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 Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.

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PostSubject: Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.   Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 am

Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive; Web Tech Support: A brand new hard drive cannot be used until it has been formatted. Formatting places magnetic markers on the drive surface to define the sectors in which data is stored. When you format a hard drive, you erase all its files and prepare it as if it were a new or blank hard dive. Formatting your hard drive will wipe clean your drive just like a new hard drive.

A hard drive consists of numerous metallic platters. These platters store data magnetically. Special read/write heads realign magnetic particles on the platters, much like a recording head records data onto magnetic recording tape.

Before data can be stored on any disk, including your system's hard drive, that hard drive must first be formatted. A hard drive that has not been formatted cannot accept any data. When you format a hard drive, your computer prepares the surface of the drive to accept and store data magnetically.

But, When you buy a new PC, your hard disk is already formatted for you. And, in most cases, your operating system and most key programs are preinstalled for you.

If you decided to upgrade and install a second hard drive you can format that second hard drive in Windows Explorer. However, to format your C drive you need to use a bootable disk to format the C drive. The following describes how to format a hard drive using Windows 98/Me or DOS. Be sure to back up any files you want to keep. You may need to partition your drive before you format it -See: How to Partition a Hard Drive here.

Windows Me/98 comes with an updated Fdisk.exe, which you can use to partition your drives. In most cases, the computer manufacturer will have already set up disk partitions on your hard drive when you get a new computer or drive. You can use the updated Fdisk.exe to make changes to the partitions, but you will lose any files stored on them unless you back them up first.

Hard drive size is measured in gigabytes (GB). The bigger the drive, the higher the price $$$. If you're running Windows 95 or earlier, your operating system will only support drives up to 32GB in size. If you're running Windows 98/ Me/XP/NT, or Windows 2000, you can use drives that exceed the 32GB limit. Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.




Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.



In Windows 98/Me, you have to partition and format your hard drive manually. It isn't that hard really; we'll start with the portioning process, which uses a DOS-based utility called FDISK. WebTechGeek.com

The Steps:

1. From within Windows, click the Start button and select Run. When the Run dialog box appears, enter FDISK into the Open box and click OK.

2. When FDISK starts (in a DOS window), you'll be asked if you want to enable large disk support. Answer Yes.

3. The FDISK menu is now displayed. Select the drive you want to partition, and then choose option 1 (Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive).

4. When asked if you want to use the entire drive for your DOS partition, answer Yes. (If you're asked whether you want to enable FAT32 support, also answer Yes.)

5. After the partition is created, follow the onscreen prompts to exit FDISK and restart your computer.

6. After your new drive has been partitioned, you have to format it for use. To format a new hard drive manually. Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive:



Note: Don't run FDISK on an existing hard disk drive, unless you're really sure you want to return your hard drive to its original from-the-factory condition. Partitioning the drive will delete all data on the drive!

A. From within Windows, open My Computer.

B. Right-click the drive you want to format, and select Format from the pop-up menu.

C. When the Format Local Disk dialog box appears, select the File System you want to use (only select NTFS if you're running Windows XP; for older operating systems, choose FAT32), enter a label for the disk, select the Quick Format option, and then click Start.

D. After your new drive has been partitioned and formatted, it's ready to store whatever data you need stored. Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.



First make a Startup Disk (Boot Disk): To create a Startup Disk, click the Add/Remove Programs icon in Windows Me/98 Control Panel. WebTechGeek.com

The Steps for Formatting The C Drive in DOS:

1. If you installed a new C drive and you need to formatting the C drive, you need to boot-up from a boot floppy disk and use DOS to format the C drive. Start or boot-up your computer using a startup boot disk. If your new hard drive has a utilities disk use it to format your new drive. Optional: you can use the Ultimate Boot Disk Software here.

2. Use your floppy boot disk to start your computer. Put your boot disk in your disk drive and start the computer. The screen should show the A:\ prompt.

Warnings: The format procedure deletes all files on the hard disk, This action is not reversible.

3. Now type in FORMAT C: /S /V
This command formats the hard disk, transfers the appropriate system files to make it a startup disk, and prompts you for a new name. The /S command tells DOS to copy two hidden files and COMMAND>COM to the drive. The /V command is optional, it allows you to enter a volume label that is displayed at the top of the directory list to help you id the disk.

4. You need to enter the new disk name. The hard drive is now bootable. Now eject the boot floppy disk and restart your computer. The hard drive is ready to use, You can install a new OS, Windows. Remember to come back to WebTechGeek.com for more How to tips!

Note: It's important that the boot disk has the same version of DOS that's on your hard drive. Use the VER command at the DOS prompt to display the current version of DOS. Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.



Windows - Second Drive Format Steps: Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.

First make a Startup Disk: To create a Startup Disk, click the Add/Remove Programs icon in Windows Me/98 Control Panel. WebTechGeek.com

1. You can start by double-clicking on the My Computer icon. Now click the second drive icon to select it.

2. Now open the File menu and select Format. The format window should displays the hard disk capacity.

3. You need to select Format type and enter a disk label (name). If you want to Boot up from your second drive, you need to check the "Copy system files" box.

4. Now click Start. Windows displays a warning box. After you read the warning, and then click OK to begin formatting. Warnings: The format procedure deletes all files on the hard disk, This action is not reversible. Be sure to back up any files you want to keep. Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive. Remember to come back to WebTechGeek.com for more How to tips!



You may need to use FDISK to Partition Your New Drive; how to in Windows: Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.

In Windows, click Start > Programs > MS-DOS Prompt. Type fdisk at the DOS prompt and press Enter. Press Enter again to allow the hard disk to be formatted (later) in 32-bit FAT format,

Now press 5 to change the current fixed disk drive and then press Enter. You are going to format the second drive, your new drive, make sure that you don't format the first drive (the C drive). Then press 2 (to format the new drive) and press Enter.

You need to press 1 and then Enter to create a DOS partition on drive 2.

Now press 1 again, and then press Enter to create a primary DOS partition. You want to create a primary DOS partition to allow this partition to become the bootable volume, the C: drive.

Now press Enter to use the maximum available size of your new hard disk for the primary DOS partition. All drives less than 8GB will use 4K clusters for file storage. You might as well format the whole drive as one primary partition unless you have criteria other than optimal file storage space efficiency for dividing the drive. Now press Esc to end FDISK.

OK reboot Windows, and your new formatted hard drive will be recognized as drive D:. The second primary partition is assigned the drive letter D: Format a Computer Hard Drive or Disc Drive.
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