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When purchasing a new computer, it’s hard to determine how much hard drive space you need. Every computer has a set amount of space, such as “500GB,” but how big is that?

What can you store on a 500GB hard drive? Will it allow you to install as much software and download as much media as you want? Is it too small? Given that there’s no physical reference to just how big 500GB is, it can be hard to visualize its size. This guide helps you determine how much hard drive space you need.

Tip: if replacing your hard drive, you may want to upgrade to a solid-state drive.

What Goes on a Hard Drive?

Image source: Unsplash

Your computer’s hard drive is where all your data is stored. Everything goes on your hard drive, from your operating system, work documents, music, and photos, to bigger files, like games, movies, and TV series. It also stores your settings preferences, peripheral drivers, and anything else required to make your computer work.


Whether you should get an SSD or an older-style HDD (Hard Disk Drive) may sound like a separate topic, but it’s inextricably tied to your storage capacity. Even a SATA SSD is leaps and bounds ahead of a conventional HDD regarding read-and-write speeds and system responsiveness. You can get a 1TB SATA SSD for only 20 percent more than it costs to buy a 1TB HDD.

Below is our general rundown of what is best stored on what kind of drive, which will help you decide on the capacity and type of drive you need.

SSD: operating system, demanding games, video editing, Photoshop, and other demanding software

HDD: documents, movies, music, photos, lightweight games, and software.

Also helpful: If you are having issues with your current hard drive, you can try defragging your Windows drive.

How Much Space Do I Need?

Let’s break down the most common use cases into light, medium, and heavy storage usage. For each, we are listing the everyday activity included in that type of usage. We also take a look at just how big a hard drive you need for each one.

Light Usage

Light Use Describes You If You Are:

Work user

Maintain a home office

HTPC (home theater PC) user

How Much Hard Drive Space You Need: 250GB to 500GB

No matter how many you use daily in this category, purchasing on the low end of the scale of hard drives should be plenty. Computers that sport a hard drive of around 250 to 500GB of space should work for you, and you even have the world of cloud-based storage to explore, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

Tip: expand your PC storage before deleting anything off your hard drive.

Medium Usage

Medium Use Describes You If You Are:

Occasional gamer

Movie buff

Photography enthusiast

How Much Hard Drive Space You Need: 500GB to 1TB

Image source: Unsplash

This tier includes usage from storing high-resolution photos and videos to archives of lossless music and HD movies and TV series. It can also include a few games if you’re okay with uninstalling titles once you’ve completed them. If you identify with many of the above use cases, you may need to spend a bit more and purchase a higher-capacity drive that can last you a few years.

If you’re an avid gamer and movie watcher, however, you’ll probably make light work of 500GB and want to look for something around the 1 TB mark instead. You can easily find 1TB NVMe SSDs starting from around $35.

Also helpful: you can back up Google Photos to your hard drive if you have enough space.

Heavy Usage

Heavy Use Describes You If You Are:

Heavy gamer

Have extensive archives of movies, TV series, and photos

How Much Hard Drive Space You Need: 2TB to 4TB

Image source: Unsplash

This tier is for those who enjoy downloading and playing multiple modern games and don’t want to repeatedly delete older titles to make space for the new ones. It’s also for those who wish to maintain a huge library of 4K movies and TV series on their computer. As high-end modern games can very easily breach even 150GB, and a 4K movie can exceed 30GB to 40GB, you’ll need to equip your computer with serious storage to be prepared.

You can get away with 2TB if you’re only into gaming and HD or 4K movies. If you’re also a content creator who needs to store multiple RAW files, you’ll want to get a minimum of 4TB storage on your PC, or you may feel the squeeze quite quickly!

Moreover, if you’re also storing all of your photos and videos from your smartphone on your computer, you’ll need to consider those size requirements as well.

Frequently Asked Questions Is SSD better than HDD for daily use?

