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On Windows 10, it’s recommended to format a hard drive to erase its current data and make sure to set up a supported file system that the operating system can understand to read and write data. Also, using the “Format” feature can help to delete all your personal data when you’re planning to get rid of the drive, so someone else doesn’t have easy access to your files.

In the past, you needed to use the Disk Management tool, Command Prompt, or PowerShell to format hard drive, but since build 20237, Windows 10 has a new experience built into the Storage settings to manage drives and partitions more easily.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to format a hard drive (internal or external) using the “Manage Disks and Volumes” settings available on Windows 10.

Format hard drive on Windows 10

To format a hard drive using the Manage Disks and Volumes settings, use these steps:

Important: The format process will delete everything on the drive. As a result, it’s recommended to backup any important data before proceeding.

Select the hard drive with the partition you want to format.

Select the partition.

In the “Label” field specify a name that you want to appear for the hard drive in File Explorer.

Use the “File System” drop-down menu and select the NTFS option.

Quick tip: If you’re formatting a flash drive that you’ll be using in different operating systems, you may want to consider using the exFAT file system.

Use the default select for Allocation Unit Size.

(Optional) Clear the Perform a quick format option to perform a full format. However, depending on the size of the hard drive, it could take a long time to complete. Usually, you may want to use this option if you’re decommissioning the storage device.

(Optional) Check the Enable file and folder compression if you want to save space as you store files. Using this option may slightly affect performance of the drive, since a compression and decompression process will occur as you use the storage.

Once you complete the steps, the partition of the hard drive will be formatted. You won’t see any visuals showing the formatting progress, but the “Format” button will be grayed out until the process completes.

Format hard drive without partition on Windows 10

If the storage device doesn’t have a partition, you’ll need to create a new partition and then format the drive.

To create and format an external or internal hard drive, use these steps:

Open Settings.

Select the hard drive you want to format.

Select the Unallocated space.

In the “Label” field specify a name that you want to appear for the hard drive.

Use the Drive Letter drop-down menu to assign a letter for the drive.

Use the “File System” drop-down menu and select the NTFS option.

(Optional) In the “Size” field specify the size of the partition in megabytes. If you’re planning to have one partition to store data, you don’t need to modify this option.

(Optional) In the “Folder Path to Mount in” field specify the path to a folder where you want to mount the drive. (This is an uncommon option for regular users.)

Use the default select for Allocation Unit Size.

(Optional) Clear the Perform a quick format option to perform a full format, but depending on the size of the hard drive, it could take a long time to complete.

(Optional) Check the Enable file and folder compression if you want to save space as you store files. Using this option may slightly affect performance of the drive, since a compression and decompression process will occur as you use the storage.

After you complete the steps, the new partition will be created and formatted with the file system you specified. Once the process is complete, you can start storing files using File Explorer.

The process may take some time to complete. You won’t see any progress visuals, but you’ll receive a notifications when the format is complete, and the drive will appear in File Explorer.

If you don’t see the Manage Disks and Volumes settings, it’s likely because you’re not running the version of Windows 10 that includes this feature. At the time of this writing, the feature is available with build 20237 and higher releases.

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How To Format An External Hard Drive For Mac

Last Updated on December 5, 2023

We’ve all been there, you’ve filled the storage space on your laptop, and need more, so you buy a nice shiny new external hard drive for some extra storage, but what if it’s not compatible with macOS?

Not to worry! In this article, we’ll be showing you how to format an external hard drive for a mac, so that you can get some much-needed extra storage, without having to fork out for a brand new laptop!

What Is An External Hard Drive?

External hard drives are essentially free storage space when it comes to using any laptop or mac in this case.

External drives are different from regular hard drives because their use is intended for external usage. Which just means anything that’s not actually inside of the computer or any other device you’re using.

This means they’re best used in situations like this, where you just need some added storage. First, though, you’ll just need to be able to reformat your external hard drive.

Which Format Should I Use?

When it comes to formatting an external hard drive, the most difficult part of the process is choosing the file format that you want to use with your external hard drive.

