How to Format a Removable Disk

Removable disks are very versatile because you can use them to transfer and save data files much quicker. You can also easily delete data when there is a need to clear some space. Removable disks include USB flash drives and various memory cards that are used in other portable devices.

Like ordinary hard disk drives, removable disks can get infected by viruses. This leads to the need to format the removable disk to ensure that the infection is removed. Formatting a removable disk may also be necessary to clear the entire space of the drive removing hidden files and fixing errors in the process.

Step

Fire up “My Computer” (or “Computer” in Vista/7) and then find the removable drive that you wish to format. Ensure that it is the correct drive by taking a peek at the contents to avoid accidentally formatting other drives. Right-click on the drive and click format to bring up the format dialog.

Step

Ensure that the “File system” is FAT32 to ensure compatibility amongst other devices. You may set a “Volume label” as well to uniquely identify the device. Leaving the “Quick Format” unchecked is recommended (See Tips).

Step

Click the “Start” button and confirm the message box to begin the format process. The formatting is complete after the progress meter fills up.