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How to format a hard drive with Windows

24 mayo, 2021

A few years ago, formatting a hard drive was pretty scaryespecially when faced with installing an operating system afterwards. If what we were going to format was a floppy disk, and we had properly saved the information, there was no problem: we carried out the operation and that’s it. When it came to dealing with a hard drive, it was different.

Currently the process has been greatly simplified (and secured). No longer have to write format C: at the command prompt and wait for everything to go well. There are currently tools for formatting in Windows that will make this task much easier for us, although you have to know what they are and how to use them.


From file explorer

This is one of the best known ways, and one of the simplest. It’s as easy as opening the file explorer, going to the drive we are interested in, and right-clicking on it. In the menu that will appear, select “Format”:

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We will see the next window:


We just have to check that everything is in order (we can modify a couple of options, including the file system in which the unit will be formatted) and click on Start. From here, the system will take care of everything.

From the Windows Disk Management utility

Again we open the Windows file explorer again. We go to “This team” and we right-click on the icon. We select “Manage” and we will find this window:


Now we select the disk we want to format and we right-click on it. We select the option “Format” and we will see the following:


We select the file system (the size of the allocation unit is left as “Default”) and we click “Accept”. From here, the operating system will take care of the rest.

From a program developed by third parties

In this example we have opted for Paragon Partition Manager, which is the one we are going to use to illustrate it. When we open it we will find the following window, where we will select Format partition:


When we do a wizard will open. It will take a while to load. When it does, we click Next. The next step will be to select the disk that we are going to format:


Click on Next. Now we will have to choose file system in which the drive will be formatted:


In the next step it will ask us if we are sure before performing the operation. We select the option Yes, apply the changes phisically and click on Next. From here, the program will format the unit and give us a warning message when it is finished.

Through a program like Paragon Partition Manager as well we can make other options in addition to those already mentioned, such as resizing existing partitions or creating new ones.