There are times when you have to reformat your hard drive, for instance – when you plan to sell your computer, when you want to clean the hard disk for a fresh/new Windows OS installation, setting up external drive for backups, and so on. Especially when you are selling your PC, just deleting all personal data doesn’t ensure complete erasure. So under such a situation, reformatting the hard drive is a must.
Whatever the reason might be for reformatting a hard drive, make sure to backup data before going ahead with the format operation. Else you risk losing all your important data from the drive. So now let’s see how to reformat a hard drive –
Reformatting Hard Drive using Disk Management –
- Go to This PC / My Computer, right click to select Manage
- You’ll get the Computer Management window
- Open Disk Management, and locate the drive you want to format from the list
- Once chosen, right click on the drive and choose Format (A “Format [drive letter]:”) window will appear
(Make sure you choose the correct drive because once started you cannot stop a format without problems. Also, if you choose the wrong drive, then you lose all data present on that drive. However, in case that happens, don’t worry. With the help of Partition Recovery tool, you can unformat hard drive on Windows 10, 8, 7, etc.)
- In the Volume label text box, give a name for the drive, or leave it as it is
- For File System select NTFS unless you have a specific need to choose another file system
- Now set the Allocation unit size: to Default, unless you have to customize it
- In Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7, the Perform a quick format option will be checked by default. Uncheck it so that a full format is done.
- Enable file and folder compression option is not checked by default
- Now click OK at the bottom of the window
- When you get this message – “Formatting this volume will erase all data on it. Backup any data you want to keep before formatting. Do you want to continue?”, click on OK
- The hard drive format begins now. You can keep a track of the format progress in the Status field
Formatting or reformatting a hard drive can take longer if the drive is large. A 2 GB hard disk may take few seconds to format, while a 2 TB hard drive can take a long time depending on the speed of the drive, and the computer. You can also learn how to format a USB drive on Windows 10.
- When the Status changes to Healthy, the format operation is complete
That’s about it! Your hard drive is reformatted. Now you can start using the drive to store data, backup files, install programs, and so on.