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Aug 26, 2012

How to Format a Hard Disk Drive in Windows 7

Formatting a drive comes into picture when you want to expunge all the information stored on it following a virus infection or software issue etc. It’s not very difficult to format a drive in Window 7 as it is a basic function that does not require much knowledge and expertise. However, it should be done properly to avoid facing Windows 7 problems. Check the steps given below and format your Windows 7 hard drive: (Also find here Windows 7 support)
1. You must be logged in with admin rights to your Windows 7 computer to format your hard disk. Since formatting will erase everything, make sure that you back up your data to another an external hard drive, CD etc. or online data backup solution. Also, make sure that the drive you want to reformat is currently not in use.
2. If want to format a new hard disk that has not been partitioned, create a partition before reformatting it. Click the Start button> right-click Computer> select Manage. If prompted, enter your administrator password and proceed. On the Computer Management window, click Disk Management under Storage to display the details.
3. As soon as you click it, you might see an Initialize Disk dialog box. If your hard drive is less than 2TB or GPT in size, click MBR. If it is equal to or more than 2TB or GPT size, click OK. Look for the drive that needs a formatting and also for the unallocated space. Right-click Unallocated space> select New Simple Volume. (Find here how to personalize a Windows 7 PC)
4. In the New Simple Volume Wizard window, adjust the volume size or leave it to default and click Next. When prompted, assign a letter to the new partition or leave it to default and click Next. When prompted, click the Format this volume with by following settings button and adjust the File system (NTFS or FAT32), Allocation unit size, and Volume Label. Uncheck the Perform a quick format box and click Next.
5. Wait for the drive to be formatted. When done, click Finish to exit the New Simple Volume Wizard box. You will now see your newly formatted drive under Disk Management. You can now begin to restore the backup from another drive as desired. Before you restore your data backup, you must partition your hard drive. Without partitioning, you can't make full use of your hard drive. (Also find here how to customize a Windows 7 PC)
6. If you want to format an existing partition, go back to Computer Management (check 2nd step), click Disk Management under Storage to display the details. Look for the drive that you want to format, right-click it and select Format. When prompted, type a name (any desired name) in the Volume label box, leave NTFS as the default File system and Allocation unit size to default. If you want to, adjust the unit size from the drop-down arrow. If you want to do a quick format, check the box beside it and click OK.
7. Remember, the quick format will not completely erase data on the drive. If you want to erase all the data completely on the drive, uncheck the Perform a quick format box and then click the OK button. A full format is also recommended because it involves drive checking for errors etc. Quick format does not check drive for errors and hence is not recommended. Also make sure that the Enable file and folder compression box is not checked. (Find here how to install Windows 7)
8. When done, click OK. If prompted, click OK again to close the warning message. Wait for the drive to be formatted. When done, click Finish. When done, you will see the space freed up after formatting. You can now begin to partition your hard drive. Find here how to create a new partition in Windows 7. Thereafter, you can start restoring your data backup to the newly formatted and partitioned drive.

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