EaseUS Partition Master

How to Format a Hard Drive That Won't Boot [2024 Guideline🥇]

Won't boot hard drive is the problem that will come to all users. Then, how to format a hard drive that won't boot? In this article, you will learn three practical ways of how to do it.

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Updated on Apr 22, 2024

If you are experiencing the hard drive won't boot issue, you may see a black screen with some error message that says "Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk, and Press Enter." The first solution that can resolve this problem is to format a hard drive that won't boot. Thus, EaseUS will discuss three practical and efficient ways to assist you in formatting a hard drive that won't boot.

How to Format a Hard Drive That Won't Boot - 3 Methods

Choosing the right tools or techniques to format a hard drive that won't boot is important. This section will offer step-by-step formatting tutorials that can save much hassle if the hard drive won't boot. Before following the guidelines, let's check the details of all tools and solutions that will be applied:

Method Effectiveness Duration Difficulty
🏅EaseUS Partition Master Both quickly and effectively. 10 Minutes

🏅Third-Party Format Tool

Quick and simple. 12 Minutes


Complicated and time-consuming.

15 Minutes ⭐⭐⭐

Before taking any actions, read the notification and take full preparation:

To avoid unnecessary data loss, you'd better back up all crucial data before the operations, as formatting will fully wipe up the hard drive's data.

Method 1. Use EaseUS Partition Master to Format This Hard  Drive on Another Computer

When your hard drive doesn't boot, you can't load the Windows system, so you must create a bootable media(USB/CD/DVD) before formatting the hard drive that won't boot. Creating a bootable media is a tough task using a Windows-based tool. However, EaseUS Partition Master has a "bootable media" function that can simplify the whole process to save more time for users.

In addition to creating bootable media, EaseUS Partition Master will assist users in solving boot failures with multiple features. Below is how you can make a bootable media and apply formatting with this tool:

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Stage 1. Create a Bootable Media

Step 1. To create a bootable disk of EaseUS Partition Master, you should prepare a storage media, like a USB drive, flash drive or a CD/DVD disc. Then, correctly connect the drive to your computer.

Step 2. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, and find the "Bootable Media" feature on the left. Click on it.

Step 3. You can choose the USB or CD/DVD when the drive is available. However, if you do not have a storage device at hand, you can also save the ISO file to a local drive, and later burn it to a storage media. Once made the option, click the "Create" button to begin.

  • Check the Warning message and click "Yes".

Step 4. When the process finishes, you'll see a pop up window, asking if you want to restart computer from the bootable USB.

  • Reboot Now: it means you want to restart the current PC and enter EaseUS Bootable Media to manage your disk partitions without OS.
  • Done: it means you don't want to restart the current PC but to use the bootable USB on a new PC.
Select if you want to boot pc from bootable usb

Note: To use the bootable disk on a new PC, you need to resart the target computer and press F2/F8/Del key to enter BIOS, and set the USB bootable disk as the first boot disk.

Wait patitiently and your computer will automatically boot up from the USB bootable media and enter EaseUS WinPE desktop.

Enter EaseUS WinPE Desktop

Stage 2. Format the Hard Drive

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 1

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 2

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "Yes" to continue.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 4

Method 2. Create Bootable Media to perform Formatting via EaseUS Partition Master

If you don't have any other external devices, the second method is what you are looking for. Since your hard drive won't boot in this computer as the system drive, you can add it to another computer as the second hard drive. The first move is to remove the hard drive from the computer and then copy all the data on the hard drive that won't boot  with EaseUS Partition Master to protect the important files as follows:

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Step 1. Select the source disk.

  • Click the "Clone" from the left menu. Select the "Clone OS Disk" or "Clone Data Disk"  and click "Next".
  • Choose the source disk and click "Next".

Step 2. Select the target disk.

  • Choose the wanted HDD/SSD as your destination and click "Next" to continue.
  • Read Warning message and confirm "Yes" button.

Step 3. View the disk layout and edit the target disk partition size. 

Then click "Continue" when the program warns it will wipe out all data on the target disk. (If you have valuable data on the target disk, back up it in advance.)

