Format an External Hard Drive via USB

By Gerry F
Feb 28, 2006
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  1. Can anyone help please. I have recently replaced the hard drive in my mp3 player which I connect to my PC by USB link. The problemn is that the new hard drive needs to be formatted/partitioned and because it isn't formatted it no longer appears in "My Computer" as an external drive, so I don't have access to it to format. Can anyone tell me how I can format the new hard drive via the USB link. Many thanks.
  2. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,646

    Welcome to Techspot

    You can attach the HDD to a free IDE connector annd power it up right from inside the case of your computer .You don't have to bolt it in place, just make sure it is sitting on some anti static membrane/bag etc, and don't bounce it around. Windows should see it and format it from My Computer.
    Remeber drive letter switching using this procedure.
    Or for $25 bucks grab a USB enclosure and throw it in there, plug in to the computer and Format (Best way in my opinion, I keep a spare enclosure around for times like this)
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,426   +281

    Windows isn't likely to see an new drive in My Computer because it doesn't have partitions set up. If a partition is set up it might see the drive in My Computer. It should, provided the disk spins up, appear in Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management. In there you can create a new partition and format.
  4. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,646

    SNG... You are right I took a short cut.
    If the bios sees the new HDD you can right click My Computer > Manage>Disk Management and then Partition and Format from there.
    I have done that many times and took the path for granted
    I apologize.
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