This differs from person to person, but the file format that you choose is going to largely depend on what operating systems you’ll be using the most.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the file formats that might be right for you.

Mac OS Extended

If you want something that’ll work really well with your mac, then mac OS extended is going to be your best choice straight out of the gate. It’s the default file format for Mac OS Sierra or anything before, and that’s because it runs great on all macs.

The downside of this file format is that it won’t work for Windows or Linux, so if you’re using any other operating systems this one is best missed.


Introduced as the newer version of Mac OS extended, APFS is all about speed and compatibility with other similar operating systems.

In saying that, this won’t be compatible with Windows, Linux, or any MacOS before High Sierra, so your options are limited. But if you have a mac with high sierra or later, then this is a great choice if speed is of importance to you.


FAT32 is a default file format for many due to its compatibility. It’ll work across Windows, Mac and Linux, so you’ll be able to transfer files with ease.

Its only drawback is that its filing system is limited to 4GB, so you’ll find yourself running out of storage space incredibly quickly.


How To Format An External Hard Drive To Mac

It’s worth noting that reformatting a drive will always delete everything you have on it, so make sure to transfer any files you need before you start this.



Connect External Hard Drive To Mac

First, connect your external hard drive to your mac.



Open Disk Utility

Open disk utility, you can search for this by using spotlight (command+space)



Select External Hard Drive

Select the external hard drive from the subheading on the left hand side.



Erase Button

Hit the erase button



Rename The Drive

Enter the name of the drive and rename it to whatever you’d like





And You’re Done

You’re all done! After this you should be ready to use your external hard drive.

Final Thoughts

It’s as simple as that, make sure you understand what file format you’ll be selecting before you begin reformatting your hard drive, but otherwise, if you follow these steps you’ll have your external hard drive working in no time!

How To Migrate Windows 10 To A New Hard Drive

 If you’ve just upgraded your PC and want to migrate Windows 10 to a new hard drive, you’ll have to consider your options. This is a job that beginners might struggle with, but it doesn’t have to be—you just need to figure out how you’re going to move your files from A to B and ensure Windows will boot from your new drive.

There are a few ways you can do this. You could create a new system image to migrate from one drive of equal size to another. Alternatively, you could consider cloning your hard drive to copy your installation, especially if your drives are different sizes. Here’s what you’ll need to do to begin the process.

Table of Contents

Before You Move Windows 10 to a New Hard Drive

Before you consider a transfer of Windows 10 to a new hard drive, you should consider backing up your essential files, independently of any new system image you create. 

While this process shouldn’t have an impact on your original drive and files, you may cause data loss if you accidentally overwrite your initial drive in the process. To be sure that your data is safe, you should always perform an independent backup of your files using portable media (such as a USB drive) or online cloud storage.

Once you’ve backed up your essential files, you’ll have two options to consider. The process to move Windows 10 to a new hard drive depends on if you’re moving to a drive of equivalent or larger size or if the drive is smaller, as the process will vary.

However, if you’re moving to a drive that’s smaller than the original, you won’t be able to use this method, as Windows will show an error during the re-imaging process. Instead, you’ll need to transfer Windows 10 to a new hard drive using third-party tools that will allow you to copy the files successfully to the smaller drive.

Create a New System Image to Migrate Windows to Drives of Equivalent or Larger Size

If you want to migrate Windows 10 to an equivalently-sized or larger hard drive than the original, the best method is to use Windows’ own system imaging tool. This will allow you to copy your original drive exactly to your new drive.

It’s important to stress that this method only works if you’re using a drive of equivalent or larger size. If it’s smaller, you’ll need to follow the steps below to use a third-party tool instead.

In the older Control Panel window, select the Create a system image option, visible in the left-hand menu. Make sure to connect an external drive (such as an external USB hard drive) at this point, unless you plan on using a network location to store your system image (such as a network attached storage device).

A new Create a system image menu will open and automatically begin scanning for a suitable external drive or network location to store the system image. If you’re using a portable hard drive, select this from the On a hard disk drop-down menu. If you’re using a network storage location, choose the On a network location option, then select a suitable location on your network to store the file. Select Next to continue.

