Formatting a Hard Drive for Windows and Mac Users

If you install a new hard drive, or the need to clean the machine clean for that feeling “fresh”, you will end disk formatting.

I Formatting check the drive for errors, and prepare for employment. If a unit has data on it, formatting the drive will erase all files pointers.

Note: Formatting does not delete secure the contents of a hard drive. Freely available and easy to use tools, anyone can successfully recover data from a formatted disk. See How to completely erase a disc for information on the hard drive clean.

Formatting can take hours to complete, but it is a good choice when you have a new or does not inherit the correct size drive overrun by malware or other software problems, or result in the need of a new drive before starting an installation windows.

magnetic plate of traditional hard drives and solid state drives can be formatted. Before you begin, make sure you back up important files on the disk before formatting.

Managing the disk usage

To partition and format the hard drive, you can use the built-in Windows tool called Disk Management.

In Windows 7, click Start. Then click on the computer, then click Manage. The “Computer Management” opens.

In the left pane, click Disk Management (under Storage).

In Windows 8, click the Windows button and select Disk Management.

If the disc is not initialized (which is generally the case with brand new units), you will be prompted to initialize. If the disk is 2TB or more in size, select GPT; otherwise, stick with MBR.

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A list of all connected hard disks are displayed in the center. Partitioned drives appear with solid black bars and the “unallocated” label. Partitioned drives appear with solid blue bars and a drive letter.

Partition the hard disk

To format an internal or external hard drive to use for backup or additional storage, the unit must be divided. Partition divides the unit into sections, but you can choose to have one partition (a section that covers the entire unit).

If the drive is not partitioned, follow these instructions to create partitions. Otherwise, skip to the next section.

Click the bar unallocated black or white space below and select New Simple Volume … Do not be discouraged by the word “problem.” It is just another term for “partition”. Click Next.

To create a single, all disk partitions, make sure that the value of “Simple volume size in MB” is the same as the “Maximum size in MB” value. Click Next.

Assign a drive letter of your choice. Click Next.

Select the format of this volume. For the file system, select NTFS if the hard drive is used only with Windows machines. If you share the information unit with the Mac, choose exFAT. Maintain the size of the default allocation unit. Choose a name for the partition on the volume label. Do not select the quick format and Enable file and folder compression. Click Next.

Confirm your selections and click Finish.

Formatting partitions

Once the unit is divided, each partition must be formatted with a file system. Fortunately, the disk management utility is easy.

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Click on the blue bar or white space below and select Format.

Choose a name for the partition in the “Volume Label”. For the file system, select NTFS if this unit is used only with Windows machines. Linux machines can read NTFS partitions on the course.

If you share the information in this unit with the Mac, choose exFAT. Keep the default “Allocation unit size”. Do not select the quick format and Enable file and folder compression. Click OK.

Check out the options.

Formatting for a new Windows installation

Formatting the main unit with the intention to reinstall Windows and restore your PC to its factory fresh state, you need the restore disc (s) that comes with the computer. If the computer manufacturer does not include media or restore lost contact directly with the manufacturer for a replacement. You may also be able to create your own disk (s) to restore or reinstall Windows from the original partition created on the hard drive; See your computer documentation for details.

Insert the Windows installation disk or restore the disk in the drive and restart the computer. Boot the PC from the Windows disc. For instructions on how to boot from the recovery partition, see your system documentation.

If you use the factory of a manufacturer to restore the disk or hard drive recovery partition, follow the instructions to start the restoration process. Unless otherwise indicated, the primary partition on the disk will be formatted and returns to its new plant.

If you use a Windows 7 installation disc, select your language, accept the license terms for Windows and select Custom (advanced) when prompted.

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