How to 'Format' C Drive in Windows 10/8.1/8/7

Jean updated on Sep 23, 2019 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

Must-read Explanation of Disk Formatting

Wiki: "Disk formatting is the process of preparing a data storage device such as hard disk drive, solid-state drive, floppy disk or USB flash drive for initial use."

Formatting a disk for use by an operating system and its applications typically involves three different processes.

The high-level formatting creates the file system format within a disk partition or a logical volume. Hence, when it comes to formatting a C drive, it's related to the high-level formatting.

About Formatting the C Drive

"Can I format the C drive to install Windows 7?"
"Can I format the C drive to reinstall Windows 10?"

Yes, you can, but not in the operating system! To format C means that you erase the operating system and other information on the C drive, or the primary partition. How can it happen to let Windows allow you to delete the operating system within? You can not like you format other hard drives in Windows.

"You can not format this volume. It contains the version of Windows that you're using. Formatting this volume could cause your computer to stop working."

you can not format this volume

That's the exact error message error you're going to receive when using the general disk formatting method on the C drive.

Whether Formatting the C Drive or Not

According to the pre-sales consulting of EaseUS Partition Master, the purpose of the majority is about erasing an old operating system and leaving room for the new installation. That's unnecessary. Such formatting may occur during the operating system installation. Save the extra steps, please.

There are three methods for you to install Windows 10 without formatting.

But what if you have to? You want to wipe your hard drive clean, to erase all your system information, settings, files and programs on that partition.

From somewhere out of the Windows operating system environment, you can do that. Usually, the four tools are good at erasing an operating system.

1. A Windows setup disk or flash drive  (for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista)
2. A system repair disc (for Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7)
3. Recovery Console for (Windows XP)
4. Partition magic software for data destruction (for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista or Windows XP)

It must be tired after searching for solutions over and over again to 'format' an entire operating system drive, let alone spending more time learning the long-step how-to tutorial. So, let's choose the most straightforward method to start.

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 Windows 10 is supported

Clean the C Drive and Delete the Operating System

You can do this with EaseUS Partition Master:

Step 1. Create the EaseUS Partition Master WinPE Bootable Disk

The WinPE bootable disk allows you to access your hard drive from outside of the Windows OS.

create WinPE bootbale media

Step 2. Delete Operating System

  • Boot your computer from the bootable disk by pressing F2 (or other keys according to your PC) while restarting.
  • EaseUS Partition Master is open after the startup.
  • Right-click on the hard drive and choose "Delete all partitions". Click "OK" when the software asks you to confirm the operation.
  • Done.

After wiping the hard drive clean, it's good to remove it from your computer carefully. Try to format and partition the hard drive for reuse in the future.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"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."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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