanted to use it with Mac computers as well as Windows machines? Partitioning a hard disk is a simple method of creating a drive that is compatible with both Mac and Windows. The drive will be divided into two forms, one for Mac users and another for PC users. Here’s how you can go about it:
How to Partition an External Drive in Windows 10
- Start by typing “diskmgmt.msc” into the Windows search box and pressing the Enter key. The Windows Search Box is represented by the magnifying glass icon located in the lower-left corner of your screen. Shrink the volume of your external hard drive by selecting it from the context menu. You may also try reformatting the drive to NTFS and restarting the computer if this option is not accessible. Enter the amount of space you wish to save by reducing your volume by this amount. The remaining space will be indicated in megabytes
- Then click on the Shrink button to reduce the size of the file. This will divide the hard disk into two halves, with one portion becoming unallocated space and the other becoming allocated space. Select New Simple Volume from the context menu of the unallocated space on your hard drive
- Then click Next
- And then specify the size of the partition you wish to create. If you wish to make use of the remaining space, enter the amount of disk space specified above the limit. Then select the drive letter you wish to use by pressing the Next button. Letters that have already been allocated to other drives will not appear on this list, so don’t be concerned if you see any letters that are missing. Simply select one of the drive letters that are still accessible. Select a format from the File System drop-down menu. Because NTFS is Microsoft’s native file system, Windows will automatically select it for you. However, if you want your external hard drive to run on both a Mac and a PC, you need use exFAT, which is an updated version of the FAT32 file system. Note that the exFAT file system is only compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.5 or later, as well as Windows XP SP3 or later. Select Quick Format from the drop-down menu and then click Next. Finally, press the Finish button. If a pop-up window opens, instructing you to format the disk, select Format Disk from the menu. It will then be possible to access the newly formatted disk without any further action.
The ability to partition your external hard drive will allow you to carry out actions on a single piece of the drive without impacting the remainder of the disk. If you’re looking for information on how to format a hard disk on a Mac, see our prior post here. Stock is available for $15.99. As of 9:05 a.m. on January 31, 2022, three new items were available for purchase for $15.996 and two used items were available for $14.07 The most recent update was made on January 31, 2022 at 9:05 a.m.
How to Format a Hard Drive in Windows
- The ability to partition your external hard drive will allow you to carry out actions in a specific region of the drive without impacting the remainder of the drive. You can find more information on how to format a hard drive for a Mac in a previous article, which you can see here. Stock is available for $19.99. Currently, as of January 31, 2022, 9:05 a.m., 3 new from $15.996 used from $14.07 The most recent update occurred at 9:05 a.m. on January 31, 2022.
In order to format a hard drive, you must first erase any information stored on the drive and then set up a file system that will allow your operating system to read data from the drive as well as write data to it. If you intend to use a hard disk in Windows, you must first format it before proceeding.
How to Format a Hard Drive in Windows
To format a hard disk in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, simply follow these simple instructions: If the hard drive you wish to format has never been used before or has recently been wiped clean, you will need to partition the hard drive first before proceeding. Return to this page for assistance with formatting the drive after it has been partitioned.
- Use the hard drive manager available with all versions of Windows, Disk Management, to organize your files. You may access Disk Management in a variety of methods depending on your operating system, but the quickest and most straightforward technique is to run the command disk mgmt.msc in the Run dialog box or the Start menu. Another way to access Disk Management is through the Control Panel
- Once Disk Management has been launched (which may take several seconds), locate the disk you need to format in the list at the top of the window that appears. You can maximize the window if you can’t see everything in Disk Management because there is a lot of information to examine. Look for the amount of storage space available on the drive, as well as the drive name, on the computer. For example, if the drive name is Music and the drive has 2 GB of hard drive capacity, it is likely that you have picked a little flash drive that has a lot of music. If opening the drive to ensure that it is the device you wish to format gives you confidence that you are formatting the correct device, go ahead and do so. If you don’t see the drive displayed at the top of the screen, or if anInitialize Diskwindow shows, it’s likely that the hard drive is brand new and has not yet been partitioned properly. Before a hard drive can be formatted, it must first be partitioned. Once you’ve located the drive you want to format, right-click it and select Format from the context menu to launch the disk-formatting process. This is as good a moment as any to remind you that you absolutely, positively, positively must be certain that you are driving in the correct direction. You surely don’t want to make the mistake of formatting the wrong hard disk.