Although SSDs have become drastically cheaper in just the past few years, choosing between an SSD and HDD will depend on your specific use case. SSDs offer responsiveness in another league, but SSDs with 2TB storage and higher are still expensive. An ideal solution is to have a combination of a fast and slightly costlier SSD for your OS and most important files and a slower but cheaper HDD for storing files that are less frequently accessed.

How many GB of storage should I leave free?

For a traditional hard disk drive, leaving around 15 to 20 percent free is recommended to allow Windows to defragment and store temporary files and backups. For SSDs, defragmentation is not a thing anymore. Still, to allow for optimal performance, especially on SSDs without a DRAM buffer, leaving around 10 to 20 percent free is recommended.

How much space is enough for Windows?

For your operating system, whether it’s Windows 10 or Windows 11, it’s recommended to have a partition size of at least 150GB. This allows enough space for Windows system files, your installed programs, and the hibernation file.

How much hard drive space does a laptop need?

The capacity of the hard drive on your laptop depends on your requirements. A 1TB hard drive should be enough for most users – unless you want to store multiple large games and huge media archives. But one thing to remember with laptops is the physical storage limitations. Unlike desktops, where you can add hard drives and SSDs as long as you have enough ports on your motherboard, laptops are different. Many laptops have a single hard drive that you can’t replace. Even in models where adding and replacing drives is possible, you can, at best, keep two drives simultaneously. It’s essential to assess your storage requirements carefully before choosing your laptop configuration.

Image credit: Unsplash

Tanveer Singh

Tanveer hunts far and wide for PC Hardware, Windows, and Gaming ideas to write about. An MBA in Marketing and the owner of a PC building business, he has written extensively on Technology, Gaming, and Marketing. When not scouring the web, he can be found binging on The Office, running for his life in GTFO, or wrecking karts in Smash Karts.

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How To Defrag Your Windows Hard Drive

Due to the difference in technology, HDDs are inherently slower than their SSD counterparts, and their performance decreases over time as you store more and more data on them. This can be attributed to data fragmentation during the writing process. However, there is a simple fix for it called defragmentation. In this article, we will go over a few simple methods to help you defrag your Windows hard drive and get a significant performance boost.

What Is Defragmentation?

To understand what defragmentation is, you need to know how a hard drive works. Think of the latter as a train where the coaches store and carry data. Every time you add more data to your hard drive, it’s broken down into smaller pieces or fragments, and a new coach is added to the train to store that data. These coaches are added in a sequential manner.

Now, during the process of storing more data, the hard drive fills up the empty coaches with some fragments of data and creates new coaches for the remaining pieces. This results in data being scattered all across the hard drive. Even though it seems efficient that those empty spaces are finally being used, that’s not the case.

The issue here is that whenever data fragments are stored farther away from each other, it takes a while for your computer to recollect it all before it can be presented to you again. This slows down the overall reading speed of that hard drive. This is another reason why hard drive-based computers tend to slow down when your storage is almost full. The process of reversing this breakdown and reorganizing the data on the hard drive is called defragmentation.

These days Windows automatically defrags mechanical hard drives. However, it only works for drives that are physically connected to your motherboard. So, if you have an old or external HDD, it’s always a good idea to defragment it yourself for a smoother performance.

How To Defragment Your Hard Disk in Windows 10 and 11

Now that we know what defragmentation means, we can begin with the steps to do it manually on your PC.

1. Use the Disk Optimization Tool

Open the disk optimization tool – search for the “Defragment and Optimize Drives” program in Windows Search.

Check the percentage of fragmented files in the results.

Note: There’s no hard and fast rule regarding how fragmented your drive should be before you can defrag it. However, you should try to maintain the fragmentation level below 5% so that the defragmentation process doesn’t take too long.

When Windows is finished with the process, the Optimize Drives program should show your drive as 0% fragmented.

2. Schedule Optimization

You can put this whole defragmentation process on an automated schedule from the same location.

