How to Format a Hard Drive or Usb Flash Drive on Windows

We ask you to format hard drive or USB stick ? You do not know how ? here is a complete tutorial to format your hard drive (SSD hard drive for example) or your USB key.

Formatting erases all content of your hard drive or usb key so be careful before formatting it is necessary save your data !

But why format your hard drive?

When you need to reinstall your operating system with a iso windows 10 you will need to format your hard drive to perform the installation.

Formatting a hard drive or a usb key allows you to prepare the device by choosing a data format and a block amount of allocations.

Finally, sometimes when the peripheral or your computer no longer works, you can format it as a radiacle solution.

Attention formatting the main system disk (the C: ) is not possible from Windows Explorer.

Format your hard drive, USB key from Windows system

You can format your USB key or your hard drive from the Windows system. Indeed Windows Explorer provides simple tools to perform formatting.

First you have to open Windows Explorer to see its different disks

Windows explorer Format hard drive
in Windows explorer you have to right-click then choose “Format”

You are then asked to choose a name and then a format:

format hard drive
The format and the name must be entered, the unit size may depend on the size of your files

On Windows in most cases you must choose the NTFS format, the name of the volume makes it easier to identify it. Finally the unit size can be changed, in my case it is a big disk for the backup so I configured the size to 64 kilobytes.

When you format a USB drive you will surely see the FAT 32 format, this format is used when you need to format a usb key to reinstall your operating system.

Regarding the “quick format” box, this is the formatting mode. In quick format the filesystem from the volume is removed. The files are not really deleted with some tools it is possible to find them.

By unchecking the box you will perform a complete formatting, the data will be erased. Formatting takes longer since each block will be assigned the value 0. The larger the volume, the longer the operation.

Windows allows you to format your USB keys but also your external hard drives connected to USB.

Format hard drive with Disk Manager

Windows offers its own disk management tools. It is used to manage the volume (modify the size, delete data).

You can access Disk Manager by pressing Windows key + R and then entering the following command: diskmgmt.msc

The diskmgmt.msc command opens the Disk Manager.
Windows disk management
The disk manager allows you to modify the size of the volume but also to format hard disks or usb keys

You then find the same options as the first method.

Utilities to manage hard drives and USB keys

There are utilities to format your disks or USB keys more easily. Indeed software like EaseUS lifts certain restrictions imposed by Microsoft.

Be aware that you cannot necessarily enlarge the size of volume C. So we have written a complete tutorial to help you: Augment-taille-disque-c/

To reinstall your system you must prepare your USB key by downloading an ISO from your system. Tools like RUFUS make it possible to format your usb key to reinstall your Linux or Windows system

Rufus interface

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