How to format your HDD inside Windows

Want to format your hard disk! No need to do it with the installation disk. Do the partition from within Windows using Windows Disk Management or you can directly format from My Computer.

Format your HDD inside Windows

Want to partition or format your hard disk! No need to do it with the installation disk.

Method 1:Format from Disk management

Do the formatting from within Windows using Windows Disk Management. Windows Operating System provides an inbuilt administrative tool known as "Disk Management" to do this job.

You can reach Disk Management in three ways,
1. In the run type "diskmgmt.msc" to directly open Disk Management

2. Go to Start--> Control Panel-->Administrative Tools-->Computer Management-->Disk Management

Control panel path

3. Go to Start--> All Programs-->Administrative Tools-->Computer Management-->Disk Management

Here is the screen shot of Disk Management Utility,

Disk Management

The disk management utility shows different partitions in different color code. Refer the below picture,

Color codes

Select the particular partition you want to edit and right click on it. You will find different options like,
Change Drive Letter and Paths...
Extend Volume...
Shrink Volume...
Add Mirror...
Delete Volume...


Now we will only concentrate on Format option. I will discuss more functionality of Disk Management in separate articles.

Format a particular partition

To format a particular partition select that partition and from the context menu select format. It will warn you that "Formatting this volume will erase all data...". Select OK to continue.


Now the next window will be the formating window. See the screenshot,


You have to give 3 data in it,
Volume Label:- It is the name of the particular volume you are going to format.
File System:- Select NTFS, FAT or FAT 32. NTFS is recommended in Windows XP onwards as it has more features.
Allocation Unit Size:- It is the allocation size per unit. Leave it to default. The OS will adjust the size itself. Don't change the allocation size if you are not an expert.

There you find two check boxes. The first one is "Perform a quick format". If you select this option then the formatting process will be quick.
The second option is "Enable file and folder compression". If you check this option after formatting the partition will compress ant data you store in it saving the space.

Now click on OK button and wait until the formatting ends. Now your partition is ready to use.

Method 2: Format directly from My Computer

In My Computer right click on the partition you want to format. You will find the same options in the context menu. The process is same as method 1 to format a disk.

N.B- You need administrative access to format a HDD. You can also format a portable storage device is the same process.

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