Windows will confirm the partitions on your drive that will be copied to the new system image. Select Start backup to begin.

Allow the system image creation process to finish. Once completed, Windows will ask you if you want to create a new system repair disk. It may be a good idea to do this, especially if you manage to corrupt your MBR or GPT boot files in the process. However, you can select either Yes or No to proceed.

After creating the new system image, you’re ready to use it on your new drive. At this stage, connect your new hard drive to your PC and remove the existing hard drive. You could also leave your existing hard drive in place and format it, allowing you to repurpose it as a secondary storage drive.

Use a System Image to Move Windows to a New Hard Drive

With a new system image of your existing drive ready, you can use the image to create a complete copy of your Windows installation on a new hard drive. As we’ve mentioned previously, you can only do this if the new drive is the same size or larger than the previous system drive.

To begin, insert your Windows installation media using a portable USB memory stick or DVD. Once inserted, boot your PC and ensure that your BIOS or UEFI settings prioritize that drive over any other drives. Once the Windows installation menu appears, select Next, then select Repair your computer in the bottom left corner.

Windows should automatically detect the system image on your external hard drive in the Re-image your computer menu. If it doesn’t, select the Select a system image option to locate it manually. Otherwise, leave the Use the latest available system image (recommended) option selected, then select Next to continue.

Using the new system image, your new hard drive will be formatted with the same partitions as the previous drive. If you want to exclude any partitions first, select Exclude disks and uncheck them. Otherwise, select Next to continue.

If you’ve copied your files to a new drive of the same size, you won’t need to do anything else at this stage—Windows will boot as normal, and you can resume using your PC. If you’ve cloned your drive to a larger sized drive, however, you may need to take additional steps to utilize the additional space.

Resize the System Partition After Using a System Image

A system image clones your drive entirely, recreating all available partitions on the previous drive to the exact sizes as the original partitions. If you’ve used a system image to move Windows to a larger hard drive, you’ll need to resize the system partition (C:) to utilize all of the available space on the new drive.

In the Extend Volume Wizard menu, select Next, then ensure that the amount of additional space (equivalent to the figure in the Maximum available space in MB box) is selected in the Select the amount of space in MB box. Select Next to continue.

Confirm that the details are correct, then select Finish to complete the process.

After a few moments, your system partition will be expanded to include the additional space on your drive, ensuring that all available drive space is usable.

Transfer Windows 10 to a Different Sized Hard Drive Using Third-Party Software

Using a new system image to clone your hard drive is still the best way to migrate Windows 10 to a new hard drive. Unfortunately, as this process doesn’t work if you’re moving from a larger to smaller drive, you’ll need to use third-party software to copy Windows instead.

Various tools exist for this method, but one good (and free) option is to use Macrium Reflect Free. The free version of Macrium Reflect allows you to clone your Windows installation from a larger to a smaller drive, resizing the partition table in the process. You can also use this to clone Windows to a larger driver if you’d prefer.

Before you follow these steps, make sure that both your existing hard drive and new hard drive are connected to your PC and are detectable in Windows.

To begin, download and install the Home Use version of Macrium Reflect Free from the Macrium Reflect website. Once installed, run the software and make sure that the checkbox next to the disk containing your system partition (C:) is selected. Once selected, select the Clone this disk option below it.

In the Clone menu, select your new (smaller) drive by selecting the Select a disk to clone to option in the Destination section.

With the new disk selected, you’ll need to delete any existing partitions on the drive by first selecting them in the Destination category, then selecting the Delete Existing partition option to remove them.

With any existing partitions on your new drive removed, drag and drop each of the partitions on your drive (excluding the system C: partition) from the Source category to the Destination category. Leaving your system partition (C:) last, drag and drop that partition onto the Destination category.

Macrium Reflect will automatically resize your system partition to use up the remaining space on your new drive if your new drive is smaller than the original. If you’d like to change the size of your C: partition (or you’re using a larger drive, so wish to resize it to use up the additional space), select it in the Destination category first, then select the Cloned Partition Properties option.

