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Content:: Windows - Partitioning and formatting a gard drive

Partitioning a hard disk and formatting your hard disk partition

Windows allows partitioning and formatting two ways. The command line and through the Graphical User Interface (GUI). With command line you can use the fdisk command to set the partition and format to write the file system to the hard drive.

If you already have the operating system installed on the system and are adding an additional hard drive to the system you can use the Computer Management GUI tool to do the partitioning and formatting. To access the Computer Management GUI you can run the command compmgmt.msc. A link to this program can be found in the "Control Panel" inside the "Administrative Tools".

Computer Management Tool

When you open the Computer Management Tool it will check to see if you have any hard drives that need to be partitioned and formatted. If it finds one the wizard will open up walking you through the steps to get your drive set up. You can cancel out of the wizard, which I'd recommend, and view your partition settings.

Inside the Computer Management window you can use the navigation pane to the left to open the "Disk Management" section. The Disk Management pane will show two sections on the top you will see your currently formatted disks and the bottom will show all of your available disks.


An Unallocated section will appear with a black title. To partition the drive right click on the disk name which will be labeled disk 0, disk 1, disk 2, etc. From the context menu select New Partition. Create a Primary partition and allocate the desired space (usually all) to the new partition. a new window will appear Assign Drive Letter or Path the default options should suffice, the next sequential drive letter will automatically be choosen.

If the wizard does not automatically prompt for formatting you can right click on the partition allocation you would like to format and select Format from the context menu.

Upon completion of the format you can now use the drive!

References :
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309000
Last Modified: 2009-11-11