Format External Hard Drive with Multiple Partitions

Brithny updated on Sep 10, 2020 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

"How do I reformat a multi-partition external hard drive in Windows 10? I have an existing HD for backup. Currently, it has 3 partitions. Can someone please advise how to format the external hard drive with multiple partitions into a single NTFS partition?"

Two Ways to Format External Hard Drive with Multiple Partitions

Most times, Windows desktop or laptop computer users tend to partition a hard drive into many volumes on purpose. With several independent disk partitions, users can easily and clearly manage various kinds of data in classification. However, not all people are used to build many chunks on a hard disk. There is a group of users asking our help to combine partitions into one, while the other group even wants to format an external hard drive with multiple partitions, leaving only one partition on the disk for special use.

No matter how many times you've tried to format an entire disk for once in Windows, you'll certainly fail. The inbuilt Windows programs, including Windows Explorer and Windows Disk Management, only allow users to format a single partition to an available file system. In order to format a multi-partition external hard drive, you'll need further hard work. In general, there are two accesses to achieve their goal.

  1. #1. Delete all existing partitions and create a new simple volume (Erase data)
  2. #2. Merge all partitions in the external hard drive into one (Keep data)

For your notice, both are attainable options to format all partitions on an external hard drive. As for capable tools that you can utilize, Windows Disk Management can do #1 well in deleting partitions and creating a new one. Whereas the third-party partition manager - EaseUS Partition Master can do both  #1 and #2, actually in a more efficient way.

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 Windows 10 is supported

#1. Format External Hard Drive with Multiple Partitions Using Disk Management

If you prefer adopting an inbuilt program, at the same time, with no vital data to be protected, Windows Disk Management can help you format the external hard drive by deleting each partition as well as data first, and then let you create a new one on the unallocated space.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to a Windows PC.

Step 2. Press "Windows+R" to open Run, type diskmgmt.msc in the empty box and tap "OK" to open disk management tool.

Step 3. Locate the external hard disk, right-click on every partition and click "Delete Volume".

delete every partition on external hard drive

Step 4.  Once you have deleted all partitions, right-click the external drive again and select "New Simple Volume". Follow the instruction to finish the process. 

As you can see, this manner will erase all your data from the external hard drive. So, you'd better not try this way if you have a large number of important data to be saved. And as an alternative, we recommend you to try a third-party partition software to merge multiple partitions into a single partition.

#2. Format External Hard Drive with Multiple Partitions Using EaseUS Format Tool

EaseUS Partition Master is a comprehensive disk & partition magic tool that can fully replace the Windows Disk Management in basic functions, including format a disk partition, delete a partition, create a new partition and everything you can find in the Windows program. That is to say, when you need to format an external hard drive with multiple partitions, you can also use EaseUS Partition Master to make the job done in the same way!

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 Windows 10 is supported

Option 1. Delete All Partitions and Create A New Partition

One exciting experience with EaseUS software is that you don't have to necessarily repeat the deletion process on every partition in Disk Management because there is a feature called 'Delete All', which allows you to remove all the existing 2 or 3 or more partitions on a hard drive or external hard disk for one time!

To format all partitions on the external hard drive with EaseUS Partition Master, only two steps are required:

Step 1. Delete all partitions on the external hard drive in one click.

delete all partitions on external hard disk

Step 2. Create a new partition of NTFS, FAT32, etc.

Option 2. Merge Partitions in External Hard Disk into One

As you've learned, EaseUS partition magic software is an excellent tool that works well to partition an external hard drive. It can help you reformat multi-partition external hard drive into one partition by combining partitions. What's the most important, no data loss problem will occur during the process!

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 Windows 10 is supported


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 Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

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

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

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

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

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

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

One time "Merge" will enable to combine two partitions into one, if you have three or more partitions on the external disk, continue following the same guide to merge all the partitions into a final one.

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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