3. Use the Command Line

Press Win + X and choose ”Windows Terminal (Admin)” from the pop-up menu.

To defrag that drive, use the following command, replacing X with your drive letter:

defrag X

Wait for the defragmentation process to complete.

If you want to defrag your whole system except for your main drive, use this command instead: defrag /E X:. Here, X is the letter of the drive you want to exclude.

4. Use a Third-Party Defragging Tool

Instead of using the inbuilt defragging tool, you can also use third-party defragmentation tools like MyDefrag or Auslogics Disk Defrag to achieve the same results.

Depending on your drive size, it can take a while to defragment your HDD.

Once the process is complete, you will get a message that says “Defragmentation Complete.”

Close Disk Defrag.

Frequently Asked Questions Are there reasons not to defrag your computer?

If your computer has a mechanical hard disk installed or you have an external hard disk, you always want to defrag those disks. The only exception where you never need to defrag your computer is when it’s using only a Solid State Drive (SSD) or an M.2 NVMe Drive, because those are modern versions of mechanical drives and automatically defrag themselves without requiring manual intervention. If you defrag these drives, at best, it will do nothing, but it can also cause unnecessary wear and tear if done multiple times.

How often should you defrag a hard drive?

For most Windows users, defragging an HDD once a month should be fine. You can use your PC’s inbuilt “scheduled optimization” feature to set a monthly cleanup cycle for your hard drive. Not only does it reduce the need to do it manually, it also improves the performance of your HDD. However, if regular defragmentation of your hard drive does not speed it up, you should consider upgrading it to an SSD.

Image credit: Pixabay

Ojash Yadav

Ojash has been writing about tech back since Symbian-based Nokia was the closest thing to a smartphone. He spends most of his time writing, researching, or ranting about Bitcoin. Ojash also contributes to other popular sites like MakeUseOf, SlashGear, and MacBookJournal.

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How To Clone A Hard Drive On Windows 11/10

Backup is an important part for anyone who uses a computer, but there are times when we need to clone the drive for various reasons. While there is no direct feature to clone a hard drive in the Disk Management tool, another method can still be done. Then there are many free tools to clone a hard drive which I will discuss in this post. This works on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Cloning a Hard Drive — What does it mean?

Cloning means creating a replica of the original. The same applies to the digital world. However, please do not confuse it with backup or copy. For example, you may copy entire data or your hard disk to another, but you can not boot from it. On the other hand, Clone is a digital copy and can be used at times of disaster recovery. In other words, this will allow you to switch the hard drive and restore the PC almost instantly.

How to Ghost or Clone a Hard Drive on Windows 11/10

Windows offers a built-in backup-restore feature that can be used to create a clone of a hard drive. You can use this feature to make a backup of Windows or to restore a previous version. While made backup, the ability to create a system image, i.e., sector by sector copy of the original disk, makes it a perfect Clone maker.

Note: This method also works if you want to clone Windows to an external hard drive. However, you may not be able to use it as a primary drive.

Here are the steps to create a System Image Backup:

First, you have to make sure that the storage device you want to use has enough space for the System Image Backup file. Second, make sure to remove any unnecessary files to reduce the time of cloning.

Open Start Menu, and type Control, and then open the Control Panel.

Then locate the backup or restore your files link.

You have three options here—

On a hard disk,

On one more DVD, and

On a network location.

How to use System Image to Recover PC?

Connect the external drive, and choose to recover the PC. The Windows System Image Recovery process will use the image and then clone it to the computer’s primary disk. Once done, you can boot regularly, and your PC should be up and running.

Third-Party Cloning Software

While System Image Backup works, third-party software offers more options. Here are some free tools from the software list we have discussed under free backup software for Windows.


It is the simplest and bare bone backup and recovery software that can easily clone a hard drive. It’s free, and it doesn’t require a lot of computer knowledge to make use of it. You can use Clonezilla Live that is suitable for a single-machine scenario.

