To format a hard drive in Windows Vista and Windows 7, you will need to go to the Disk Management console. Right-click on the Computer icon, and select Manage, then Disk Management. You will see a graphical display of your drive partitions in the lower section. The drive you wish to format will likely have a black bar and the word “unallocated” in the graphic (if not, and you need to re-format it, see below). Follow these steps to complete the process:
* Right-click on the unallocated space, and select “New Simple Volume.” (In XP, it is “New Partition”)
* Press “Next” on the initial welcome screen.
* Set the desired partition size. By default, Windows will create a new volume using the entire amount of available space. Press “Next” when ready.
* Assign a letter to the drive and press “Next.”
* Under the “Format with these setting” dialogue, make sure that the file system is NTFS, and the allocation size is Default.
* The Volume Label is the name that will be given to the drive. Format example, a rive called “Audio (D:)” has the letter D, and the volume label Audio assign to it. Type in your preffered label.
* On a brand-new drive, it’s OK to check the “Perform a quick format” box. If this is a drive that has previously been used, leave it unchecked to performa full format.
* DO NOT enable file and folder compression. This causes audio applications to run at a far slower rate than with an uncompressed drive. Press “Next” when ready.
* Review the settings you have selected, and make sure they are corect. Press “Finish” to complete the formatting.
If you need to re-format the drive, and therefore delete the existing data, there a few steps to perform before the formatting process. In Disk Management, right-click on the volume you wish to delete and press “Delete Volume.” Select “Yes” to complete the delete process.