How to initialize and format a new hard drive in Windows

by | Mar 21, 2018 | Computers

How to initialize and format a new hard drive in Windows.

In this short video we go through the steps needed to initialize and format a new hard drive in Windows. Many poeple have asked me how to do this so I made this video.

 

How do you initialize a new hard drive? When you buy hard drives initially they’re usually not formatted for use. It’s one thing to be able to put it in, but how do you actually make it work? Open up your control panel and go to admin tools, I’m using a Windows computer for this example.

initialize and format a new hard drive

Go down to computer management, once there you need to go to disk management on the left-hand side.

 

 

This shows us a list of all the disks we have installed on the computer.

initialize and format a new hard drive

 

Once you plug the new drive in, it will pop up and be displayed with any other disks on the computer. Once it starts displaying, it’ll show the disk and display how much space is available on the disk. It will just show as an un-allocated space, so we need to initialize it. To do this you need to right click on the disk and select ‘new simple volume’, this will open up a new box.

initialize and format a new hard drive

 

Hit the next button and select the amount of space that you want to format, I usually select the highest amount available.

initialize and format a new hard drive

 

Hit the next button and give it a drive later. By default it will give you the next available drive letter, but you can assign any letter you want that’s not taken. If you don’t want to give it a drive later and just want to format the drive, then you can select a little check box below. So when you’re ready, hit the next button and put in the settings you want in the next box.

initialize and format a new hard drive

Format the drive with NTFS which is the standard Windows format. FAT is the old version. Volume label is the name that you want to give your drive, you don’t have to put anything there if you don’t want a label on it, and just want to drive letter. I usually select the box that says perform a quick format, that works for me, it takes less time than doing a full format and seems to work with no trouble at all. I don’t usually enable file and folder compression. Once you are happy with the settings go ahead and hit the next button, it will then tell you the settings that were just put in.

initialize and format a new hard drive

If you’re happy with these, just click the next button and it will format your drive, depending on the speed of your processor this won’t take much time at all.

initialize and format a new hard drive

Once done it’ll pop up with a new drive letter and you have a drive that you can use for anything you want.

initialize and format a new hard drive

If you go back to your ‘my computer’ settings you’ll notice that this drive has now appeared with your other installed drives, with the new label and drive letter that you gave it, you can now drag and drop files to it just as you would with any other drive.

initialize and format a new hard drive

That’s how easy it is to initialize a brand new hard drive with Windows 7 or most other versions of Windows.

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