In the Partition Properties menu, resize your partition using the Partition Size box. If you’re using a larger drive, make sure that the Free Space box reaches 0 MB to ensure you’re utilizing all available space. Select OK to confirm the change.

Select Finish to confirm your cloning options.

Leave the options intact in the Backup Save Options menu that appears next, then select OK to confirm.

Macrium will need permission to delete existing partitions and begin the cloning process. Select the available checkbox in the Confirm Overwrite menu, then select Continue to proceed. Allow some time for the cloning process to finish. 

Once completed, your existing hard drive containing your Windows installation and all other files will be cloned to your new drive. You can shut down your PC and remove your previous hard drive at this stage, or use Disk Management to format and repurpose it instead.

Final Steps

Whether you’re using a Windows 10 system image to move to a new drive of the same size, or using third-party software like Macrium Reflect to clone it instead, you’ll be ready to boot up and use your new drive without any further steps. You may need to resize your system partition if the drive is bigger than the original, however.

How To Partition Hard Disk Drive In Windows 10? – Webnots

Simply put partitioning a disk means dividing the hard disk or storage device into several sections. Each section is a logical unit, which function as a separate physical device. After portioning, Windows will treat the partitions as separate volumes displayed on the File Explorer under “This PC” with a unique letter assigned to each.

Windows Partitions

Benefits of Partitioning Hard Disks

Nowadays, laptop and desktop computers come with larger disk drive. It is common to have drives as larger as TBs in size. For example, below are the available sizes of hard disk of Dell laptops indicating you can buy from 32GB to 2TB.

Dell Hard Disk Sizes

However, it is not a good idea to use 2TB of hard disk as a single drive on your laptop. You may need to partition the hard drive due to the following reasons.

File/ Data Organization – Partitioning your disk allows splitting and storing data in a different location, simplifying file management in your PC. Each virtual drive will have its own file system, thus preventing corruption of the system data.

Data Backup – In case of a system failure, you can reinstall Windows or recover from your backup without affecting the data in the other drives.

Security – You can encrypt an entire partition that contains your sensitive data.

Speed – You can move your frequently used and dependent data in one partition to enhance speed.

How to Partition Hard Disk in Windows 10?

Now you know the reasons to partition your drive. Next step is to understand how to create partitions of hard disk in Windows 10. You can either do this from the graphical user interface of Disk Management tool or directly from the Command Prompt.

Related: Fix hard disk errors in Windows 10.

Method 1: Partition Hard Disk Using Windows 10 Disk Management

Windows 10 has a Disk Manager, which allows users to create partition drives without having to install extra software or formatting your PC. First, you need to log into Windows with an Admin account and ensure that the drives have enough space to allow more partitions.

Open Disk Manager

The Disk Management window shows the different partitions, their capacity and free space. You can also see the different type of allocation marked with color codes with a key at the bottom of the window.

New Simple Volume Wizard

Enter the size of the new volume in MBs and go to the “Next” page. If you want to allocate the entire free space, leave the maximum volume size.

Assign Letter

Remember, Windows by default will install the operating system on C drive. You can choose different letters like D: or E: during installation. However, we don’t recommend this, as many programs by default will try to install on C drive. Also, when you connect external drives like USB; Windows will automatically assign the available drive letter to external drives temporarily.

Choose your preferred formatting settings but in case you don’t understand the various options, leave the page untouched. We recommend the NTFS file system (default file system in Windows 10), which optimize space and speed of the partition.

Finish Partitioning

You will notice a newly created logical drive on the disk management window.

New Logical Drive

This will also show as a separate disk on the file explorer in “This PC” section.

Extra Local Drive

Related: How defragment hard disk in Windows 10?

Method 2: Partition Hard Disk from Command Prompt

You can also partition hard drives in Windows 10 using the Command Prompt.

List Disk

Use the “sel + disk number” to select the disk and then “list partition” to see the various partitions.

List Partition

If you have no free space, you will need to shrink one of the volumes. Type “sel + partition number” to select the volume and the “shrink” specifying the desired size of the new volume.