Macrium Software Reflect Free:

It offers disk cloning, differential imaging, restore non-booting systems, supports backup in Hyper-V virtual machines, create images of running Windows OS, browse backup contents in Windows Explorer, and direct disk cloning.

DriveImage XML:

If you have ever used Norton Ghost, then it’s a great alternative to it. The software enables you to create a complete backup image of any drive or partition. You can use it to restore later to the same or another partition. You can also clone a drive to another.

Can Windows clone HDD to SSD?

Yes. Most of the SSD come with software that allows users to migrate from HDD to SSD to boost performance. They create a clone, and when you switch the boot device, it will be seamless.

Does cloning a hard drive copy the OS?

Yes. Cloning or creating a System Image means sector by sector copy. So it will copy the Boot sector, the OS, programs, drivers, and all the files. However, if you switch drive or restore after a long gap, it will need to be updated by all means.

Do you need to activate Windows after cloning?

No, however, if you connect to a different PC where hardware has completely changed, you may have to reactivate or transfer the key to a new Windows PC.

Can I do real-time HDD cloning?

No, Windows can not do that. Real-time HDD cloning means any change made in your C drive gets instantly cloned. However, that’s a process you cant rely on, sector by sector writing takes a toll on the system, and hence even if third-party software offers it, it will be a real-time backup solution at best.

How to clone a partition of my hard drive to SSD in Windows?

Yes, it is possible through third-party software to select which partition to clone from a drive and then clone it to the destination drive. However, every time you do it, everything in the destination drive will be deleted.

I hope the post was easy to follow, and you were able to clone a hard drive on Windows 11/10

External Hard Drive Not Showing Up? Here’s How To Fix It

Spacious, portable, fast, and affordable – external hard drives do it all. It comes as no surprise that they’re overwhelmingly used for everything from backups to data transfer. But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

Most people have had a hard drive or two fail on them, but this time, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled all the main reasons why an External Hard Drive may not show up on your PC, as well as how to get it working again.

As usual, reboot your PC first. Regardless of whether a hardware or software issue is causing this problem, a simple restart can be enough to solve it sometimes. This is rare, but the OS can take a few minutes to mount the drive, especially in lower-spec systems. So wait for a bit.

Next, disconnect any unnecessary peripheral devices. Connect the HDD using different ports and cables to check if a faulty port or cable is the issue. If these didn’t help, you should move on to the solutions listed below.

Next, check for any bent or otherwise damaged pins and verify the integrity of the USB Ports. Additionally, you should also access the BIOS setup utility and ensure that there are no issues with the power output of the USB Port.

A lot of users have reported that the hard drive shows up in Disk Management but not in File Explorer. This happens most of the time because the drive is uninitialized.

In this case, you can bring the drive online, initialize it, create a new volume, and then format it to resolve the issue.

WARNING: You need to format the drive before you can use it. This will wipe all the data on the drive

If you can’t afford to lose the data, we recommend using the Change Drive Letter and Paths option to assign a drive letter manually, as this alone can solve the problem at times.

Whenever a device stops working properly, the device driver is one of the first things you should check. Here’s how you can do so for the Hard Drive Driver specifically:

Press Win + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter.

If the hard drive stopped working after an update in the first place, try Roll Back Driver instead.

If neither of these works, try the Uninstall Device option.

Finally, expand the Universal Serial Bus Controller section and update the devices listed there.

It may sound unlikely, but many users have reported that updating their system solved the issue for them. Here’s how you can do the same:

Press Win + R, type control update, and press Enter.

Download and install any available updates.

Restart your PC and check for changes.

USB Selective Suspend basically suspends individual ports that are not in use to help conserve power. If this feature malfunctions, it may lead to the suspension of ports that are being used as well. You can disable it with the following steps:

Press Win + R, type powercfg.cpl, and press Enter.

