When you're inserting a new hard drive to Windows 7, formatting is needed before using. Format partition or disk will set everything essential in partition and make it useable for volume, besides, format will check disk errors and delete everything in it, but format is not wiping things out, just mark that space as available for other data. Here is the method to erase everything without recovery possibility.
Format an existing partition in Windows 7 will take you some time to run, if you have disk problems or there's a chance for slowing down Windows performance, it is an option to format an existing partition and reinstall programs. Before doing anything to hard drive, we strongly recommend making a backup before wards.
"I had a hard drive from my friend, it's empty, I want to install Windows 7 to this disk, although he said it's empty, I doubt if it is clean, I mean, maybe there're some tracks left in this disk, how can I make sure it's a clean disk like a factory setting one, I know format is not really make disk clean,"
The best thing before using a used disk is to wipe disk, which will ensure you get a clean disk with factory settings, RAW disk, check here to see how to wipe disk before reinstalling system. Now you can insert the restore disc to install Windows 7 without worrying about traces of original data.
After installed Windows 7, you can manage partition in Windows Disk Management, you can format unallocated space and create new partition, or you can directly format an existing partition in it.
In the format window, you can reset Volume label, file system and allocate unit size, leave the "perform a quick format" as checked, and click OK to perform, of course you get a waring message, Click OK to continue if you had a backup previously.
The following is how I format F partition in disk partition command line, you can type "diskpart" directly in Win + R box, and click Yes to UAC Window. commands are marked as
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601 Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation. On computer: WIN-A82KHKU60PJ DISKPART>
list diskDisk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt -------- ------------- ------- ------- --- --- Disk 0 Online 500 GB 1024 KB Disk 1 Online 200 GB 1024 KB * DISKPART>
sel disk 1Disk 1 is now the selected disk. DISKPART>
list partitionPartition ### Type Size Offset ------------- ---------------- ------- ------- Partition 1 Primary 112 GB 1088 KB Partition 2 Primary 6337 MB 112 GB Partition 3 Primary 80 GB 119 GB DISKPART>
sel partition 1Partition 1 is now the selected partition. DISKPART>
format fs=fat3228 percent completed
It will take a while to format, but if your disk size is too big, diskpart will fail to format NFTS to FAT32, like the error below, if you face this error, it's time to format partition with partition software.
Partition 1 is now the selected partition. DISKPART>
format fs=fat320 percent completed Virtual Disk Service error:
The volume size is too big.DISKPART>
You can use partition software to format an existing partition in Windows 7 with ease, for instance, format partition F: to FAT32. Steps are followed:
So there're 3 ways to format partition, and choose file system between NTFS to FAT32, all the three methods will delete files in that partition, but if all I want is to convert NTFS to FAT32, what's the best option? click to play video on how to format an exsiting partition
Many Xbox 360 users or PS4 user have hard drives require FAT32 file system, because NTFS cannot be recognized by their devices, how to convert NTFS to FAT32 without format when games data already on NTFS partition?
Run Partition Expert, click the NTFS partition, and click Convert to FAT32; Click OK and Commit, Done, nothing touched.