Hard disks, the primary storage devices on your computer, need to be formatted before you can use them. When you format a disk, you configure it with a file system so that Windows can store information on the disk. Hard disks in new computers running Windows are already formatted. If you buy an additional hard disk to expand the storage of your computer, you might need to format it.
Storage devices such as USB flash drives and flash memory cards usually come preformatted by the manufacturer, so you probably won't need to format them. CDs and DVDs, on the other hand, use different formats from hard disks and removable storage devices. For information about format⤟ting CDs and DVDs

Warning

  • Formatting erases any existing files on a hard disk. If you format a hard disk that has files on it, the files will be deleted.
Here are answers to some common questions about formatting disks and drives.


  1. When do I need to format a disk or drive? 
  2. What do I need to do to format a hard disk?
  3. What file system should I use? 
  4. What's a quick format? 
  5. What are partitions and volumes? 
  6. How do I create more partitions?
  7. How do I add a new hard disk? 
  8. What does reformatting my hard disk do?
  9. Why do I get an error when I try to reformat my hard disk?
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