How to format a new hard drive properly on Windows 10

Whenever you get a new hard drive on your Windows 10 computer, it’s necessary to format it before dumping files. The reason is to make sure that the new drive will be working correctly, fully clean, and free of malicious code that can harm your personal files.

Basically, when formatting a hard drive, you will also clear out all the data residing on the storage. There are many ways to format a hard drive, but Disk Management is considered the best options for most Windows users.

In this post, we’ll show you a step-by-step guide to correctly formatting a traditional hard drive or Solid-State Drive (SSD), whether it has already partitioned or has never been initialized.

How to format the existing partition with Disk Management

If you have already configured a hard drive with a partition, you just format the existing partition to delete its content and make a clean drive. To format a partition with Disk Management, simply follow these steps below

  • Click on Start and search for Disk Management
  • Right-click a new hard drive and choose Format
  • In the “Value label” field, enter the descriptive name for the drive.
  • Choose NTFS from the “File system” drop-down menu
  • Select Default option from “Allocation unit size” menu,
  • Check out the Perform a quick format option.

  • Now, clear the Enable file and folder compression
  • Click on OK in the warning message.

After you have done the steps, the system will then format the chosen partition on the drive, and you can start using it for storing files.

Also see: How to check computer uptime on Windows 10

Steps to create and format a new partition with Disk Management

If you have a hard drive that has not been formatted yet, you first need to create a new partition before formatting it.

When a hard drive doesn’t have a partition, you will not see it in File Explorer, and it’ll appear as unallocated space on Disk Management tool.

To set up an empty hard drive, follow these steps:

  • Click on Start and search for Disk Management
  • Right-click on the hard drive marked as “Unknown” choose Initialize Disk.
  • Click on the disk to start initializing.
  • Choose your preferred partition style:

Master Boot Record (MBR) for hard drives 2TB or lower in size.

GUID Partition Table (GPT) for hard drives 2TB or higher in size.

  • Click on OK and then right click on the Unallocated space, choose New Simply Value

  • Under the “Simple volume size in MB” section, select the amount of space in megabytes you want to use for storing files.

  • Click on the Next
  • Note the “Assign the following drive letter” menu and choose a letter for the new hard drive.
  • Now, select NTFS from the “File system” drop-down menu
  • Select Default option in the “Allocation unit size” menu.
  • In the “Value label” section, enter a name for the drive.
  • Check out the “Perform a quick format” option.
  • Click on the Next button.
  • Finally, click on the Finish

After you complete all the steps, the new hard drive will then be partitioned and properly formatted.

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