External hard drives plug into an electrical socket and connect to a computer through a USB port. Toshiba external hard drives are no different. If your Toshiba external hard drive begins accessing information slower than it once did or a virus has infected the drive, you can format the drive through Windows. This will reset the drive to its previous settings, allowing it to work with no hiccups.
Plug the Toshiba external hard drive into the wall socket, and then plug its USB port into an open slot on a computer.
Click "Start" and click "My Computer."
Right-click the external hard drive and click "Format."
Click the "Format" button, but leave the settings as they are because changing them will change how the drive functions.
Plug the external hard drive into an electrical socket, and then connect the drive's USB cable to a computer.
Click the button sporting the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner to bring up the Start menu. Click "Control Panel" and choose "System and Security" if you are working in Windows 7 or "System and Maintenance" if your system runs Windows Vista. Click "Administrative Tools." Double-click the "Computer Management" option.
Click the "Disk Management" icon underneath "Storage" inside the left pane.
Right-click the Toshiba External hard drive and select "Format" from the context menu.
Click the "Format" button. Do not change any of the settings, because this will cause the drive to function differently.
Make a backup of all of your important files.
Formatting the drive will wipe your data off the drive.