What is disk formatting? When do you need to format a hard drive? How to format a hard drive with ease? How to format a hard drive for Mac? What can you do when mistakenly formatting a hard drive? This post shows you the answers.
Formatting Hard Drive
Hard drives, which are the primary storage devices on our computer, need to be formatted before we can use them. Here, before formatting hard drive, you might be wondering: what is drive formatting? And, when do we need to format a drive? How to format a hard drive?
Now, here are answers to some common questions about formatting drives.
What Is Drive Formatting?
Disk formatting is the process of preparing a data storage device such as a hard disk drive, solid-state drive, floppy disk or USB flash drive for initial use. In some cases, the formatting operation may also create one or more new file systems.
The first part of the formatting process that performs basic medium preparation is often referred to as "low-level formatting". Partitioning is the common term for the second part of the process, making the data storage device visible to an operating system.
The third part of the process, usually termed "high-level formatting" most often refers to the process of generating a new file system. In some operating systems all or parts of these three processes can be combined or repeated at different levels and the term "format" is understood to mean an operation in which a new disk medium is fully prepared to store files.
When Do You Need to Format Hard Drive?
As we know, there are many reasons why we need to format a hard drive. For instance, when installing a new hard drive on the computer, we need to format it with a file system, such as NTFS, before Windows can store files on it. Besides, if we are going to give the drive to someone else or throw it away, we need to format it to erase all the information on it.
What Files System Should You Use?
In fact, a file system is used to control how data is stored and retrieved, and there are various file systems including NTFS, FAT, HFS+, and more. However, different operating systems use different file systems to store and manage data. So well, which one is the most suitable for us?
NTFS (New Technology File System), is the default file system of Windows. In general, it is more powerful than FAT or FAT32. FAT32 is an older Windows file system, and it can only save a file within 4 GB. As a matter of fact, in most cases, the best choice for a hard drive is NTFS.
When the error “File is too large for destination file system” emerges, converting the current file system like FAT32 to NTFS is undoubtedly the right choice.
However, if you are running a computer with Mac OS X, you had better use OS X's default file system HFS+.
Is Reformatting a Hard Drive Different than Formatting a Hard Drive?
In general, there is no real difference between reformatting a drive and formatting a drive. Both ways will delete all data on the hard drive. When we reformat a hard drive, we are essentially formatting a drive that has previously been formatted.
And now, it is time for you how to format a hard drive with ease in Windows 10/8/7. We will introduce the ways to format disk in detailed.
4 Ways to Format a Hard Drive
- Format a hard drive via Disk Management.
- Format a hard drive via Windows Explorer.
- Format a hard drive via Diskpart.
- Format a hard drive via MiniTool Partition Wizard.
How to Format a Hard Drive with Ease?
In general, when it comes to formatting a hard drive in Windows, there are several ways to complete this task. To be specific, we can turn to Disk Management, DiskPart, third-party tool, and others.
Solution 1. Format a Hard Drive with Windows Built-in Disk Management Tool
Now, we will show you how to format a hard drive with the Windows built-in Disk Management tool.
Press Windows Key and R key together to launch Run dialog, and type diskmgmt. msc in the box and hit Enter or click OK to enter Disk Management window.
Scenario one: If the drive is not initialized (a brand-new drive), you need to initialize it. Right-click the drive and then choose Initialize Disk. Then, you will be given detailed operating prompts. Just do as told.
Scenario two: If the drive contains several volumes, we can format volume to delete some useless data. Right-click the target volume and then click Format… Then, you can complete this formatting according to detailed prompts.
Solution 2. Format Drive via Windows Explorer
We will introduce the second method to format hard drive Windows 10 and you can refer to the following instructions.
Step 1: Open Windows Explorer, you will see all drives (including external hard drive, USB hard drive, and more) in a computer. Now, you need to right-click the drive and choose Format… to get its operating window.
Step 2: You can specify the File system and Allocation unit size, then click Start to continue.
Solution 3. Format Drive via DiskPart
Now, we will introduce the third method to format disk via Diskpart. Diskpart is widely used in Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10, but it doesn’t support Windows XP.
Step 1: Type cmd in the search box of Windows 10 and right-click Command Prompt to choose Run as administrator to continue.
