Formatting a hard drive with Windows XP will vary if the hard drive is the primary drive or a secondary or external hard drive. Learn the difference between a quick format and a full format of a hard drive in Windows XP with the tips in this free video on computer networks and repairs from a systems management expert and computer technician.
Hi, I'm Chris Bryce, with SuperService. com. Today, I'm going to show you how to format a hard drive with Windows XP. There's a couple of different ways to do this, and it's going to be based on what you're going to be using the hard drive for. If this is a secondary drive, such as an external drive, or just a second drive that's inside your computer, then the easiest way to do this, is to open either Windows Explorer, or My Computer, using Windows XP, and then in the list of drives, you're going to select the drive that you're trying to format. For instance, if you have a secondary drive inside your computer, that may be the D colon drive. You'll right click on D colon. Select format from the list that pops up, and then follow the instructions from there. It will allow you to name the drive, and also select either to do a quick format, or a full format. Now, a quick format, will quickly erase all of the files on the disk, and allow you to add new files to it, for backing up purposes, or whatever you may be doing, with that second drive. The full format will completely erase all of the files, and properly prepare it for use in the future. Now, normally on smaller disks, such as floppy disk drives, and flash drives, and that. I would suggest a quick format. On a hard drive, especially if you're going to be using it frequently for backing up, I would suggest doing the full format. Now, the full format, is going to take quite a while though, especially if you have a longer drive. For instance, a two hundred, three hundred, or even five hundred gigabyte drive, can take several minutes, if not up to an hour, or even two sometimes, to format the entire drive. That's something to keep in mind when you're choosing between full format and the quick format. Quick format is normally only going to take a few seconds, or even a few minutes. Now, the other way to format, is if you're going to be doing an operating system reinstall, or trying to copy a lot of the files on to the main Windows XP partition. If you're going to be doing that, then the best way to do that, is insert your Windows XP CD or DVD into your computer, and boot off of that disk. That disk will allow you the options to either install Windows, or reinstall Windows, format the drive, the main drive, etc. Now, those are the key things to keep in mind, when you're going to be formatting a hard drive, with Windows XP.