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Depending on the current state of your SSD, whether it has already been initialized and has partitions, or is brand new and not yet initialized, the steps to properly format a new SSD to make it usable may differ.

No cost or third-party software installations are required to format your SSD. You can easily format or manage hard drives with Disk Management, a tool built into Windows 10.

To verify that the SSD has been initialized, search for and open Disk Management in the Windows 10 search bar. Under Disk Management, verify that the disk is marked Uninitialized.

  • If your SSD indicates that it has not been initialized, follow the 2 simple steps below to initialize and format your new SSD so that it becomes visible and usable in Windows 10.
  • If you already have partitions on your SSD, you can go to this section to learn how to quickly format an existing SSD partition.

Step 1: Initializing a new SSD

A brand new SSD that you have just unpacked is usually in an uninitialized state where it is not yet visible and cannot be used in Windows. You must initialize the SSD before creating and formatting a new volume on it. Follow the steps below to initialize the SSD.

In the Windows 10 search bar, look for the Disk Management menu and open it. Right-click on the disk labeled Unknown and Uninitialized and select Initialize Disk.

The next prompt asks you to choose a partition style for the selected disks.

  • GPT (GUID Partition Table) is a modern standard for partition tables. Required for a drive larger than 2TB.
  • The MBR (Master Boot Record) is an old-style partition that has been used since the days of DOS. It cannot be used on a drive larger than 2 TB.

Normally, you should use GPT for any new SSD or hard drive. GPT is a better design than MBR in general and is more resistant to corruption. The only reason to use the MBR is if you plan to use the hard drive with an older operating system, for example. B. Windows XP or later, as older operating systems cannot read GPT disks. However, later versions of the operating system can read MBR disks.

You cannot change the partition style once you start using the SSD. To convert an SSD partition from one style to another, you must first remove all volumes and erase all data from the disk.

Once you have chosen a partition style for the SSD, click OK to initialize the drive. After the initialization process is complete, the disk status changes to Online and the disk has unallocated space. Proceed to the next step to create and format an SSD partition.

Step 2: Creating and formatting a new SSD partition

To create a partition from unallocated space, right-click on the unallocated space and select New Single Volume.

In the new Single Volume wizard window, specify the volume size for the new partition. Leave the default (maximum) size if you plan to use the entire SSD as a single partition. Otherwise, specify the size of the volume you want to assign to the partition.

In the next window, assign a drive letter to the partition and click Next.

In the Format Partition step of the wizard, select the settings for formatting your SSD partition – file system, allocation unit size and volume label.

In most cases it is recommended to use NTFS as file system and use the default block size for allocation. The volume label is the name/label of the new volume you are creating. This is the name you will see on this PC when the partition is ready to be used.

Click Next to continue formatting the partition.

Once the formatting process is complete, you can open and use the newly created partition from the PC Explorer window.

Formatting an existing SSD in Windows 10

Warning: When you format a partition on an SSD (or delete a volume), all data on that partition is deleted. Before formatting, make sure there is nothing important on the disk. Or make sure all the important data is already stored on the drive before formatting the SSD.

To format an existing SSD partition, right-click on the partition (drive letter) you want to format and select Format.

In the Format pop-up window, type a new label for the volume, select the file system (NTFS is recommended) and the mapping unit size (default recommended), then click OK to start the formatting process.

Formatting an SSD with multiple partitions

If you have multiple partitions on one SSD drive that you want to format and start over, you can first delete the volumes by right-clicking each partition on the SSD drive and selecting Delete Volume.

This operation completely removes the selected volume (and all data on it) and changes the space status to unallocated. You can then create and format a new partition from the unallocated space, as described in step 2 above.

Description to share: A quick guide to initializing and formatting a new SSD in Windows 10, as well as formatting an existing SSD or one with multiple partitions.

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