Rated Excellent
Weekend delivery available
Game now, pay later
Custom PCs built fast
3 year on-site PC warranty*

How to format a hard drive in Windows

Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 covered


So you’ve followed our installation guide showing how to fit a hard drive into your PC, and now you want to use it, but it’s not showing with the rest of the drives in “My computer”? Well this guide will take you through the steps required to format and make the drive usable.

Up first we will show you the process under Windows 7, with images to show the steps along the way, the Windows 8 method is pretty much the same but we will show you that way as well.

Step 1

The first thing you will need to do is click on the start icon, to bring up the start menu. Once that is up, you will then need to right click on the word “Computer”

Step 2

From there, you will need to right click on “Manage” when clicked, a prompt may come up asking for permission to run the program, you will want to allow this.


Step 3

The Disk Management window will then come up, in this window we will want to select disk management, which is located under the storage section.



Step 4

At this point if the drive is new (never formatted before) and working, a window will come up asking you to initialise a new hard drive before it can be used. If your computer is new, the options shown will be the same as the image below. Which one you select will normally depend on the size of the drive; anything over 2TB will need to be GPT for anything 2TB and below, MBR can be selected.


Step 5

Once the drive has been initialised, the drive will show as unallocated space with a black bar going across the screen, from there we need to right click this bar and select “new simple volume”

Unallocated SpaceUnallocated Space


Step 6

 When clicked the New Simple Volume Wizard will show, click next.

In the following window you have the option of changing the partition size instead of using the whole disk, this is useful if you want to create multiple small partitions. For the purposes of this guide we will simply click next.


Step 7

In the next window, the options will have already been set, but if you want to change the name of the volume you can do so in this window, before clicking next just make sure the quick format option is ticked.


Step 8

The final window just confirms what has been done in the first few steps, so click finish. Once you do, the drive will then change to have a blue bar and will say "formatting".


Step 9

When this is done, you will be prompted with the options of viewing your newly formatted hard drive.


On the next page, we cover how to get to Step 4 of this guide within Windows 8, from there it follows the same as Windows 7.