Shrink Partition

Now you have 20GB unallocated and you can create a new volume and assign a letter automatically as shown in the image.

Create Partition

Format the new volume and for Windows to complete the formatting.

Format Partition

Your new drive is now ready for use so you can exit “diskpart” and close Cmd.


Partitioning your hard drive enables you to separate your system and personal data preventing serious data loss in case of a problem in one of the disks. In Windows 10, you can use the Windows Disk Management tool or the diskpart command to create and manage partitions. Windows will assign a letter from A to Z to the partitions on your hard disk.

External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up On Windows 10?

[Solved] External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up On Windows 10?

Don’t panic! You can solve this glitch with some simple troubleshooting. Whenever you encounter a circumstance when external hard drive did not recognize on windows 10, follow the below methods:

Best Methods To Resolve External Hard Drive Not Detected

Before proceeding with manual methods, we have another smart way to solve “external hard drive not showing up” glitch. Advanced Driver Updater is the easiest and simplest way by which you can update Windows 10 drivers efficiently. Moreover, you can also save your time by manually searching and then updating the system’s outdated drivers.

Advanced Driver Updater is the agile tool that scans and updates the outdated or missing device drivers on your Windows 10 machine. Follow the below steps to start this automatic procedure.

Start with the downloading and installation process of Advanced Driver Updater tool.

Once you run this smart tool on your system, now tap on “Start Scan Now” option to proceed with the next step.

The scanning process will start, and you will get a list of outdated drivers available on your PC.

Tap on “Update All” to proceed with the next step.

In this step, all the outdated drivers will get downloaded automatically. Once the process is completed you will be asked to restart your system.

Once you restart your Windows 10, check the error message of the external hard drive is not showing up, it is still persisting on your PC.

We hope that Advanced Driver Updater solves your system’s driver issues. If you still wish to know some manual tweaks, we’ll go through them one-by-one.

Method 1- Manually Update Disk Drivers

Alright, we have already updated system’s drivers with Advanced Driver Updater [Third- Party Tool], but if this smart tool doesn’t help much to get rid of an error of “external hard drive is not showing” on your system. Try this manual method.

Press Windows + X together and tap on Device Manager.

In the Device Manager window, navigate to the Disk Drives.

After this, you will be asked, “How do you want to search for drivers? ” Always choose to search automatically. [1st option]

Hope this method helps and the issue of an external hard drive is not showing up windows 10 gets resolved.

Method 2- Check the Drive in Disk Management Tool

The disk management tool helps users to manage partitions and installed hard disks on their system. Users can differentiate the drives between a layout, free space, capacity and other tabs.

In this method, we will check the external drive through the disk management tool.

Press Win key and r together and enter “diskmgmt.msc” This command will open Disk Management on your system.

Search your external hard drive in the list. If your portable hard disk is not listed here, it is because of dead drive, or hardware issue.

We will start with method 3 for further process.

Also Read: Best Disk Defragmentation Software for Windows in 2023

Method 3- Connect Your Portable Hard Disk With Another PC or USB

There are chances when your system or USB may be a culprit when the external hard drive is not recognized on Windows 10. Additionally, using a dead drive is also a cause behind this issue.

If you have any other PC and USB, connect it with the external hard drive and check in the Disk Management Tool. If it is showing there, follow method 4.

But after using other USB and PC, your hard drive failed to recognize then there is an issue with the external hard disk. You need to purchase a new one or replace it.

Method 4- Create A New Disk Volume

If your external hard disk is showing with allocated space, we will create a new disk volume which will help you to halt an error message of the external hard drive is not showing up on Windows 10.

Set the volume size and choose next to proceed further.

Let the process complete.

Once you are done with method 4, check the error of the external hard drive is not recognized on Windows 10 is again flashing on the screen.

Method 5- Initialize External Hard Disk

When you connect reinitialize external hard disk on Windows 10, it may not get recognized by your system. It will be shown as “Unknown” or “Not Initialized”. Follow the steps below to quickly initialize external hard drive.

Now, select the preferred drive and then the MBR (Master Boot Record) option. Tap on Ok to continue.

