Format External Hard Drive – in Microsoft Windows 10

Another request from a third party website where I earn supplemental income. This one dealt with trying to free up space on an external hard drive. Here is this individual's initial request:

"I am trying to remove old files from my backup hard drive. Does not seem to work any way I try!"

This individual had two external hard drives. An F and H drive. These two external hard drives had the exact same data.

They seemed to have been mirror images of each other. One reason why this individual could NOT remove data from their F drive is that it was actually a Microsoft system image backup. This type of backup does NOT allow you to have read only access or read and write access.

This type of backup is a system image. There were only a few files, but they were actually image files. Image files are generally compressed.

This type of backup is for emergency purposes. Hypothetically, if your Microsoft Windows 10 computer does NOT boot correctly, you could restore it from this type of system image backup. When I deal with customer data, I always proceed with caution.

You do NOT ever want to delete customer data, even accidentally. I asked this individual if they needed any data off this F drive. They stated no, more than once.

I went ahead and told them that I could just format this external hard drive for them. This would allow them to copy any type of data they wanted to this F drive. This is when I learned that their H drive was a mirror image of their F drive.

This individual gave me the approval. Formatting a hard drive in Microsoft operating system's is real easy. You want to open up file explorer.

This takes you to "This PC".

On the left hand side you will see folders, drive letters, and Network. Select the hard drive that you want to format. Right click that drive letter and select "Format".

You can type in a volume label or just accept the default. You can accept the default of NTFS file system. Also, you will have two choices between "Quick" or "Full" format.

A full format takes quite a bit longer versus a quick format. However, performing a full format might be worth the wait later down the road. It is up to you what you choose.

Now proceed with formatting your hard drive. A quick format only takes a few seconds. I asked my customer to test the newly formatted hard drive.

Everything went smoothly. I have shown you how to format external hard drive in Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

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