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

Roxanne updated on Sep 27, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

how to initialize ssd

A quick guide on how to initialize SSD Windows 10 with Disk Management: 

Move your mouse to the lower-left corner of your desktop and right-click on the Start icon, then select "Disk Management". When Disk Management opens, a pop-up will appear and prompt you to initialize SSD. Select MBR (Master Boot Record) or GUID partition table (GPT) and click "OK". Right-click in the area that says Unallocated and begin to create a new volume with the on-screen wizard. In the Format Partition screen, decide on a drive letter and click "Next". Thus, you can set up a new SSD.

3 Free Ways to Initialize SSD or Initialize a Hard Drive
MBR VS GPT | Initialize SSD as MBR or GPT
How to Convert MBR to GPT or Convert GPT to MBR
Why Need to Initialize SSD Windows 10/8/7

How to Initialize SSD Windows 10/8/7 in 3 Ways

This article shows you how to initialize a hard drive or how to initialize SSD in Windows 10/8/7 by using a third-party free partition tool, Disk Management or Diskpart commands respectively.

Method 1. Using EaseUS Partition Master - a Free Disk Management Tool

If you are a computer novice, the best way to manage your disk is by using an easy-to-use disk management software. In this way, you can avoid any harm to your computer due to misoperations, such as wrong command lines in Command Prompt.

EaseUS Partition Master Free enables you to initialize an SSD or HDD with a click. It's that simple. What's more, this partition management program provides other one-stop partition and disk management solutions for your Windows computer as listed below. 

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 Windows 10 is supported

  • Resize/move partitions to optimize disk (the Pro version allows to directly transfer free space from other drives to the target drive without deleting or formatting, like move space from D drive to C drive)
  • Create, format, delete, and merge partitions without data loss
  • Copy and clone an entire disk to another even the target partition is smaller than the source
  • Convert a logical partition to primary or primary partition to logical, convert FAT32 to NTFS partition, MBR disk to GPT, or GPT disk to MBR
  • Completely wipe out all the data on the hard disk to prevent information from being leaked or recovered

Now, download this free partition manager and follow the steps below to initialize SSD in Windows 10, 8, and 7. As for initializing SSD to GPT or MBR, you can read the next part. 

Step 1: Download the software

Download EaseUS Partition Master. Connect the hard drive or SSD to PC.

Step 2: Initialize your HDD/SSD

Right-click the target HDD or SSD and select "Initialize to MBR" or "Initialize to GPT" accordingly.

Fig 1. Initialize to MBR:

initialize to mbr

Fig 2. Initialize to GPT:

initialize to gpt

Step 3: Apply the operation

A pending operation of initializing disk to MBR or GPT disk will be added. Execute the operation and click "Apply".

click apply to start

After the initialization, all the disk space remains unallocated and so still impossible to be used for program installation or file storage. To use the MBR or GPT disk, you can continue using EaseUS free partition software to create partitions and set the file system. Check the video tutorial below.

Method 2. Using Disk Management to Initialize SSD

Step 1. In Windows 10/8, press the "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.

Step 2. Find and right-click the hard drive or SSD you want to initialize, and then click "Initialize Disk". If the disk is listed as Offline, first right-click it and select Online.

initialize SSD in disk management

Step 3. In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select the correct disk to initialize. And then click OK to accept the default partition style, or you can change the partition style (GPT or MBR) as you want.

Method 3. Using Diskpart Commands to Initialize Hard Drive

Step 1. Open the Start Menu, type diskpart, press Enter.

Step 2. Type these commands if you want to initialize the disk to MBR/GPT, and press Enter after each command.

list disk >  select disk # > convert MBR/GPT

Step 3. If you would like to continue to create the primary partition on the MBR disk directly, you can run the following commands.

list disk > select disk # > clean > create partition primary > format quick fs=ntfs > assign > exit

Step 4. If you need to create the primary partition on the GPT disk, please use the commands below.

list disk > select disk # > clean > convert gpt > create partition primary > format quick fs=ntfs > assign > exit

MBR VS GPT | Initialize SSD as MBR or GPT

MBR and GPT are two popular partitions styles on Windows-based computers. MBR is short for Master Boot Record and GPT stands for GUID Partition Table. The advantage of GPT (GUID Partition Table) is that it's more stable and supports 4K alignment, which is good for SSD.

MBR (Master Boot Record) only supports up to 2 TB partition size and create only four primary partitions. But a GPT disk can support larger than 2 TB volumes and create unlimited partitions. Windows 7 can only be partitioned with MBR, and Windows 8 and Windows 10 are recommended to use GPT. 

