How To Reformat Your Drive

Posted: 16/04/2011 in All Teched UP!, How to...., Mac, Tutorial, Windows
Tags: , ,

Here is a little tutorial about formatting your hard drive, this is dedicated to my friend Micheal who has asked be about this twice now and to save time I thought I would type it up and share it with the web at large. Enjoy!

A hard drive can be used on any type of computer—PC or Mac. But in order for the computer and drive to talk to one another, the drive has to be formatted.

Seagate external drives come preformatted but Maxtar’s do not—some for PCs, some for Macs. So if you buy the right drive for your computer, you don’t have to do anything else. Just connect the drive to your computer and it will work.

But if you have a drive that’s formatted for a different type of computer or a drive that isn’t preformatted, you’ll need to format the drive before you can use it.

One very important point: FORMATTING ERASES EVERYTHING ON THE DRIVE. So if you’re formatting a drive that has already been used, be sure to copy any files you’ll ever want to see again onto a computer of backup drive.

Formatting your drive for Windows Vista / Windows 7

STEP 1: Open Computer Management like this:

  1. Right-click on the Computer icon.
  2. Click Manage.

If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

STEP 2: In the pane on the left, under Storage, click Disk Management.

STEP 3: Right-click the drive that you want to format—be sure it’s the correct drive—then click Format

STEP 4: To format with the default settings, in the Format dialog box, click OK, and then click OK again.

Formatting your drive for Windows XP

STEP 1: Open Disk Management like this:

  1. Right-click on the My Computer icon.
  2. Click Manage.
  3. In the pane on the left, under Storage, click Disk Management.

STEP 2: Right-click on the drive you want to format. Be sure it’s the correct drive.

STEP 3: If you want, you can type a name for the drive in the Volume Label box. This is an optional step.

STEP 4: Click the file system that you want to use in the File System box. You can also change the disk allocation unit size, specify whether you want to perform a quick format, or enable file and folder compression on NTFS volumes.

Note: Before changing the default allocation unit size please refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 314878.

STEP 5: Click OK. When you’re prompted to format the drive, click OK again.

Formatting your drive for a Mac

STEP 1: Open Disk Utility like this:

  1. Click Finder.
  2. Click Applications.
  3. Click Utilities.
  4. Click Disk Utility.

STEP 2: Select the drive you want to format. Be sure it’s the correct drive.

STEP 3: Go to the Partition tab.

STEP 4: Click on the Current Volume Scheme drop-down menu and select One (1) partition.

STEP 5: Click Options. From the Partition Schemes provided:

  • Click on the GUID Partition Table radio button.
    –OR–
  • Click on the Apple Partition Map radio button.

STEP 6: Click OK. Select other options as desired (e.g., Volume Name, Format, etc).

STEP 7: Click Apply. The Partition Disk screen opens.

STEP 8: Click Partition. At this point, the volume dismounts from the desktop and the drive is partitioned and formatted.
Note: When Volumes are created, Time Machine may open, asking if you would like to use the volume for backups. Click Cancel to proceed.

STEP 9: When finished, select the Disk Utility from the Apple Menu and choose Quit Disk Utility.

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