- Existing Drive: If you’re formatting a drive that you’ve been using and that has data on it, double-check in Explorer that the drive letter you’re choosing here in Disk Management is the same as the drive letter that you see in Explorer that has the information you want to erase. If it isn’t, proceed to the next step. Most users will not be able to retrieve their data from a formatted hard drive once it has been formatted. Disk Management’s File Systemcolumn, located at the very top of the window, is an excellent method to determine whether or not you’re working with the correct disk while formatting a new one. File systems such as NTFS and FAT32 will be displayed on your existing drives, but a new, unformatted disk will display RAW.
- Already-Used Drive: If you’re formatting a drive that you’ve been using and that has data on it, double-check in Explorer that the drive letter you’re selecting here in Disk Management is the same as the drive letter that you see in Explorer that holds the information you want to wipe. Most users will not be able to retrieve their data from a formatted drive once it has been formatted. Disk Management’s File Systemcolumn, located at the very top of the window, is a wonderful method to determine whether or not you’ve chosen the correct disk while formatting a new one. File systems such as NTFS and FAT32 will be displayed on your current drives, but RAW will be displayed on a new, unformatted disk.
- Existing Drive: If you’re formatting a drive that you’ve been using and that has data on it, double-check in Explorer that the drive letter you’re picking here in Disk Management is the same as the drive letter that you see in Explorer that holds the information you want to delete. Most users will not be able to retrieve their data from a formatted hard drive once it has been formatted. Disk Management’s File Systemcolumn, located at the very top of the window, is a wonderful method to determine whether or not you’ve selected the correct disk while formatting a new one. However, a fresh, unformatted disk will display the file system RAW rather than the file systems NTFS or FAT32
- If you’re still not sure why these are the greatest solutions, go back and review whatever steps you took previously. Windows is generally quite good at alerting you when you are about to perform anything potentially harmful, and a hard disk format is not an exception to this rule. To dismiss the warning window about formatting the hard disk, press OK. If you click OK, all of the information on this disk will be deleted, just as the warning indicates it would be. The format process cannot be stopped halfway through and expect to get back half of the data you’ve invested. Once this process begins, there is no turning back the clock. Even though there is no need for this to be frightening, it is important that you recognize the finality of a format
- The hard drive format has begun. You may monitor the process by looking at theFormatting: xx percent indication under theStatuscolumn in the top area of Disk Management, or by looking at the graphical depiction of your hard drive in the bottom portion of Disk Management. In the event that you choose a fast format, formatting your hard disk should just take a few seconds. It is almost entirely dependent on the size of the drive whether you choose the normal format, which we recommend, or the custom format, which we do not recommend. In comparison, formatting a tiny drive will take only a short period of time, but formatting a huge drive will take a very long time. It is important to note that while the speed of your hard drive and the overall performance of your computer play a role, it is primarily determined by its size
- Because Disk Management in Windows will not flash a big “Your Format is Complete!” message when the format percentage indicator reaches 100 percent, wait a few seconds and then check again underStatusto make sure it is still listed as healthy like your other drives. You may have noticed that, now that the format has been completed, the volume name has been changed to what you specified (New Drive in our example) and the percent Freeis shown as 100 percent on the screen. There is some overhead involved, so don’t be concerned if your disk isn’t fully empty
- That’s all there is to it! You may now use your hard disk in Windows because it has been formatted and is ready to go. You may use the new drive as you choose, whether it’s for data backup, storing music and films, or anything else. You should update the drive letter that has been allocated to this drive as soon as possible
- Else, you will lose your data.
Formatting Deletes Data—But Doesn’t Always Erase It
If you’re still not sure why these are the greatest solutions, go back and review any stages you missed. Generally speaking, Windows is quite good at alerting you when you are about to perform anything potentially harmful, and a hard disk format is no exception. Select “OK” when prompted by the warning notice about formatting the disk. By clicking OK, you will be erasing all of the data on this disk, just as the warning indicates will happen. In order to receive half of your data back, you cannot cancel the format process halfway through.
- There is no reason for this to be frightening, but we do want you to grasp the finality of a format; the hard disk format has begun!
- In the event that you choose a fast format, formatting your hard disk should take only a few seconds.
- In comparison, formatting a tiny drive will take only a short period of time, but formatting a huge drive will take an extremely lengthy time.
