Formatting your drive for Windows Vista
STEP 1: Open Computer Management like this:
Right-click on the Computer icon.
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:
Right-click on the My Computer icon.
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.
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:
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.
- 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.