Most new external hard drives available in the market are designed to be plug and play. By plug and play, what I mean is that you can just plug in the hard drive and start using it right away. This is because the manufacturers send the disk initialised and ready to work with the most common operating systems.

The internal hard disks available in the market, on the other hand, require to be prepared before use. By preparing a hard drive, I mean that the hard drive needs to be formatted.

So, how do you format a new internal hard drive and make the hard drive usable by your operating system? The answer depends on which operating system you are using. Today we looking at Windows XP and I will be explaining the steps needed to format new disks under this operating system.

Of course, I’m assuming that you have already attached your disk to your computer and the computer is able to boot up with the older hard disk.

So, once you’ve logged into the administrator account under Windows XP, what you need to do is right click on the “My computer” icon and click on Manage.


This should open the Computer Management tool. Now to view the newly attached disk go to the Disk Management service.


As soon as you click on disk management, a wizard should pop up which will help you to initialize your new disk. At this point, you can just let the wizard do its job and when its done, you should be able to see your new disk in an unallocated state.This does not mean that the disk is bad, but it means that you have successfuly completed the first part of the process and can proceed to the second part.

This is where you need to create a partition, and give your new disk a drive name, like c:, d: etc, so that you can use it under Windows.


The new partition wizard will take you through a series of steps and let you specify the size of the partition (if you don’t want the whole disk to be allocated to a single drive), the drive letter and the file system type. In almost all cases, you can simply chose the default options and let the wizard work its magic.

In the end, you should have a shiny new drive available for storing your MP3 collectionimportant documents.

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