Today’s computers are much more user friendly than ever before and virtually anyone can easily follow the on screen instructions for formatting external hard drive. Formatting will enable you to set up a new external drive for use, or allow you to remove unwanted and unneeded files and viruses.
Most people who use a computer on a regular basis know that their computer can slow down in use when they get too cluttered. Being able to still maintain some of that information without slowing down your computer is one of the great benefits of external hard drives. They can be easily connected with a simple cable and the transfer speeds are usually quite fast so it doesn’t take very long to do.
These instructions are for a Windows XP operating system, but they are very similar for other systems and you should be able to figure it out pretty easily if you have a different type of operating system.
Step one to formatting a drive you already have (obviously, you can skip this step if you are formatting a brand new drive that doesn’t have any data on it) is to back up all the date you have on the drive. You don’t want to lose valuable information while trying to rid yourself of old files and viruses.
You can save all of this data to either another drive, not the one you are formatting, but something else such as a CD or a floppy. Whatever option works best for you, Just make sure that you don’t skip this step or you will lose valuable data and possibly even your operating system.
OK, now that you’ve backed up your drive, these easy to follow, step by step instructions will walk you through the process. Remember, this is for the Windows XP operating system, if you have another operating system the instructions won’t be the exact same:
1. Double click on the ‘MY Computer” tab on your computer. This is usually found on the start menu.
2. Scroll to find the tab for your external hard drive. Once you’ve located it, click on it (right click).
3. A ‘Format Menu’ will open. This menu will provide you with several options, don’t worry, it’s not that hard. Just click on the ‘Start’ tab and you will get a warning message telling you that your data will be lost. Don’t worry about that since you’ve already backed it up (remember the first step of the process?).
4. You will see a progress bar that will tell you how much more there is to do on the format. It doesn’t usually take too long to perform the formatting though the actual time will depend on the size of your hard drive.
5. Don’t mess with anything while your hard drive is being formatted. Just let it do it’s thing and patiently wait.
If you’re still not sure how the formatting external hard drive works, you can always find your local computer repair store or the store you bought your computer from to help out. It’s not really that hard though and even non techie people can probably do it with ease.