Press OK to apply the changes.

Warning: Taking apart the case will likely void the warranty. So, if the warranty is still valid, you should make use of that first before trying this solution.

Unlike internal HDDs, which need SATA cables, you can use a USB cable to connect an external HDD to a PC. This is possible because external hard drives are enclosed in a case with a USB to SATA controller. If this interface is damaged or malfunctioning, that can lead to issues such as an external hard drive not showing up.

You can fix this by disassembling the external case and directly connecting the HDD to the motherboard using a SATA cable. Alternatively, you can also use the HDD with a different enclosure.

We recommend searching the HDD model online as the exact steps will slightly differ according to the model. But the gist is to undo the clips, remove the screws, then take off the cover.

Can You Code With Chatgpt? Find Out Here!

You have heard that ChatGPT can code, but whether it can solve complex coding problems like a programmer remains a mystery.

ChatGPT can write, edit, debug, and translate code from one language to another, but its coding ability remains relatively limited when the task is complex, lengthy, and requires critical thinking.

Undoubtedly, it can help simplify a programmer’s job, but replacing a programmer altogether remains farfetched.

Read on to learn how to use ChatGPT best to assist with coding problems.

Can You Code With ChatGPT?

The short answer is yes, you can code using ChatGPT, but what it can generate remains a topic to be explored!

ChatGPT, developed by an aggressive research lab called OpenAI, is designed to solve various daily applications, and one of them is coding.

Using over 160 billion parameters, natural language prompts, and pre-training on every possible programming language, ChatGPT has become quite capable of generating a computer program independently.

It can write, debug, test, and improve code in JavaScript, Python, Go, Ruby, C++, C#, PHP, Swift, TypeScript, and SQL.

Additionally, it debugs the code and explains the fix so you can learn from your previous mistakes.

As an AI model, it can assist in coding in several ways.

Generating code snippets based on a specific task or problem statement

Providing explanations and examples of coding concepts and syntax

Suggesting optimizations and improvements to existing code

Debugging, explaining, and troubleshooting code errors

However, this state-of-the-art AI can only perform relatively limited tasks, and researchers claim they are nowhere near replacing human counterparts.

For example, ChatGPT can create a small gaming program like Tic-Tac-Toe using Python.

But, it fails to create a robust application like Instagram or Facebook because it is difficult to specify the behavior of the software and produce thousands of lines of code in a go.

How to Use ChatGPT For Coding? [With Examples]

ChatGPT has a great application in different coding tasks, which it does with quite a finesse.

Here are some examples of using ChatGPT for coding.

1. Generate Code Snippet

ChatGPT’s neural knowledge and experience in different programming languages will be helpful.

Ask ChatGPT to generate a code snippet in a specific language and define its function, and the chatbot will promptly generate it.

Here is an example: I asked ChatGPT to generate a Python code snippet to read a CSV file.

Here is another example: I asked ChatGPT to implement a binary search tree in Java.

Similarly, you can generate code snippets in almost every possible programming language.

2. Get Suggestions For Optimizing Codes

You can actively seek suggestions from ChatGPT for optimizing and completing codes.

One way is to use it to generate optimized code based on existing code snippets or descriptions of a problem.

Additionally, ChatGPT can provide suggestions to create a more efficient algorithm, data structures, or coding techniques for better performance.

Here is an example of how ChatGPT will optimize and complete code.

Similarly, you can ask ChatGPT for suggestions on improving your codes, especially for complex functions.

3. Debug Code To Prevent Errors

ChatGPT is a handy platform to debug and troubleshoot code errors so that you can locate and correct your mistake early.

The AI technology will quickly locate the bug using a machine learning approach and implement a quick fix or provide suggestions for improvement.

Hence, it would help save a programmer countless hours locating and fixing the bug.

4. Translate Code From One Language To Another

Another handy feature of ChatGPT for coding is that it will promptly translate your code from one language to another.

