Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
When you format a computer hard drive, you will lose everything that is on the drive. Therefore, it is very important to back up anything you might want later. Also you need to have the operating system that you are going to be installing after the format (so make sure you do) . Backup anything that you don't want to loose on a seperate cd, dvd, or external hard drive that you are not going to be formatting.
Now first of all, Right-Click on the "My Computer" icon either on your desktop or in the Start Menu and select "Manage", a new window titled "Computer Management" comes up. Select "Storage" from the left hand side by clicking it once, then select "Disk Management(local)" from the right side by double-clicking it.
Now in the lower part of the main frame of the window you should see a nice visual of all your hard drives. Each line is a different drive. Each box on a line is a partition on the drive. Partitions are separations of space on a drive. Unless you are doing something specific that requires multiple partitions, you only want one partition per drive.
First you must delete any existing partitions on the drive you are going to format. Do this by right-clicking on the partition's box and selecting "Delete Partition.. Click yes for the prompt "are you sure", and whatever other warnings you might get, as long as you have backed up everything you need.
The box for the drive to be formatted should now have a black bar at the top of it and should say "Unallocated" under its size. Right click on it and select "New Partition..." The New Partition Wizard comes up.
In the New Partition Wizard click next. On the next page make sure "Primary Partition" is selected and click next. Now make the size equal to the maximum (it should already be set to it), and click next again. On the next page the computer will automatically choose the first available drive letter for the new drive. However, if you like you can choose another drive letter from the drop-down menu, and then click next. Finally the New Partition Wizard asks if you would like to format the new partition and if so what format. Choose "NTFS" as it is faster and more secure. Leave the "Allocation unit size" as "Default." In the "Volume label" field enter whatever name you want the drive to have. After that, check the "Perform a quick format" box (If the drive has been used before you can leave this box unchecked). Leave the "Enable file and folder compression" box unchecked and click next. Then on the next page click finish. The wizard will now spend a little while formatting the drive. On old or large drives this may take a while. Do not close the "Computer Management" window until it finishes. You will know it is done when the word under the size of the drive changes from "Formatting" to "Healthy" and the name and drive letter you chose for the new drive show up. After it is finished you can now use your newly formatted drive.
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