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How to Initialize a Hard Drive/SSD in Windows 10/8/7

2017-03-06 17:43:01 Posted by Abby Haines to Partition Manager

Summary:
This page tells you how to initialize a hard drive or SSD in Windows 10/8/7 using disk management, in command prompt or using third-party partition software. Try these solutions when you get a brand new hard drive or SSD or get errors like 'Disk Unknown Not Initialized' or 'You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it'.

Common cases force you to initialize a hard drive/SSD

1. Got a brand new hard drive or SSD but it is not showing up in Computer or This PC.

So, when you plugged a new blank hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state disk (SSD) in but don't see it in Computer in Windows 7 or This PC in Windows 10, it is possible that hard drive isn't initialized yet. That’s because you have to initialize a brand new hard drive or SSD before you can use it.

2. Get error "Disk Unknown Not Initialized"

Sometimes, you may get "Disk 1 is unknown, not initialized, unallocated" when you are trying to access a hard drive or SSD. When the issue occurs in Windows 10/8/7, you may want to find a way to initialize disk without losing data to repair the device for reuse.

3. Get error "You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it".

When you get the above error message, you have to initialize hard drive to MBR or GPT to solve the problem.

How to initialize a hard drive or SSD in Windows 10/8/7 

If you encounter one of these cases mentioned above but don’t know how to deal with it, please don’t worry! This page tells you how to initialize a hard drive or SSD in Windows 10/8/7 using third-party free partition software, disk management or command prompt.

Method 1. Initialize a hard drive or SSD using EaseUS free partition software

1. Connect the hard drive or SSD to PC, download and launch EaseUS free partition software.
2. Right-click the disk and select "Initialize to MBR" or "Initialize to GPT".
3. A pending operation of initializing disk to MBR or GPT disk will be added.

Initialize a hard drive or SSD using EaseUS free partition software

After the initialization, all the disk space remains unallocated and so still impossible to be used for program installation or file storage. To be able to use the MBR or GPT disk, you need to either create a new partition using EaseUS free partition software. And if you have lost data on the hard drive or SSD after disk initialization, you can try EaseUS data recovery software to retrieve them back in 3 simple steps.

Method 2. Initialize a hard drive or SSD using disk management

1. In Windows 10/8, press windows + R key, type “diskmgmt.msc” and click OK to launch Disk Management. In Windows 7, right-click Computer and then select Manage option to run Disk Management. 
2. Find and right-click the hard drive or SSD you want to initialize, and then click "Initialize Disk".
3. In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select the disk(s) to initialize. You can select whether to use the master boot record (MBR) or GUID partition table (GPT) partition style.

Method 3. Initialize a hard drive or SSD in Diskpart command prompt 

1. Open the Start Menu, type diskpart, press Enter.
2. Type list disk, press Enter.
3. Type select disk X (where X is the number your drive shows up as), press Enter.
4. Type clean, press Enter.
5. Type convert gpt, press Enter.
6. Type create partition primary, press Enter.
7. Type format quick fs=ntfs, press Enter.
8. Type assign, press Enter.
9. Type exit, press Enter.