Initializing and formatting your SSD or HDD is the first step after adding a new SSD/HDD to your computer system. The newly added external drive will not work unless you complete the initialization process.
To start this process, you can use the Disk Management or the diskpart utility. For a comprehensive guide, you can follow this article to learn how to initialize a newly added SSD/HDD.
How to Initialize SSD/HDD in Windows?
The computer might not detect the drive until you initialize it. You can only use the disk for general use after initializing it and then partitioning it. There are a couple of ways to do it.
Using Disk Management
The computer might not detect the drive until you initialize it. You can only use the disk for general use after initializing a disk and then partitioning it.Disk management is a great windows tool to manage your disk partitions. Here’s how to initialize your newly installed SSD/HDD.
Windows + Xkeys and go to Disk Management. Make sure to use an administrator’s account or run Disk Management as administrator.
- Confirm your disk is online first. Right-click on your disk and check if the options show “Online,” click on it to make your disk online.
- Right-click on your disk and click Initialize Disk.
- This will prompt you to choose between MBR or GPT partitioning styles. Choose GPT and press Ok.
- Right-click on your new drive and select New Simple Volume.
- A disk partitioning wizard will pop up on the screen, asking you to input the partition size and input the volume label.
- Select NTFS file system and sequentially click Next and Finish again to complete the initialization process.
You can use your SSD for storage after the initialization ends. It will now detect your new drive as a usable disk partition.
Meanwhile, there are several third-party software that you can use to initialize your disk as well. However, such software can be risky to use and it is always a good idea to use Windows built-in software if available.
Initializing With Command Line
You can also use the built-in Powershell to initialize your disk. These steps will guide you on how to initialize your device.
Windows + Xand select Windows Powershell(Admin) from the list, and click Yes.
diskpartand press Enter.
list diskto display all the available disk partitions.
- The number under Disk represents the label of the disk partition. Note down the number of the partition you want to initialize.
- Type Exit and press Enter.
- Type ‘
Initialize-Disk -Number 1 -PartitionStyle -GPT’. The ‘
-GPT’ of the partition style can be replaced with
-MBRto use the master boot record partition style.
How to Choose Disk Partition Styles?
Master Boot Record(MBR) and GUID Partition Table(GPT) are the two styles for disk partition. MBR has a storage reserve for the computer’s partition information and core code that first launches the computer’s operating system. The MBR partition style only supports 4 partitions and a maximum storage size of 2 Terabyte drives.
Unlike MBR, GPT is a newer disk partition style that allows up to 128 disk partitions and supports 9.4 zettabytes or 9400000000 TB of storage. Most newer drives use the GPT disk partition style as it provides data recoverability and better protection.
How to Convert MBR to GPT?
You can convert your MBR disk to GPT using the Disk management tool. These steps will guide you on how to convert the disk partition style.
- Open Disk Management Tool.
- Right-click on the disk of choice and click convert to GPT.
- If you already have it in GPT, it will show as ‘convert to MBR. Remember that you can only convert disks that do not have volume partitions.
You can also convert it from the command prompt. But, first you have to backup all your data in that disk as it will erase all data. You will also have to change your boot firmware model to UEFI for the conversion to complete.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to convert your MBR to GPT using the cmd:
- Search for the command prompt in the taskbar and run as administrator.
mbr2gpt/ validatein the command line to check whether it is convertible or not.
mbr2gpt/ convertto convert your disk from MBR to GPT.
The conversion process is very short and will complete very quickly. Adding
/allowFullOS will override any issues you may encounter.
mbr2gpt.exe function is generally disabled by default. It can only run on the Windows Preinstallation Environment. But the
/allowFullOS bypasses the block and allows the use of the function.
How to Fix Drive Not Initialized Error?
If your disk is having trouble initializing, you can try the following troubleshooting processes. You can also look for detailed information about troubleshooting drives not initialized error.
You can follow the above listed methods to initialize the drive. The error is generally fixed by completing the initialization process.
Updating your drivers is always worth trying first as outdated drivers can also be the cause behind your disk not initializing. You can try these steps to update your drivers:
Windows + Xand click Device Manager.
- Expand Disk drives.
- Right-click on your hard drive and click on Update driver.
- Click on Search automatically for drivers.
This process will automatically detect outdated drivers and download it for you. You can also click on Search for updated drivers on windows update at the end to check for driver updates in Windows update.
Uninstalling your disk driver and reinstalling again can also solve driver related issues. Just click on the Uninstall Driver option at step #3 above. Doing so will uninstall your driver and reinstall it again when you restart your computer. You can again try updating the driver after reinstalling it.
Scan for Viruses and Malware
Windows Defender is pre-installed antivirus software that can detect and remove malware from your computer system. You can scan for malware by following these steps:
- Click on the shield icon in the system tray.
- Go to Virus & Threat protection.
- Click on the Quick scan button.
This will scan the computer system for viruses and offer you the choice to either remove them or quarantine them if any are found. You can also get more scanning options from the Scan options button just below which allows you to do a deep scan of the system which takes longer to complete.
You can even choose a custom scan that allows you to scan only a part of the disk. You can choose your preferred option and click on Scan Now.