After the completion of method 5, again the issue of an external hard drive is not detected by your system.

Final Words

Now you can enjoy digital data after implementing the above-mentioned methods and won’t get an error of “external hard disk is not detected” on your system.

To cherish the memories forever it is important to save the old photos in any storage space. We know, some of your old pictures may decay with time. But don’t worry, we have old photo restoration software for you!

That’s all, Folks! This is the best solution to stop an error when the external hard drive is not showing up windows 10. However, if you have any other methods to solve the same issue share with us we will update them on our list.

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How To Run Chkdsk To Repair And Fix Hard Drive On Windows

Chkdsk, or checkdisk, is a Windows system tool that verifies the integrity of a volume and attempts to fix file system errors. 

If you’re running into repeated disk errors, system instabilities, or blue screen of death, the problem might be related to corruption in critical sectors of the disk. In such a case, you should attempt to check disk integrity and fix any detected corruptions by running the chkdsk command.

We have prepared the article below that explains what the chkdsk command is, the parameters you can run it with, and how to use it to scan for corruptions and fix any errors found on your hard drive in Windows.

Chkdsk command can be used to detect and fix the following two types of disk errors:

File system errors.

Physical corruption of the disk.

The chkdsk command has the following syntax format, and you will need to run it with administrative privileges.

On Windows, you can run the chkdsk command from the command prompt, powershell, or from the Windows Recovery Environment.

Press Win + R, type in cmd, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch the elevated command prompt

At the prompt, type in: chkdsk vol /r . Replace vol with the volume letter of the drive you want to run chkdsk on.

You can also run chkdsk from the command prompt in Windows Recovery Environment. You can launch Windows RE if you are having trouble completing the booting process or otherwise unable to boot or run Windows properly. 

You can launch Windows RE using the Windows recovery media disk. Alternately, long press the power button to force system shutdown a few times while Windows is loading until you come across the recovery environment.

If you need to scan and repair for bad sectors (physical) in your hard drive, you will need to run the chkdsk command with /r parameter. 

The scan parameter implies /f, meaning the parameter also performs the functionality of /f, which is to scan integrity of the file system. 

This option will fix any file system errors that are identified. If there are any bad sectors detected, this will also attempt to recover readable data. 

Identified bad sectors that are unrecoverable are flagged to avoid being written into in the future.

On a locked drive or a drive that chkdsk is able to lock, /r should be able to provide complete scan and repair functionality of the chkdsk command.

As mentioned above, the /r parameter performs a full disk scan, including scan of physical sectors. Thus, it is a relatively time consuming process. If you want to scan just the file system, you can instead use the /f parameter

At the prompt, type in chkdsk vol /f.

If any file system errors are found, chkdsk will attempt to repair those errors. You need to keep in mind that bad sectors are not repaired by this parameter.

You can also use the /x parameter to dismount the volume and run chkdsk on it.

At the elevated command prompt, type in: chkdsk vol /r /x . 

If you want to scan just the file system, you can instead execute the command: chkdsk vol /f /x .

However, if your target drive is the boot volume where Windows has been installed, then you will be unable to dismount the partition even with the /x parameter.

If you need to run the chkdsk scan on the boot volume, press Y and hit enter. Thereafter, restart your system. When you’ve done this, autochk.exe is called when you boot your computer. This is a NTFS-only application that runs before Windows Server starts.

The autochk.exe program can be run in the following situations:

If you need to run the chkdsk command on the boot volume.

If the volume is flagged as dirty.

If chkdsk is unable to dismount a volume.

The chkdsk command will not work if you have a fast startup enabled with multiboot configured for different versions of Windows. This also happens for other reasons such as disk failure or write protection enabled on the drive. 

If you need to run a chkdsk scan in one of your disk drives but chkdsk is not cooperating for some reason, we have a comprehensive article on the topic on how to fix chkdsk not working. Please give it a read.

Chkdsk is a good tool to scan for file system errors or bad sectors. It might even be able to recover information if the stored data is still readable. However, chkdsk is not a dedicated recovery tool. You will not be able to fix or recover data from a hard drive is physically damaged.

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