- Because Disk Management in Windows will not flash a big “Your Format is Complete!” message when the format percentage indicator reaches 100 percent, wait a few seconds and then check again underStatusto make sure it is listed as “Healthy” like your other drives.
- There is some overhead involved, so don’t be concerned if your hard disk isn’t fully empty; that’s all there is to it, really.
You may use the new drive as you wish, whether it’s for data backup, music and video storage, or something else entirely. You should update the drive letter that has been allocated to this drive as soon as possible; otherwise, you will lose the ability to access it.
More on Formatting Hard Drives in Windows
If you wish to format your hard drive so that you may reinstall Windows from the beginning, your hard disk will be formatted automatically as part of the process of doing so. Theformat command may also be used to format a hard disk from the Command Prompt window. Thank you for informing us about this!
Ultimate Guide: How to Format a Hard Drive
If you wish to format your hard drive so that you may reinstall Windows from the beginning, your hard drive will be formatted automatically as part of the procedure. Theformat command may also be used to format a hard disk from the Command Prompt. Congratulations on notifying us!
How to format a hard drive on Windows
If you’re using Windows 10, formatting a hard disk is nearly identical to formatting a hard drive on Windows 7. There are certain differences in the formatting process depending on whether you are formatting the primary drive, a secondary internal drive, or an external hard disk.
How to format a primary drive (C:) on Windows
This is the main disk on your computer, and that is where the operating system (OS) may be found. It is not possible to format the primary drive while the computer is running, for the same reason that it is not possible to fix a vehicle engine while driving. It will be necessary to run Windows from an installation DVD or a USB disk in order to avoid this. Because your primary drive will not be in use, we will be able to complete our work on it. Please keep in mind that while this operation will completely remove the operating system and all associated files, it will not completely remove them.
erasing.) It is possible to skip the next paragraph if you have a Windows 10 or Windows 7 bootable DVD.
Make sure you have a USB external device (also known as a thumb drive or flash drive) ready to go before starting.
- Here is the link to the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool: Windows 7: Click here to get the Windows 7 operating system, followed by the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.
Here is the link to the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool: If you are using Windows 7, you should first download the Windows 7 operating system, followed by the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.
- Insert the Windows 10 or Windows 7 starter DVD or ensure that your bootable USB device is properly connected
- Restart your computer, and the Windows startup application should immediately open. You’ll notice a notification that says “Press any key to boot” if this is the case. If you do so, you may see a message stating that Windows is loading files. The Windows installation wizard will be launched. Choose your preferred language and time zone, then click Next. Install immediately and then wait for Windows to finish the setup operations on your computer. It is important to note that Windows is not being installed, so don’t be concerned if you don’t have a product key (if requested, tick the box forno product key). Follow the on-screen instructions to select your chosen Windows version and to agree to the agreements. When asked with a selection of Types of Installation, select Custom: Custom installation. If you’re using Windows 10, choose Windows just (advanced) or Custom (advanced) and then Drive choices (advanced) for Windows 7. SelectFormat from the drop-down menu on the following screen. Select the location where you want Windows to be installed. Make a selection for the primary drive and then click Next. Click Format, and you’ll be presented with a warning that this drive “may contain critical files or software from your computer manufacturer.” If you choose to format this partition, any data that was previously saved on it will be erased.” If you are certain that you want to proceed, click OK. You will see a busy sign appear on your mouse during the formatting process, and it will convert back into an arrow after the procedure is complete. (It’s the sole indication that the formatting has been completed. Your hard disk has been formatted, and everything on it has been erased. However, because you currently do not have an operating system installed on your computer, you will need to install one. Restart your computer to get things going again. Download the Windows operating system from a DVD or USB disk.
How to format an internal or external drive on Windows
If you don’t want to format the primary C drive (C:), you can format any other internal or external hard disk instead. Depending on your Windows operating system, your hard disk may be partitioned into numerous separate drives. Internal drives are smaller hard drives having letters and numbers in their names such as D, E, F, and so on. An external drive is a piece of hardware, such as a USB flash drive or another type of external storage device. Because they don’t have an operating system, it’s considerably easier to completely reformat all of those drives at once.
Here’s how to format a hard disk, whether it’s an internal or external drive:
- While starting up your computer as you would normally do, press and hold the WINDOWSkey while typing in Rto open the Run dialog box
- When the Run dialog box appears, type indiskmgmt.mscand then clickOK
- The Disk Management window will appear on the screen. If you wish to format an internal or external disk, right-click on it and select Format from the context menu. You may also rename your drives from this screen
- A Formatbox will appear, from which you can select the file system for your disk. (For further information on file systems, see the section below.) Determine whether you like a fast format or a complete format. You’re finished
- Just click OK.
