Format a drive in Disk Management on XP
Format a drive in Disk Management on XP.
Reformatting a drive is a simple process. The process will erase the data permanently, so any data not backed up must be recovered prior to attempting prior to doing this.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Following the procedure below will ERASE ALL DATA on the drive. Prior to following these directions, verify important data is stored securely on a different storage device.
The top frame lists partition summaries for connected drives. The bottom frame shows how the disks are physically related to these partitions. We are interested primarily in the bottom frame. Look for the disk number to be formatted. It should have a different icon (a red "do not enter" sign, specifically.)
Right-click that symbol, and choose to "Initialize Disk". A new window will appear asking for confirmation. Confirm this decision. If the different symbol or "Initialize disk" never appears, simply right-click the area to the right of the disk number, and choose to delete partition.
When either procedure is complete, it will now appear like so:
Next, space must be allocated to hold files. Computers call these "Partitions." Right-click the area marked "Unallocated", and choose to make a "New Partition."
For the following choices presented, the default is the most desirable option. It will set up the entire disk as one drive, make it the Windows file format (NTFS), and run a read/write test on the drive. Read each question carefully to ensure that it will meet any required needs, as reformatting erases the data, again.
Once it has completed, the drive will be accessible.