In order to use a disk, you need to create a partition and format it with Windows supported file system like NTFS, Fat32, etc. File systems are used to put data into the disk in a structured manner. We can format a drive or partition easily by using the
Disk Management tool.
Open Disk Management Tool
Even we can use different tools for format Disk Management tool provides useful features and GUI. We will open the disk management tool. We can open the disk management tool from the Start menu by typing the disk management tool where
Create and format hard disk partitions from
Control Panel will be listed below. We will just open it.
Alternatively, we can open the disk management tool from Start Menu or
Run menu with the following command.
Format Newly Added Disk
If there is all ready uninitialized disk this disk will be shown to us automatically with the following dialog box. We will be asked to initialize the disk with a specific partition scheme or style Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT). MBR is an old-style scheme that can be used for the drives up to 2TB. Drives that are bigger than 2TB are not supported. GPT is a newer partitioning scheme where drives that are bigger than 2TB also supported without a problem. As the newly added disk does not format it is named as in Disk 1 this case.
The new disk partition scheme set properly and shown in the disk management like below as
Disk 1. But we can see that it is unallocated which means not formatted. Also, its size is 59.98GB.
In order to start the format process, we will right-click to the unformatted disk named Disk 1 where we will see a menu. We will click to the
New Simple Volume which means we will format this disk as a simple volume.
New Simple Volume Wizard will start like below. This screen provides simple information about the format operation. We will click to the Next.
We will see the
Specify Volume Size step like below. We will set the size of the partition. Information about the Maximum disk space and Minimum disk space in MB is provided too. Simple Volume size in MB is the size of the partition. If we want to create extra partitions later we should set a lower size then the maximum disk space to be used later.
In this step, we will assign the drive letter or path which is named as Assign Drive Letter or Path. Assign the following drive letter selection will provide us available drive letters we can use for this partition. Unavailable drive letters will not be shown.
Mount in the followin empty NTFS folder will mount this partition into a specific folder. But the destination folder should be an NTFS file system.
Do not assign a drive letter or drive path will skip assigning a drive letter or mount for later.
The following step is the most important one where we will specify the format options. This screen is named as
Format Partitions .
Do not format this volume will skip formatting this volume which is not intended for this case.
Format this volume with the following settings will format the drive with the provided settings.
File System is the file system which will be used. The default is
NTFS which is the best solution for most of the cases. Alternatively, ExFAT can be used for old systems. Allocation Unit Size specifies the size of the file system block. We will leave the default but alternatively, we can select other sizes where higher sizes are used for storing the big files. Volume Label is a label that was set as the name of the partition. The name also is shown on the Computer screen as the name of the partition. Perform Quick format will make the format a lot faster which is selected by default. It not selected the format operation may take some time. Enable File and folder compression will enable compression for files and folders on the given file system which will save some space.
In the following screen, we will see the format configuration setting. By clicking Finish button the format process will start.
The format process will be completed fast because we have selected the Quick Format setting. We will see that Disk 1 is formatted properly and given the drive letter E:.
Format Already Existing and Formatted Drive
If we need to format already formatted or used disk we can use the Disk Management tool again. We have already talked about how to open the Disk Management tool. In this example the Disk 1 which is named as New Volume is already formatted and used as drive E. We will format this disk again.
We will right-click to the disk we want to reformat. We will see a menu where we will click to the
Format like below.
We will see the following format screen. We will provide the format settings. The volume label will set the name of the volume or partition which is set MyVolume in this example. The file system is the file system type which is NTFS in most of the cases. Allocation unit size is the size of the file system blocks where leaving Default is generally the best choice. Perform a quick format will make format operation faster which is enabled by default. Enable File and folder compression will compress files and folders stored in this partition is selected.
As we are reformatting an already formatted drive following cautions will be provided and accept. If this drive contains data, files, and folders we should backup them properly because all of them will be lost after the format operation.
When the format operation is complete we will see the following screen where the formatted drive will be listed with a new name, partition.