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1. Right-click on the My Computer icon and click Manage.
2. Click the Disk Management tab on the Computer Management window.
3. Initialize Disk window will pop. Check the disk to initialize and select a partition style for the selected disk then click OK.
– Master Boot Record (MBR) if the drive is 2TB or less.
– GUID Partition Table (GPT) if the drive has more than 2TB.
4. The new hard drive is now initialized but has unallocated drive space. Right-click on the unallocated space and click New Simple Volume.
5. New Simple Volume Wizard will appear. Click Next.
6. Specify Volume Size. You set all the available megabytes (MB) or set specific amount if you are planning to add partition on the drive, then click Next.
7. Assign a Drive Letter and click Next.
8. Format the drive with NTFS File system (recommended for Windows 7 and newer) and Default allocation unit size. Put a recognizable name or description for Volume Label. UNCHECK the Perform a quick format option and click Next.
9. Click Finish on the New Simple Volume Wizard window.
10. The New hard drive will now be formatted. This process might take hours depending on the size of the drive.
Simple Disk Checking
The following are simple disk checking for new and old or pre-owned hard drives. It is a good practice to run tests to to make sure you get a good and healthy hard drive.
11. After formatting, press the Window key and X simultaneously. Click the Windows PowerShell Admin (or Command Prompt Admin).
12. Type “ chkdsk DRIVELETTER: /r ”on the console. Windows will now perform Check Disk and depending on the size of the drive, this may take hours.
13. After the check disk, look for “bad sectors”. If there is none (0 KB) then it is good.
15. Run it and select the drive to see its SMART health status.
16. If there are bad sectors after check disk and/or SMART health status is either Caution (Yellow) or Bad (Red), take it back to where you bought it and as for replacement. If all is good, then you new hard drive is ready to use.
This guide is applicable to Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10.