It will be helpful when you need to implement the same feature from one programming language or format to another.

For example, you can convert the following Excel formula to SQL on the go.

5. Explain The Difference Between Two Functions

With a vast knowledge of programming, computer software, and architecture, ChatGPT can also become your guide.

It will help you learn the differences between two or more features, functions, or applications.

For example, here is how ChatGPT will explain the difference between a linked list and an array in data structures.

6. Explain Dynamic Programming

ChatGPT is quite good at explaining and solving dynamic programming issues.

A part of computer programming, dynamic programming helps solve problems by breaking them down into more minor sub-problems.

Here is an example of ChatGPT solving a complex algorithmic problem in Java.

7. Act As Linux Terminal

Did you know you can convert the ChatGPT interface into a Linux terminal?

Yes, with a slightly clever command, you can turn the ChatGPT interface into a Linux text interface and input requests to get the results.

Similarly, you can use Linux commands to create files and directories or compile and execute codes.

Here is an example.

8. Create an SQL Command Line

ChatGPT is well-developed to replace the work of SQLsmith and can generate random or complex SQL queries based on your input.

In fact, it can create the SQL command for various databases.

Here is an example of ChatGPT creating a table in SQL for an employee database.

Why Would ChatGPT Not Replace Programmers Despite Being Fluent in Coding?

ChatGPT has replaced most human input regarding coding, but its limitations may prevent it from replacing the programmers entirely.

Programming involves much more than just writing code. It is an amalgamation of skills, such as logic, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

While it provides solutions to specific problems, it lacks the creativity and intuition of a human programmer.

Here are five proven reasons why ChatGPT replacing human programmers is still farfetched.

Lack of Creativity: It may be able to provide solutions to specific problems, but it lacks the innovative and creative skills of a human programmer.

Limited Knowledge: Its capabilities are limited to the data it has been trained on, which does not include recent updates.

Inability to Make Decisions: It helps implement specific requirements and decides the overall design or architecture.

Lack of Domain-Specific Knowledge: It lacks the domain-specific knowledge required to create working software solutions for specific fields.

Lacks Collaboration: Programming often involves collaborating and communicating complex technical information, which ChatGPT severely lacks.

Although it has successfully generated executable codes for small computer programs, creating robust software is still farfetched.

Furthermore, ChatGPT’s capabilities are limited to the data it has been trained on, the GPT model, and parameters.

Therefore, AI technology replacing human programmers altogether seems highly unlikely.

Final Thoughts

While ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for programmers, it cannot entirely replace a human programmer’s expertise, experience, and critical thinking skills.

However, every programmer should leverage this technology to implement, debug, and solve coding problems.

Sign up for ChatGPT and use it today if you have not created an account yet.

Continue reading to learn why ChatGPT is not coding and how to fix it quickly. 

Frequently Asked Questions Is ChatGPT Reliable For Coding?

ChatGPT has been trained on a large corpus of code and programming-related data, which provides quick and accurate solutions to specific coding problems.

However, it may sometimes provide incorrect or suboptimal solutions, which require further inspection before implementation.

Can Programmers Use ChatGPT API to Code?

Yes, ChatGPT API includes all the features of AI technology.

Programmers can integrate it into their applications to perform code generation, optimization, and debugging tasks.

Does Using ChatGPT Costs Developers a Fee?

Yes, using ChatGPT API may incur costs for developers.

Because accessing the cloud-based service offered by OpenAI applies usage fees based on the number of API requests made and the resources consumed by those requests.

Continue reading to learn the differences and similarities between ChatGPt and ChatGPT Plus.

How To Format And Partition An External Hard Drive Or Ssd On Windows

Windows is pretty good with hard disk and SSD file systems. While you may think that you’re stuck with the same partitions and format your hard disk came with, Windows will let you change things up as per your preference. It’s not too complicated, either. Here’s how to format and partition an external hard drive or SSD on Windows.