What exactly is a “quick” format? This speedier formatting option will do a basicdeleteof the hard drive in a matter of seconds, but it does not trulyeraseorwipeanything, which means that the data will be out of sight but not irretrievably lost or corrupted. If you want to clear up your hard drive while still being able to use it, quick formatting is a wonderful alternative for you. It is recommended that you do a standard format on your computer before giving it away or selling it. You can do this by unchecking the Perform a fast formatbox in the previous step.
- It will also check for and erase any damaged sectors, which will avoid the occurrence of future corrupted files.
- Simply pick Format from the context menu when you right-click on the drive.
- Formatting your drive will completely erase everything on it, but it will also remove all of your files.
- CHKDS can be used to attempt to repair hard disk faults.
- What is the purpose of Windows maintenance?
- This junk includes residual files, leftover installers, temporary files, cached data, and other items.
An optimization application, such as AVG TuneUp, will automatically fix and maintain your Windows PC, ensuring that your drive remains clean and error-free at all times.
How to format a hard drive on Mac
If you carefully follow the instructions, formatting a hard disk on a Mac is a rather basic process. The following steps will show you how to format a Mac hard drive:
- Start your computer and log into your account
- Start by opening the Finder and selectingUtilities from theGo drop-down menu. Then pick Disk Utility from the drop-down menu. Select the hard drive that needs to be formatted. To format the drive, selectErase from the Format menu. A dialog will appear, allowing you to select the file system you wish to use as well as how many times you wish to overwrite the disk. Even while it takes more time to do many overwrites, the results are more secure (and will prevent your data from being retrieved).
Identify which drive you want to format
Start your computer and log into your account. Start by opening Finder and selectingUtilities from theGodrop-down menu. Then choose Disk Utility from the drop-down menu. To format a hard disk, choose the drive you wish to format. To format the drive, select Erase from the menu bar. A window will appear, allowing you to select the file system you want to use as well as how many times you want to overwrite the hard drive during the process. The process of several overwrites may take longer, but it will be more secure (and will prevent your data from being retrieved).
Choose the right file system
File systems are sets of rules that regulate how an operating system saves and reads data from and from files. When you format a hard disk, you’ll be prompted to select the file system that you want to use. Windows users have the option of selecting from three different file systems: NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT.
- In order to format your primary drive (the disk that contains your operating system), you must utilize the NTFS (New Technology Files System) file system, which is the default and most recent Windows file system. A solid choice for external drives is NTFS, which is compatible with a wide range of devices and is thus widely used. When it comes to transferring huge files, NTFS is the ideal choice because it provides basic file security as well as support for files larger than 4 GB in size. If you want to store a movie on a USB drive so that you can watch it on your television, you should utilize the NTFS file system. Additionally, NTFS allows you to establish useful advanced permissions
- FAT32 is a kind of file system. FAT32 (File Allocation Table 32) is a legacy file system that first appeared in Windows 95 and has been in use since then. It is compatible with the widest possible variety of file formats, however it is limited to a maximum storage capacity of 4 GB. exFAT: The exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) file system is intended for detachable storage devices like as USB flash drives, SD cards, and other external hard drives, among others. It will allow you to move files between different operating systems without difficulty. If you wish to migrate data between Windows and Mac devices, or if you want your files to be compatible on both operating systems, the exFAT file system is the best choice.
It is inevitable that both NTFS and FAT32 will get fragmented, and you will need to defragment them on a regular basis. If you have a Mac, you’ll most likely utilize the APFS file system (Apple File System).
- When macOS High Sierra was released, the APFS file system became the default file system. It is compatible with all types of hard disks, although it is specifically designed for flash-based storage, such as solid-state drives (SSDs). A prior file system, HFS+ (the Hierarchical File System Plus, often known as Mac OS Extended or HFS Extended), was used from 1998 until 2017, when it was superseded by APFS.
When macOS High Sierra was released, APFS was made the default file system. Despite the fact that it is compatible with various types of hard drives, it is specifically designed for flash-based storage, such as solid state drives (SSDs). A prior file system, HFS+ (the Hierarchical File System Plus, often known as Mac OS Extended or HFS Extended), was used from 1998 to 2017, when it was superseded by APFS;
What about formatting external hard drives or flash drives?
