Hard disk formatting means to prepare a chosen partition on the drive to be used by deleting all data on it and setting up a file system for the partition. For Windows, the most commonly used file system is NTFS, but sometimes, FAT32 is also used. To formatting a hard drive in Windows, Disk Management utility is always the first choice. You can also format a drive using the diskpart command in Command Prompt.
To know more about format, you can visit Wikipedia.
In this post, we introduce 4 ways to help you format a hard drive in Windows OS. Note that sometimes a partition occupies a whole drive, that’s why we say format a hard drive instead of saying the correct format partition.
Way 1: via Disk Management Utility
Three ways to open Computer Management window:
1. Right-click “My computer” or “This PC”, then choose “Manage” and click “Disk Management”.
2. Open “Run”, input “compmgmt.msc” and press “OK”, then choose “Disk Management”.
3. Open “Run”, input “diskmgmt.msc” and press “OK”.
How to format a hard drive in Disk Management:
Right-click the target volume and then select “Format…” Then complete the formatting process according to instructions.
Tip: regret of formatting a hard drive? Want the lost data back? Please go for Recover Files From Formatted Hard Drive and find the solution.
Way 2: via Windows Explorer
Open Windows Explorer, and we can see all drives connected to this computer in the main window. Now, right-click the target drive and choose “Format…”. In the new pop-up window, specify file system, Allocation unite size and Format option. Then, click “Start” button to begin.
Way 3: via DiskPart
To open the Command Prompt, at “Start” menu type “diskpart” in the “cmd” box and press “Enter”. Now, type the following commands, each should ends up with Enter key:
Type “list volume”;
Type “select volume n” (n is the drive number);
Type “format fs=ntfs quick label=XX” (XX should be the label of the partition);
Type “exit” and press “Enter” to close the command prompt.
Note: Diskpart doesn’t support Windows XP.
Way 4: via Third-party Tool
Third-party tool is another way that can help to reformat hard drive. It is easy to carry out and performs more options when carrying out formatting. But the most obvious difference is that it breaks many limitations that may appear when you use the former 3 ways. For example, Disk Management and Windows Explorer won’t allow formatting a partition larger than 32GB to FAT32, and Diskpart won’t help to format a NTFS partition to FAT32. In such cases, third-party software are given more attention.
Let’s see how MiniTool Partition Wizard does this job:
Select the partition which needs formatting and choose “Format Partition” from the left panel. After that, a small window will appear. In this window, you set partition label, file system, and cluster size. Note there are many fie systems you can choose, such as FAT32, NTFS, Ext 2, Ext 3, Ext4, Linux swap. At last click “Apply” to finish hard drive formatting.
Now we have gone through the four ways on how to format a hard drive. Next time when there is a need, you can pick one that is suitable to help reformat hard drive. Bur remember that the fourth way is the most flexible one, which works on Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10.