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A window will come up showing that formatting and partitioning the drive will erase all data that is on the drive. If there's no needed information within the drive, then click on Partition. If there is data on the drive that is needed or is not backed up, it will need to be copied to another location before proceeding. The drive is now formatting and a status bar will be seen at the bottom that says formatting the disk and gives the name of the drive, the format it is applying, and the name that was specified. When it is done, this bar will go away and the drive should now be listed on the desktop.

Right-click on Start , the Windows logo on the bottom-left of the screen, and click Disk Management.

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In the Disk Management window, the lower pane will display a list of available drives. Identify the drive that needs to be partitioned and formatted, and make sure that all critical data on this drive has been backed up elsewhere. If there is already a partition on the drive, the bar above that drive will appear blue.

If there is no critical data on the drive, or the data has been successfully backed up, right-click the bar and click Delete Volume. If Disk Management shows the drive as Not Initialized , the drive will have to be initialized. For assistance initializing a hard drive, please see Answer ID If there is no partition and data on the drive, it will appear as Unallocated , with a black bar on top. Right-click the Unallocated space or the black bar, and click New Simple Volume. Click Next to proceed. Choose the volume size and click Next. By default, the maximum disk space is already selected and it is recommended to leave it at the maximum disk space.

Open Disk Management. In Windows 8 this can be achieved by moving the mouse to the bottom-left corner of the Desktop and right-clicking on top of the Start menu screen. Then, click Disk Management right below Storage. From the menu, click on Disk Management. FAT32 in macOS Once that's done, double left-click on the Mac HD , the internal Mac hard drive visible on the top-right corner of the desktop screen. While in there, open Utilities , and lastly double-click on Disk Utility When Disk Utility opens, all available drives will display on the left-side panel.

From said list, select the drive that is to be partitioned and formatted from the left-side panel. Once selected, click on Partition on the top area of the Disk Utility window. The Partition window will now appear. Next to Partition, assign the desired drive name for the device. This is the format that the drive will be formatted to. Now, click on Apply. Disk Utility will begin the formatting and repartitioning process. This may take several minutes. It is usually directly above the name of the drive, and is the drive selection that has the total size of the drive being displayed.

FAT32 in Windows 10 and earlier Important: Western Digital provides the Acronis True Image WD Edition software that allows users of our internal hard drives to format their drives.


  • Partition the drive on Windows 10!
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Users of our external drives will need to find third-party software to accomplish this task. The file may need to be uncompressed using some type of uncompression or unzipping utility. Typically, when you buy an external hard drive it will be formatted out of the box. If this is the case for you, right-click the drive you want to format and click Initialize Disk.

This will prompt a new window, asking you to select a partition style for your disk. Step 3: The volume is the same as a partition. Step 4: After proceeding to the next page, select the file system exFat and keep the allocation unit size at the default. As a standard user, Microsoft advises against changing the allocation unit size.

Step 5: On the next page, make sure everything is correct and select Finish. Now repeat this process for Windows. As far as partitioning goes, Macs have it a little bit easier. To start, your first step will be to find Disk Utility. The easiest way to access Disk Utility is by searching for it in Spotlight Search in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. With Disk Utility open, locate the hard drive you want to partition and select Partition.

In the Partition Information category, specify the name and size of each partition.

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Unlike the older FAT32 format, however, ExFAT allows for the storage of files up to 16 exabytes which equates to about 16 million terabytes! You can review our Windows section for more information about this process. Share on Facebook Tweet this Share.


  • How to Format a WD hard drive to exFAT or FAT32 File System | WD Support.
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How to format a hard drive for MAC and PC