You can select "Autofit the disk", "Clone as the source" or "Edit disk layout" to customize your disk layout. (Select the last one if you want to leave more space for C drive.)

Step 4. Click "Start" to start the disk cloning process.

Once all is done, refer to stage 2 of Method 1 to format the hard drive that won't boot via EaseUS Partition Master. However, you can choose to create a bootable USB from ISO Windows 10.

Share great solutions to help users who are stuck into the same boot failure problem on your social media:


Method 3. Run Diskpart to Format the Hard Drive

If you want to challenge high-level methods and have practiced using Command Prompt before, you can also run Diskpart to format the hard drive that won't boot. Keep being cautious when you follow the quick guide below:

Step 1. Select "Search" after clicking the Windows icon, then enter cmd. ( Remember to Run as administrator.)

Step 2. Write diskpart in the Command Prompt window and hit "Enter."

Step 3. Type format commands below and hit "Enter" each time to perform a quick format on the hard drive:

  • list disk
  • select disk 2 (Replace 2 with your disk number)
  • list volume
  • select volume 10 (Replace 10 with the hard drive number.)
  • format fs=ntfs quick(Replace NTFS with the file systems you want to format.)
If you input format instead of format fs=ntfs quick in DiskPart, it will apply a full format on your partition.

Step 4. Type exit and hit "Enter" to close the Diskpart program.

quick format hard drive in Diskpart

Beyond formatting the hard drive, the following five ways can also be applied to fix the boot failures and errors of hard drives:

related articles

How to Fix Hard Drive Won't Boot [Full Guide]

If your hard drive doesn't boot, try the methods below, from changing the boot order to fixing the BCD error.

fix the hard drive won't boot

Tips for Preventing Hard Drive Won't Boot

Hard drives are essential to any computer, especially the system drive in charge of OS booting. Thus, it's a nightmare if your hard drive has boot failure and won't boot. However, you can take some tips to help prevent the hard drive won't boot problems:

Back up your hard drive: Losing important data in the hard drive is heartbreaking. Thus, users can use external hard drives, cloud storage, and automatic features to back up these programs, OS, personal files, and family pictures.

Regularly check the hard drive status: Regularly checking hard drive health could detect issues early, while test disk speed can boost the hard drive's performance.

Avoid physical damage or temperature changes: Extreme temperatures and fierce strikes could cause severe hard drive issues and even boot failure.


This passage mainly introduced three proven methods to help you format a hard drive that won't boot. Two must create a bootable media to perform formatting operations using EaseUS Partition Master or Diskpart. Moreover, you can connect this system hard drive to another computer that can boot, then use EaseUS Partition Master on the healthy computer for hard drive formatting.

Then, we also round up some efficient bonus tips to help users avoid hard drive boot failures. It's easy to note that EaseUS Partition Master has many options that are quite useful for most hard drive problems. Download and start a new lifestyle of hard drive problem-solving.

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FAQs on the How to Format a Hard Drive That Won't Boot

To extend your knowledge about how to format a hard drive that won't boot, we prepared some frequently asked questions to help you:

1. How to wipe a hard drive that won't boot?

Using a data deletion program, make a bootable USB device. Boot from the USB device after inserting it into your computer. Options for securely wiping the hard drive will be provided by this data destruction software.

2. How do I format a hard drive without booting?

First, create a bootable media and boot from it to perform formatting operations. Restart the computer and access the Boot Settings. Then press the F2/F9/F12/Del key (vary from the computer manufacturer) to enter the boot menu. Set the bootable USB/CD/DVD as the first boot device and format your hard drive as follows:

📖Read More: How to Partition, Format, or Wipe Hard Drive Without OS

3. How to format a hard drive using BIOS?

In theory, you cannot format a hard drive using BIOS as this menu has no "Format" option. However, you can create a bootable media using EaseUS Partition Master, enabling you to perform format operation after boot from this bootable media.

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About the Author

Updated by Sherly

Sherly joined EaseUS in 2022 and she has always loved writing articles and enjoys the fun they bring. She receives professional training here, focusing on product performance and other relative knowledge. She has written over 200 articles to help people overcome computing issues.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created over 200 posts that help users solve multiple issues and failures on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, and Macs. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interests.

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  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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