How do you format your hard drive in Windows 7?


Quick Answer

When formatting a hard drive in Windows 7, the first step is to ensure that the drive is partitioned, before attempting to format it. When everything is ready, open Disk Management from the Control Panel and select the drive you wish to format. Next, select a file system, making sure to forgo the quick format option, then configure the desired settings and format the drive. The time needed to complete this task depends on the size of the drive being formatted.

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Full Answer

  1. Open Disk Management

    Navigate to Administrative Tools from System and Security in the Control Panel, and select Computer Management. Find Disk Management under Storage, and open it.

  2. Open the Format window

    Search for the name of the drive you wish to format. Right click the drive, and select Format.

  3. Select a file system

    Name the drive, or allow the software to use the default name of the drive. Select NTFS as a file system.

  4. Select a format type

    Select Default for Allocation Unit Size. Uncheck the Perform a Quick Format box.

  5. Format the drive and monitor the formatting progress

    Ensure the box for Enable File and Folder Compression is unchecked. Click OK, and then click OK again when the confirmation prompt appears. Monitor the progress of the formatting process with the percent tracker. Wait for the status to change to Healthy before you attempt to use the drive.

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