Which partition style you choose has a lot to do with whether your computer is BIOS booted or UEFI booted. The BIOS+MBR mode or UEFI+GPT mode is commonly used nowadays.

If you want to learn more about MBR and GPT, click on the link and read the full guides.

How to Convert MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR Without Data Loss

You can choose to initialize a hard drive to MBR or GPT depending on the size of your disk, the boot mode of your system, and the number of partitions you want.

But sometimes you need to convert disk styles, for example: when you install Windows operating system on your computer and run into "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. "The selected disk has an MBR partition table" or "Windows Cannot be Installed to This Disk. The Selected Disk is of the GPT Partition Style". In this case, converting the initialized SSD from MBR to GPT, or from GPT to MBR can help solve this problem.

The following steps show you how to use EaseUS Partition Master to convert MBR to GPT. To convert GPT to MBR in the vice versa, the operations are the same.

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 Windows 10 is supported

Step 1. Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your Windows computer.

Step 2. Right-click the MBR disk that you want to convert and choose "Convert to GPT".

convert MBR to GPT - 1

Step 3. After that, find and click the "Execute 1 Operation" button on the toolbar and choose "Apply" to start the conversion. You need to restart your device to enable this change.

convert MBR to GPT - 2

Read More: When Do You Need to Initialize SSD/HDD

1. Got a brand new hard drive or SSD, but it is not showing up in File Explorer.

When you plug a new blank hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state disk (SSD) to your PC running Windows 10/8/7 but don't see it in File Explorer, you might need to add a drive letter or initialize it before using 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 this issue occurs in Windows 10/8/7, you may need to find a way to initialize the disk for proper use. 

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

When you connect the HDD/SSD to your computer but find it doesn't show in My Computer/This PC, you may see this error message when going into Disk Management to check what's up. To fix this matter, you need to initialize a disk and format it with a file system to start using it.

Initializing a disk that has already got files on it will result in the loss of all the data stored. If you have to proceed with the initialization, you can try EaseUS Todo Backup Free to back up the HDD/SSD at a fast speed and recover the backup to anywhere secure.

Summary on How to Initialize a Hard Drive 

We believe that you must know how to initialize SSD after reading this article. In general, you can initialize a hard drive in three ways: using EaseUS Partition Master - the free ultimate Windows partition management software, Disk Management, or Command Prompt. For ease of use and security, we highly recommend you use EaseUS Partition Master. It is suitable for beginners as well as experts to manage disk or drives easily.

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 Windows 10 is supported

FAQs on How to Initialize SSD Windows 10

The following are the top four highly relevant questions on how to initialize a hard drive. If you also have any of these problems, you can find the methods here.

How do I initialize an SSD in Windows 10?

How to initialize SSD? The simplest way to initialize SSD is using EaseUS Partition Master Free:

Step 1. Connect your SD to PC. Run EaseUS Partition Master.

Step 2. Right-click the SSD and select "Initialize to MBR" or "Initialize to GPT" as you want.

Step 3. Execute the operation and wait for the process to complete.

Do I need to initialize SSD before cloning?

Should I initialize SSD before cloning? It is unnecessary to initialize SSD if you are performing a clean installation of your operating system, or cloning HDD to SSD, both of which will initialize and format the new SSD during the process.

Should I initialize my SSD as MBR or GPT?

MBR and GPT work with different interfaces. MBR only supports up to 2 TB partition size and create only four primary partitions. But a GPT disk can support larger than 2 TB volumes and create theoretically unlimited partitions. Moreover, GPT disks have better performance on security. You can read more about MBR VS GPT on what's the difference and which is better.

Besides, you can convert MBR to GPT with EaseUS Partition Master without formatting.

Why won't my SSD show up?

Is your SSD not showing up in Windows File Explorer or Disk Management? The causes of SSD won't show up can be:

  • The drive letter of SSD is missing or conflicting.
  • SSD is not initialized.
  • The file system of SSD is not supported.
  • There are disk driver issues.

For these four reasons, there are four solutions. You can fix SSD not showing up problem by re-assigning the drive letter, initializing SSD, changing the file system, or upgrading or reinstalling the SSD drive. 

How do I get my computer to recognize a new SSD?

If SSD not showing up in Windows 10, you can try to get your computer to recognize the new SSD with the methods below:

  • Assign a new drive letter for the SSD 
  • Initialize SSD on Windows 10
  • Format the SSD with a proper file system
  • Update SSD divers

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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.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

Video Tutorial

How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7