Step 2: Type the following commands and hit Enter after each command to continue.
diskpart > list disk > select volume E > format fs=ntfs quick label=test
Step 4: Then you can exit the command line window.
Solution 4. Format Hard Drive Using Third-Party Tool
To format a hard drive, you can take advantage of a piece of third-party software. Thus, the professional partition manager – MiniTool Partition Wizard is recommended.
It is professional partition magic which is designed to optimize partition and disk use. It has many powerful features, such as migrate OS to SSD, clone disk and so on.
So in order to format a hard drive, it is also competent.
Then we will show you how to format a hard drive with MiniTool Partition Wizard. But first of all, you need to download and install it.
Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to enter its main interface.
Step 2: Select the partition you would like to format and choose Format from the context menu to continue.
Step 3: Then you set the Partition label, File system, and Cluster size, and click OK to continue.
Step 4: Then returning the main interface, click Apply to confirm these changes.
Now, you have successfully formatted the hard drive.
How to Format Hard Drive for Mac OS X
Now, we will show you how to format a hard drive for Mac.
Step 1: In the Finder, choose Go > Utilities. The /Applications/Utilities folder will open. After that, launch Disk Utility.
Step 2: Locate the drive name from the left-hand side of Disk Utility and click on it. And then, click on the Erase tab across the top.
Step 3: From the Format menu, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Next, enter a name for the external hard drive in the Name field.
Step 4: Click the Erase button.
After that, you can successfully format a hard drive for Mac.
Format external drives to Mac OS Extended before using with Aperture will tell you more details.
After seeing the simple introduction, you might know how to format a hard drive to erase data. However, formatting will not delete all data permanently and deleted files still exist on a drive and can be recovered by professional data recovery software. Knowing this, some users want to know whether they can delete some important files like business data and personal information permanently.
Formatting Hard Drive VS Wiping Hard Drive
The two most common ways to erase a hard drive are formatting or wiping the drive. However, formatting is not a 100 percent secure way to completely remove all data from computer since formatting does not erase the data on the disk, only the address tables.
Therefore, some businesses and individual users are looking for more secure methods to erase data. Here, in this case, users can try using Wipe Disk feature provided by MiniTool Partition Wizard to destroy all information saved in one disk permanently, and these destroyed data cannot be recovered by any data recovery solution, including data recovery companies and data recovery software.
Now, we will show you how to wipe disk with MiniTool Partition Wizard.
Step 1: Launch the software to enter its main interface.
Step 2: Select the disk and choose Wipe Disk from the context menu to continue.
Step 3: Choose one of the wipe methods and click OK to continue.
Step 3: Returning to the main interface, click Apply to confirm these changes to continue.
How to Recover Data after Mistakenly Formatting?
Last but not least, we want to how to recover data after mistakenly formatted.
As we know, since formatting just eases the address tables instead of the data, we can recover lost data if we mistakenly format a drive. MiniTool Partition Wizard can also help you to find the lost data back if you have mistakenly formatted the hard drive with the Data Recovery feature.
However, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free can only help you to recover 1GB data. If you need to recover more files, you need to purchase the MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate edition.
And now, we will show you how to recover data if you have mistakenly formatted a hard drive with this program.
Step 1: Launch the program to enter its main interface. Then click Data Recovery feature to continue.
Step 2: In the popup window, please select the drive formatted mistakenly and click Scan to continue.
Step 3: When the scanning process is finished, you can see all the files you lost are listed here and you can check the files you want to save. Then click Save to continue.
Step 4: Then you can decide where to save the recovered files and click OK to continue. It is recommended to choose an external hard drive.
When you have finished all the steps, you can successfully recover the files from the mistakenly formatted hard drive.
In conclusion, we have introduced four methods to format a hard drive and one way to format a hard drive for Mac. If you need to format a hard drive, try these methods.
And if you have any problem about MiniTool Partition Wizard, please feel free to contact us via the email [email protected].
HDD Formatlama FAQ
To format a hard drive, here are 4 available ways. You can format a hard drive via diskpart, Disk Management, File Explorer and third-party tool.
In Disk Management, right-click the volume you want to format and choose Format… to continue.