How to format a hard drive in Windows® 7

Get tips to format the hard drive of a system running on Windows 7

Windows 7 is the operating system produced by Microsoft with more advanced features. Windows 7 comes with many versions like Windows 7 Professional Edition, Windows 7 Ultimate Editions, and Windows 7 Enterprise Editions etc. Windows 7 provide faster performance for your system. Its taskbar provides bigger buttons and full- sized previews. Jump list is a special feature for the Windows 7 Operating system. It provides shortcuts to files, folders, and websites. Windows 7 provide better networking access, better Windows search etc. Notification area, Aero Peek, Aero Snap – window maximizing and tiling, Aero Shake, Pinned applications, Thumbnail previews etc are the other features of Windows 7 operating system.

Given below are methods to format a hard drive on Windows 7:

  • Format the drive and reinstall Windows 7

  • Format the drive without reinstalling Windows 7

  • Using Windows 7 Disk Management

Format the drive and reinstall Windows 7

If you want to reinstall Windows 7 operating system while formatting you need to go to BIOS and set the boot precedence to begin with your CD-ROM drive. Restart your computer and enter the BIOS. When you find the boot priority option, change it to boot from the CD first. Then you need to restart your system with the Windows disc in your CD or DVD drive. You need to then follow the steps to boot from the CD listed on your monitor. Here you could get the option to select to install a fresh copy of Windows 7. After deleting the current partition you need to select the un-partitioned space and create a new partition. Then you need to choose your new partition and format it. Finally you need to continue with the Windows installation process as noted on your monitor.

Format the drive without reinstalling Windows 7

If you do not need to install a Windows 7 operating system onto your hard drive you need to produce or download the files to make a boot disk. Then you need to go into your BIOS and set the floppy disk or CD drive as the first boot device depending upon your boot disk medium. Then you need to restart your computer with the boot disk in the drive. Here you need to choose to boot your computer using CD-ROM support. After typing fdisk command you need to select Y for enabling large disk support. You could use this program to create a partition and set the partition to active. When formatting is done, reboot with the boot disk again. Then you need to type the command 'Format c:' in which c is the letter of your hard drive. Finally type Y to accept it.

Using Windows 7 Disk Management

To do this you could use Windows 7 Disk Management selecting from the Computer Management utility. With Disk Management you need to establish the drive you need to format from the list at the top. Once positioned you need to right-click on the drive and choose Format. In the Volume label textbox you need to give a name to the drive. Then you need to choose NTFS file system. Set the Allocation unit size to Default unless there's a specific reason to customize it. The Enable file and folder compression option is probably unchecked by default and is recommend keeping it that way and select Ok button. The hard drive format will begin. You can keep track of the drive format by watching the Formatting: xx% progress in the Status field.

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