What you need to know about partitioning and formatting

How to format an external hard drive on Windows

How to partition an external hard drive on Windows

What you need to know about partitioning and formatting

You might have heard “partitioning” and “formatting” used in the context of hard drives and OS. But what do these terms actually mean?

What does partitioning mean?

“Partitioning” refers to the process of dividing a disk into several sub-devices, and allocating sub-devices to the OS to allow it to carry out functions in the rest of the sub-devices and computer. So, for instance, you can have one 500GB drive, and have it partitioned into one 100GB drive partition to boot Windows out of (and the OS will create all the other requisite partitions for recovery, etc.), and the other 400GB drive partition to store your programs and files.

Why should you partition a drive?

What does formatting mean?

“Formatting” refers to the process of preparing a storage disk for its initial data storage use. More commonly, formatting refers to the process of generating a new file system for that particular storage disk. Think of the file system as an index that figures out what file can and will be stored where — without this index, the OS would be unable to see empty and used spaces. So formatting a drive essentially tells the drive where it can and cannot store data, and that it is ready to accept data in the first place.

Difference between format and quick format

Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

When you start a formatting operation, you will often see the option to do a quick format. A quick format essentially removes the index but not the files. As a result, one cannot see the files that exist on the drive, but the files still continue to exist and can be recovered through specialized software. In other words, the files on the disk are just marked “safe to overwrite” without actually being overwritten. A quick format also skips scanning of bad sectors on the disk, but this concept is outside the scope of this article.

A regular format or full format is different from a quick format in that it overwrites the files with blank data in addition to removing the index. This ensures that it becomes almost impossible to recover the file. A full format also scans the drive for bad sectors. Because of the wider scope of the task, a full format takes significantly longer than a quick format.

Why should you format a drive?

As mentioned, formatting a drive is a step towards using a drive for storage. Different OSs use different file systems for storage. So formatting your drive with the correct Windows-supported filesystem will allow you to use the drive on your computer without any further hassle. Without the correct file system in place, your Windows computer likely won’t see the drive as available for storage. Note that formatting a drive will delete your data, and a full format will make the data almost irrecoverable.

How to format an external hard drive on Windows

Formatting an external hard drive or SSD on Windows is quite simple.

Connect the external drive to your PC and open Windows Explorer.

Rename the drive under Volume label, if you wish to.

If you want the drive to be formatted more thoroughly, uncheck the Quick Format box.

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Windows will format your external drive, and give you a confirmation dialog box when the formatting is complete.

To partition an external drive on Windows, you’ll need to use the Disk Management tool.

Find your external drive listed in the grid view in the bottom half.

To create a new partition, you will need unallocated space. You will see this under a black header in the Disk Manager.

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

The Shrink Volume dialog box will pop up. In the box next to Enter the amount of space to Shrink in MB, type in how much space you want for your new partition(s).

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

It will take a couple of seconds, but the partition will show up in the grid view of your external disk in Disk Manager.

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

If you want to create another partition, you can repeat the process to create a new volume with the allocated space you left before, or repeat the whole process by shrinking existing partitions.


There are no downsides to partitioning your external hard disk. It depends upon what kind of usage you want from your external hard disk. It’s good to partition it if you want to use the hard disk for two different purposes and don’t want to mix up your files.

It’s not a necessary thing. It solely depends upon your usage and whether the usage warrants having partitions for different purposes.

Yes, Disk Management in Windows lets you do that. You will need unallocated space available if you want to extend a partition, and if you’re shrinking a partition, it will leave you with unallocated space that you can use to extend other partitions.

A full format of the hard drive erases the data on it irrecoverably. However, a quick format merely deletes the files, leaving them recoverable with specialized software.

You should check if your hard drive has any partitions for an OS you no longer need, through disk management. This will also bring to light any unallocated space. Then partition the drive as needed for the new usage, and format it with the filesystem needed.

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