Initialize New Disk

When Need to Initialize a Disk

Before we can partition a new hard drive, you have to initialize it. As a general rule, after installing a new disk to a computer that already contains Windows operating system and then entering into Windows Disk Management, Windows will immediately give users a prompt saying: “You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it“. If you are running Windows XP, this initialization will be completed straightforward. But if you are running Windows 8 or the later version, you will have to choose a partition style to define the new disk – use GPT style or MBR style, because all previous versions of Windows cannot recognize GPT. It is recommended that if the capacity of the new disk is larger than 2TB, use GPT style. If not, use MBR style. Another difference between them is MBR supports four primary partitions at most while GPT has no such limitations, and Windows can recognize 128 partitions at most. After the initialization, partition the hard drive and then format it before putting it into use.

How to Initialize a Disk in Windows

Now you know a new disk should be initialized. But do you have any idea how to initialize a hard drive? Here we provide two ways. The first one is to follow the prompt of Windows Disk Management utility. You should select a partition style and confirm the change. Then the new drive will become an unallocated space.
The second way is to use free MiniTool Partition Wizard. You may wonder why use partition software since Windows provides the channel to initialize a disk. This is because free MiniTool Partition Wizard can achieve more (view more). You can not only initialize a new drive, but also resize partition, convert disks or whatever at ease – many of these features cannot be accomplished by using Disk Management. If you want to initialize a new disk to GPT, you can directly choose “Initialize to GPT Disk“. If this a used disk, delete all partitions on it and then initialize it. If you want to initialize a disk to MBR, choose “Initialize to MBR Disk“.
After that, click the “Apply” button to submit your changes.
In conclusion, initializing new disk is a necessity before you can use it. In this article, we introduced two simple ways to achieve this goal. Next time when you have this aspect of the requirement, you can choose either of them. And the download link for free MiniTool Partition Wizard is:


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