laptop security

How to Format a Hard Drive



There are five reasons given for asking how to format a hard drive?

  1. A virus repair problem and reformatting or rebuilding the hard drive is the last resort.

  2. Re-installing or upgrading Windows and need to reformat the hard drive first.

  3. Selling or disposing of a laptop and need to make sure that data recovery software cannot be used to reveal sensitive data.

  4. New owner of a used or second hand laptop wants to make sure that the previous user's data has been completely erased.

  5. Deleting sensitive data from a laptop and making sure that all traces have been erased beyond recovery.

If you need to know how to format a hard drive for reasons 1 and 2, we have outlined the process below.

On the other hand, if you need to know how to format a hard drive for reasons 3-5 there are better options. Formatting the drive will not do any harm, but it's not going to erase all data from the drive. There are tools available that will not only undelete data, but can also piece together residual data on a drive that has been formatted.

The ultimate solution is to physically shred the hard drive, which is the option used by governments and some corporations. If physical destruction is not a practical option then use a free hard drive cleaner.

There are other highly effective data recovery protection options. An alternative or even complimentary strategy is to use laptop encryption. Your data will then always be secure even if the laptop is lost or stolen.

How to Format a Hard Drive

  • Start select My Computer (displays the disks from which to select the one to be formatted).

  • Right click the disk to be formatted and select Format from the menu.

  • Choose a file system from the drop down box. It's a choice between NTFS and FAT32. If your PC is running an NT based operating system such as XP, then you should select NTFS. NTFS is more secure and stable than FAT32. Unless you are running Windows 9X, always select NTFS if for no other reason than it provides much greater data security.

  • You shouldn't need to specify the Allocation Unit Size. Windows will give a default size. Typical NTFS options are: 512 bytes, 1024 bytes, 2048 bytes and 4096 bytes.

  • It's not necessary to fill in the volume label, it just makes identification easier

  • Under Format Options, we would recommend the standard format if the drive hasn't been formatted in a while. It will be a lot slower than the Quick Format, but will identify and de-allocate any bad sectors.

  • On NTFS drives you have the option to select compression. It's a good idea to select it and save disk space.

  • The next step is significant so check that you have made the right selections.

  • Press OK

  • When Windows has completed the job it will display a message "Format Complete." Click OK, it's done and we have answered the question: "How to format a hard drive?"

Your drive is now ready to be used.

Surf The Internet At Work?


Windows and other software programs store history about the different activities that you have performed on your computer and on the Internet. This information is stored in the system areas of your hard disk and the built-in Windows functions like 'Clear History' offer little protection as they can only partially delete this data. Anyone can take a look at your history and find out what you have been doing on your computer, and this raises serious privacy concerns.

Save your privacy now with this...

Free Download!


Spyware and Adware is software made by publishers that allow them to snoop on your browsing activity, invade your privacy, and flood you with those horrible popups. If you are like most users on the internet, chances are you are probably infected with these applications. That is why we have designed our revolutionary product.

The SecSoftware Team is dedicated to the production and development of highly reliable and trusted Security Software Programs.

Web Browser


Laptop Security Pro has been optimized for use with Firefox.
Increase the Security of your Internet experience, use Firefox.

add to BlinkBlink add to DiggDigg add to FurlFurl add to SimpySimpy
add to SpurlSpurl add to YahooYahoo add to GoogleGoogle add to

Copyright © 2008-2012
All Rights Reserved