The procedures for formatting external hard drives and flash drives (also known as thumb drives and USB drives) are the same as those for formatting internal hard drives and flash drives. As a result, knowing how to format an external hard drive is a rather simple process. See the guidelines above for step-by-step instructions on formatting disks on Windows or Macintosh computers. Also, keep in mind that the exFAT file system should be used if you want your external drive to be compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems.
What does formatting a hard drive do?
What is the purpose of formatting a hard drive? As previously indicated, formatting a hard disk may be beneficial for a multitude of activities.
- Short-cut format: Destroys or overwrites your files, resulting in a result that is closer to concealing them than completely eliminating them
- Normal format (sometimes known as reformat) is as follows: This function deletes all of your files and totally wipes the disk, making it far more difficult to retrieve them. If you’re looking to sell or give away your computer or external storage device, this is the best option for you. Begin with a clean slate: If something isn’t working properly on your computer, you may attempt formatting the drive and reinstalling the operating system to try to recreate a fresh computing environment. Before you begin formatting your hard disk, make a backup of the files you’ll need (or clone your hard drive).
Is formatting the same as deleting, erasing, wiping, reformatting?
Short-cut format: Destroys or overwrites your files, resulting in a result that is closer to concealing them than completely eliminating them. This is the standard format (sometimes referred to as the reformat). Your files are erased as well as your whole hard disk, making recovery considerably more difficult. If you wish to sell or give away your computer or external storage device, this is the ideal alternative for you. Beginning with nothing: To try to recreate a fresh computing environment on your machine if anything is no longer working on it, you can format the drive and reinstall the operating system.
Before you begin formatting, make a backup of the files you’ll need (or clone your hard drive).
- Delete: Deleting data simply transfers it to a place where it is no longer visible, such as the Recycle Bin in Windows or the Trash on a Mac. The files can be retrieved with relative ease while they are in that folder. If you empty the Recycle Bin or Trash, the files may be overwritten by fresh data if you don’t do it immediately. When your device requires additional storage space, it may (and will) make use of the space formerly held by the deleted files. However, you may still recover lost files with data recovery software if you act quickly before they are overwritten. The more recently the files were deleted, the easier it is to recover them
- The more recently the files were deleted, the more difficult it is to retrieve them. A file can be erased by rubbing it with a file or wiping it away. Wipe: The term “wipe” refers to the process of completely wiping everything from a storage device or hard disk. The same as with wiping data, you may destroy it with a data destruction software program or by smashing the device with a hammer if you don’t want to use it again. Formatting: Depending on your operating system, you should have a number of formatting choices accessible to you. Quick formatting will just remove data from the device
- A standard formatting will completely erase everything from the drive (wipe the drive). You may use your hard disk or a portable drive such as a USB flash drive as the storage device. Besides that, a thorough format will examine your drive for damaged sectors and delete them, ensuring that you do not wind up with corrupted files later on. Reformat: When referring to hard disks or external drives, the phrase reformat is synonymous with the term format.
Do new hard drives need formatting?
No. New hard drives are formatted automatically, either by default or when they are initially plugged in, depending on the manufacturer. There is no need to learn how to format a new hard drive; simply insert your drive into your computer and you’re ready to go.
How long does it take to format a hard drive?
Formatting a hard drive can be a rapid or time-consuming procedure, depending on the type of formatting you choose and the size of the hard disk in question. Keep in mind that a rapid format just deletes files, rather than completely removing them from the system. If you want to totally remove files or wipe a whole disk, you must perform a standard format (also called a normal reformat). Depending on the size of the disk and the amount of data it contains, this is a more involved operation that may take several hours to complete.
Keep your hard drive performing at its best
Over time, your hard drive becomes clogged with temporary files, cached data, duplicate files, programs you never use, and other types of junk material that accumulates. All of this garbage will cause your computer to run slower and may even cause it to crash or freeze. By wiping your disk clean, you can wipe everything from your computer – but this is not a long-term solution. With daily computer use, the same unwanted data will swiftly accumulate once more. A better approach is to use a specialised cleaning application, such as AVG TuneUp, which is available for both PCs and Macs to clean your computer.
Download our free trial right now to find out what’s causing your computer to slow down, and then get rid of all of the trash to restore your computer to its maximum performance.