Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10  

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10

    How to Format a Disk or Drive in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Hardware & Drivers
    29 Dec 2021
    Designer Media Ltd



    How to Format a Disk or Drive in Windows 10


    Format is the process of preparing a data storage device such as a hard disk drive, solid-state drive, or USB flash drive for initial use to accept Windows files.

    You can select to use a FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, or ReFS file system when formatting.

    The behavior of the format command changed in Windows Vista and later Windows versions. By default in Windows Vista and later versions, the format command writes zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed. In Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows, the format command doesn't write zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed.

    The new format behavior may cause problems for the on-demand allocation modes that a volume storage provider, such as a Storage Area Network (SAN), supports. Problems may occur because the new format behavior prematurely triggers allocation of the backing space.

    In the on-demand scenario, zeros don't have to be written to the whole disk because the volume storage provider initializes the on-demand-allocated data. To avoid causing unnecessary on-demand-allocation, you must use the quick format option.

    • Quick format - Files are erased (not overwritten) from the volume that you are formatting, but does not scan the disk for bad sectors. Only use this option if your hard disk has been previously formatted and you are sure that your hard disk is not damaged.
    • Full format - Files are erased and overwritten {writes zeros to the whole disk) from the volume that you are formatting and the drive is scanned for bad sectors. The scan for bad sectors is the reason why the Full format takes twice as long as the Quick format.

    See also: Change in the behavior of the format command in Windows Vista and later versions | Microsoft Docs

    This tutorial will show you different ways on how to format a disk or drive in Windows 10.

    When you format a disk or drive, it will erase all data on the disk or drive.


    Contents







    OPTION ONE

    Format Disk or Drive in This PC


    1 Open This PC in File Explorer (Win+E), and do either step 2 or step 3 below.

    2 Right click or press and hold on the drive (ex: "D") you want to format, click/tap on Format, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-1.jpg

    3 Select the drive (ex: "D") you want to format, click/tap on the "Drive Tools" Manage tab, click/tap on the Format button in the ribbon, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-2.jpg

    4 Select the supported File system (FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, or ReFS) you want to use for this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-3.png

    5 Select the supported Allocation unit size (aka: "cluster size") you want to use for this drive. Usually it is best to use the default allocation size. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-4.png

    6 Type a Volume label you want for the drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-5.png

    7 Check or uncheck the Quick Format box depending on if you want to do a Quick or Full format of this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-6.png

    8 Click/tap on Start, when ready to format this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-7.png

    9 Click/tap on OK to confirm. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-8.png

    10 When format is complete, click/tap on OK. You can now also close the Format dialog. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_this_pc-9.png






    OPTION TWO

    Format Disk or Drive in Disk Management


    You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.


    1 Right click on the Start button to open the Win+X menu, and click/tap on Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc).

    2 Right click or press and hold on the disk or partition/volume (ex: "D") you want to format, and click/tap on Format. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-1.jpg

    3 Type a Volume label you want for the drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-2.jpg

    4 Select the supported File system (FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, or ReFS) you want to use for this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-3.png

    5 Select the supported Allocation unit size (aka: "cluster size") you want to use for this drive. Usually it is best to use the default allocation size. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-4.jpg

    6 Check or uncheck the Perform a quick format box depending on if you want to do a Quick or Full format of this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-5.png

    7 Check or uncheck (default) the Enable file and folder compression box for what you want on this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-6.png

    8 Click/tap on OK, when ready to format this disk or partition/volume. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-7.png

    9 Click/tap on OK to confirm. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-8.png

    10 When formatting is complete, you can Disk Management if you like. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_disk_management-9.jpg






    OPTION THREE

    Format Disk or Drive in Command Prompt


    You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.


    1 Open an elevated command prompt or command prompt at boot.

    2 Type the commands below one at a time into the command prompt, and press Enter after each command. Make note of the volume number (ex: "4") of the drive letter (ex: "D") you want to format. (see screenshot below)

    diskpart

    AND

    list volume

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_using_diskpart_command-1.png

    3 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot above)

    select volume <number>

    Substitute <number> in the command above with the actual volume number (ex: "4") you want to format from step 2 above.

