Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » Guide »

How to Format a Hard Drive

If you want to format your hard drive, completely erase a hard drive, or learn how to clean your mouse or LCD monitor, then this Webopedia computer maintenance guide is for you. The following guides will take you  step-by-step through the format c process, tell you how to completely erase hard drives, help you learn to defrag your hard drive, and lean about cleaning your Windows registry. The following guides will also help you to diagnose and fix computer problems, like properly cleaning dirt from your power supply or mouse, keeping your system from being bogged down with dust, and help your computer run faster.

How to Completely Erase a Hard Disk Drive
There are many ways to go about ensuring your data can never be retrieved. Obviously, you can choose to physically smash the drive, but there are alternatives that enable you to keep the system intact so you can donate a complete system.

What is format?
To prepare a storage medium, usually a disk, for reading and writing. When you format a disk, the operating system erases all bookkeeping information on the disk, tests the disk to make sure all sectors are reliable, marks bad sectors (that is, those that are scratched), and creates internal address tables that it later uses to locate information. You must format a disk before you can use it.

Formatting a Hard Disk Drive
When do you need to be concerned with formatting hard disk drive? If you're installing a new hard drive for the first, removing errors from your drive, trying to get rid of a nasty virus, or even cleaning your hard drive because you are selling or donating your computer are just a few of the many reasons why one might consider formatting a hard drive.

How to Defrag a Hard Drive: Optimizing A Disk By Unfragmenting Files
A little preventative maintenance goes a long way when it comes to your Windows-based PCs. All Windows operating systems come with tools that you can use to help keep your computer running in top shape. One such tool is the Disk Defragmenter (defragment), which works to optimize fragmented files on the hard disk drive.

How to Clean Common Computer Parts and Devices
From dusty computer fans to fingerprints on compact discs, computer parts and devices can get awfully dirty from normal everyday use or when left sitting unused. The best way to have any computer component cleaned is to have it professionally serviced, but if you no longer have a service warranty, or if you picked up a second-hand item and want to clean it to see if it even works, here are some tips on how to clean some common items.

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your PC
Computer failures occur for a variety of reasons, sometimes because of human error and sometimes because of factors in the environment that cause a computer to malfunction — or a combination of both. The following tips are a basic guideline that you can use to keep your PC maintained to run efficiently, increase component lifespan and also help lessen the overall likelihood of PC failure.

Common Windows PC Issues: Tips to Diagnose and fix a slow running computer
It happens to the best of us. One day your Windows-based PC just seems to be taking far longer than usual to open applications and save files on your hard drive. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why your computer could be running slowly, but here are some easy steps you can take to try and figure out what is causing the slow down and how to fix it before calling your techie friends for assistance.

The Windows System Registry: Registry Cleaner and Restore Utilities
For many, the process of cleaning and restoring a system registry is made easy with the use of third-party software utilities. A simple Google Web search for registry cleaning utilities will provide you with a plethora of results.

Getting Your System Ready For Windows Vista: Purge & Clean
After you have taken care of and planned for any device and software incompatibilities as found in the Upgrade Advisor, there are a few more steps you should take to get your system prepared for installing Microsoft Vista. Again, this information is mostly of use to those installing an upgrade version of Vista on top of an existing, compatible version of Windows XP.

Static Electricity and Computers
The internal workings of a computer, and especially the hard drive, are extremely susceptible to static electricity, which can cause considerable damage to the hard drive if it is zapped with even a small amount.

Related Terms on Webopedia:

Related Webopedia Categories:

Hardware, Software, Windows







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
Internet of Things Shaping IT's Future

To make the IoT both work and pay off, IT is juggling upgrading and building app-centric networks, mapping out new data center architectures and... Read More »

What You Don't Read Can Hurt You

Does this sound familiar? An online service promises to help your small business cut costs, increase productivity, make your coffee and walk your... Read More »

Who's Moving Ahead in Cloud Computing?

The future remains, well, cloudy. But either way: Amazon, look out. Microsoft is gaining fast. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
Webopedia Polls

The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »

How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »

Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »