How do I reformat my hard drive?


Quick Answer

Use the Disk Management tool in the Administrative Tools applet to reformat a hard drive on any Windows PC running Windows 2000 or later. First, back up your files. Then, open a Run window, open Administrative Tools, open Computer Management, go to Disk Management and complete the reformat.

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Full Answer

  1. Back up all your important files

    Back up all important files from the hard drive, as reformatting a drive permanently erases all data on the disk and cannot be undone.

  2. Open a Run window

    Hold the Windows key, and press the R key. This opens a window labeled Run.

  3. Open the Administrative Tools window

    Clear out the entry field in the Run window and type "control admintools." Click OK, or press the Enter key.

  4. Open the Computer Management applet

    In the Administrative Tools window, double click on the shortcut labeled Computer Management.

  5. Go to Disk Management

    On the left-hand panel of the Computer Management window, click on Disk Management under the Storage item.

  6. Select the drive you'd like to format

    Look for the drive you'd like to format in the list of drives. The Volume column lists them by drive name in alphabetical order. Right click on its icon on the list, and select Format.

  7. Format the drive

    In the Format window, supply a name for the drive, and select a file system to use. Optionally, you may choose to change the allocation unit size, perform a quick format or enable file and folder compression. Click the OK button to begin the reformatting process.

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