    For example: select volume 4


    4 Type the command below you want to use into the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    (Quick format)
    format fs=<FileSystemType> label="<FriendlyNamel>" quick

    OR

    (Full format)
    format fs=<FileSystemType> label="<FriendlyName>"

    Substitute <FileSystemType> in the command above with the supported FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, or ReFS) file system you want to use for this drive.

    Substitute <FriendlyName> in the command above with the actual volume label (ex: "Local Disk") you want for this drive.

    For example: format fs=ntfs label="Local Disk" quick

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_using_diskpart_command-2.png

    5 If you would like to assign a specific drive letter you want to this drive, type the command below into the elevated command prompt, and press Enter.

    Windows will automatically assign an available drive letter by default to a drive when it gets formatted.

    assign letter=<new drive letter>

    Substitute <new drive letter> in the command above with the actual new drive letter (ex: "G") you want to assign to the drive.

    For example: assign letter=G

    If the new drive letter you assign is not available, you will get an error message indicating so in the command prompt. You will just need to repeat this step to assign an available drive letter.


    6 When finished, you can close the elevated command prompt.






    OPTION FOUR

    Format Disk or Drive in PowerShell


    You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.

    To see more usage options for the Format-Volume command, see: Format-Volume - Microsoft Docs


    1 Open an elevated PowerShell.

    2 Type the Get-Volume command into the elevated PowerShell, press Enter, and make note of the drive letter (ex: "D") of the volume you want to format. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-get-volume_in_powershell.jpg

    3 Type the command below you want to use into the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshots below)

    (Quick format)
    Format-Volume -DriveLetter "<DriveLetter>" -FileSystem <FileSystemType> -NewFileSystemLabel "<FriendlyName>"

    OR

    (Full format)
    Format-Volume -DriveLetter "<DriveLetter>" -FileSystem <FileSystemType> -NewFileSystemLabel "<FriendlyName> -Full"

    Substitute <DriveLetter> in the command above with the actual drive letter (ex: "D") you want to format from step 2 above.

    Substitute <FileSystemType> in the command above with the supported FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, or ReFS) file system you want to use for this drive.

    Substitute <FriendlyName> in the command above with the actual volume label (ex: "Local Disk") you want for this drive.

    For example: Format-Volume -DriveLetter "D" -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel "Local Disk"

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_powershell-1.jpg Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_in_powershell-2.jpg

    4 When finished, you can close the elevated PowerShell.






    OPTION FIVE

    Format Disk or Drive in Settings


    This option is only available starting with Windows 10 build 20197.


    1 Open Settings, and click/tap on the System icon.

    2 Click/tap on Storage on the left side, and click/tap on the Manage Disks and Volumes link on the right side. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-settings_manage_disks_and_volumes-1.jpg

    3 Expand open the disk (ex: "Disk 2") that contains the volume you want to format. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-settings_manage_disks_and_volumes-2.png

    4 Click/tap on the volume or partition (ex: drive "F") you want to format, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-settings_manage_disks_and_volumes-3.png

    5 Click/tap on the Format button under the Format section. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_drive_in_settings-1.png

    3 Type a Volume label you want for the drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_drive_in_settings-2.png

    4 Select the supported File system (FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, or ReFS) you want to use for this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_drive_in_settings-3.png

    5 Select the supported Allocation unit size (aka: "cluster size") you want to use for this drive. Usually it is best to use the default allocation size. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_drive_in_settings-4.png

    6 Check or uncheck the Perform a quick format box depending on if you want to do a Quick or Full format of this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_drive_in_settings-5.png

    7 Check or uncheck (default) the Enable file and folder compression box for what you want on this drive. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_drive_in_settings-6.png

    8 Click/tap on the Format button, when ready to format this partition/volume. (see screenshot below)

    Format Disk or Drive in Windows 10-format_drive_in_settings-7.png

    9 You can now close Settings if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn





  1. Posts : 61,585
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
       #1

    Tutorial updated to add option 5 to format a drive (volume or partition) in Settings.
      My Computers


 

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