September 23, 2009

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Today In: Initializing a new hard drive

So, I haven’t done this in freaking forever. The last clear memory I have of setting up a brand new drive is sometime in the late 90s and doing everything in DOS (fdisk anyone?). Because of this, I had forgotten all about the joys of doing this.

But first, a little background info. Earlier this month, I got a Newegg combo deal for a <a href="” title=”[newegg] Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5” Internal Hard Drive - OEM “>1 TB Western Digital Caviar Green drive plus <a href="” title=”[newegg] Rosewill 2.5” & 3.5” SATA to USB2.0 Hard Drive Docking - Gift - Retail “>dock for $84.99 Shipped

That deal is no longer available, but a similar deal now available for $79.99. Though it uses a <a href="” title=”[newegg] Seagate Barracuda LP ST31000520AS 1TB 5900 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5” Hard Drive - OEM “>Seagate Barracuda rather than WD Caviar.

The dock arrived before the drive, so I tested it out with a spare SATA drive Jon had on his desk. Plugged it in and worked great, no problems.

The next day the drive arrives, I plug it in and then nothing happened (other then the standard windows installation for new devices being plugged in). I try it on another computer before harassing Jon about it and then realize “Oh yeah, have to format it!”

To do so in Windows XP, you perform the following:

  1. Open up Computer Management (Right-Click My Computer and then click Manage)
  • Under Storage click Disk Management
  • A wizard immediately popped up and asked if I wanted to initialize the drive, I did and clicked Next a few times and then it was initialized.
  • Time to format! Right-Click the initialized drive and hit Format…
  • Choices were NTFS and… NTFS (I went with NTFS).
  • Went with default allocation unit size (choices were 512 — 64K), feel free to adjust to your own needs/wants/desires/secret innermost urges.
  • Check the box for Quick Format and all is good. In closing, I am amused at how long it has been since I have needed to actually manually initialize a new hard drive. Oddly enough, the last time I initialized a new drive was also mentioned here (the new drive being part of the Hardware Upgrades to Eek, my netbook), however Windows did that for me (as part of installing Windows 7, also blogged).