How to Format a Secondary Partition or Hard Drive


Formatting a hard drive can seem like an impossible job if you don’t know what you are doing. In fact, it is very simple if you follow these steps :

Pre Step. You will lose everything that is on the partition you are formatting. This is why you should back up everything that you want to keep. Burn them on a DVD, CD, put them on a portable storage device or copy them on a partition or hard drive that you won’t be formatting.

Step 1. Right click on “My Computer” on your desktop or from the Start menu and press the “Manage” option.

Step 2. In the “Computer Management” window, select “Storage” and then double click “Disk Management” (it is placed on the right side of the window.

Step 3. You should now see a window showing detailed information about the hard drives and their partitions. If you want to format an entire hard drive and remake the partitions (or maybe even create a single partition), right click on a partition and press “Delete Partition”. All the data on a partition you delete will be lost so you should remember to back up what you want to keep. Press yes when presented with the warnings (I have already warned you enough ).

Step 4. If you deleted a partition, you should see a black bar at the top of the drive that says “Unallocated”. Right click on that bar and select “New Partition”. This should bring up the “New Partition” Wizard.

Step 5. Click next, select “Primary Partition” and on the next dialog, set the size to the maximum. Windows will automatically select the first available letter, but you can choose another one from the menu. Click next.

Step 6. Choose the NTFS file format and set the “Allocation unit size” to “Default”. Enter the “Volume Label” of your choosing, but try to avoid entering spaces. If this is the first time the drive is being used, select “Perform quick format”. Go to the next page and then click finish.

Step 7. Wait for the wizard to complete formatting the drive. This may take a while, but you must not close the window until it is done. When the status under the drive size changes from Formatting to Healthy, the format is complete. You are now ready to use your freshly formatted drive or partition.

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