Disk formatting is a computing process that prepares an disk drive to his first use or rebuild it from scratch. The disk formatting includes erase all data and rebuild the system files architecture. There are two different types of formats: one made in the factory (just one time and it’s made by the producer) and another one made by you.

A hard disk drive (HDD) is an computer device used to store data. It is structured in partitions (one or more). Before the first use of an HDD you may need to format it. There are a variety of utilities and programs specialized in format procedure and also an DOS command and you also have an format option in the Windows installation steps.

Before we go further, you may find useful those Wikipedia articles about formatting and hard disks:

So, as we concluded above, if you consider formatting a HDD you can find yourself in one of two situations:
1. with a new HDD that has never been formatted, and also unpartitioned
2. with an older HDD that you want to reformat.

In the first situation, you need to format your HDD once you first install your Windows operating system.
In Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 you will find it extremely easy.

If you have problems with this, leave a comment bellow this article and we will find a solution for you.

Second situation, you have an older HDD already formatted and partitioned.
In this situation you can format each partition separately, if you own more than one, or you can format the entire hard drive than re-partitioning.
To format a partition you can do that direcly in Windows: Go to Computer, right click on the partition you want to format than select Format from appeared menu.

As you can see on the screen-shoot above, I have a single partition (Local Disk C:) who also hosts my Windows Vista operating system. In this case the format option will not work because I will not be allowed by the operating system. This option works and can be used successfully on all partitions less hosting operating system partition (typically Local Disk C:).
If you need to format the entire disk drive, including hosting operating system partition, you also have to reinstall your Windows because format process will erase all data on your HDD, including your old Windows files. To do that you have to install a clean copy of your Windows and use the installation steps to format your hard drive similar to the solution of the first situation explained above.

Here are some general information about what format is and how to use Windows to format an HDD. Feel free to post comments bellow if you need further assistance and i will be glad to answer your questions.

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