TOP 6 Hard Drive Disk Format Tool| HDD Formatter

Tracy King updated on Aug 19, 2020 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

The best disk format tool in 2020 comes out. They are third-party EaseUS format tool, HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, HDD Low Level Format Tool and the built-in HDD formatter like File Explorer, Disk Management and CMD in Windows 10/8/7. Choose one of the six to format a disk, HDD, SSD, USB flash, pen drive, and SD card with ease.

Best Hard Drive Format Tool in 2020

  1. 1. EaseUS Partition Master Format Tool
  2. 2. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
  3. 3. HDD Low Level Format Tool
  4. 4. Windows File Explorer
  5. 5. Windows Disk Management
  6. 6. Windows Command Prompt (CMD)

Each hard disk format tool in the list can be used to format any drive in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista and Windows Server operating system. Some of them are free to use, while some are for commercial use. Next, you'll learn the details of the product description, advantages and disadvantages. 

*Back up Data Before Formatting a Disk*

In general terms, we format a disk using the quick format, which erases data completely but the data is recoverable by some third-party data recovery software. The other disk formatting manner is called low-level format, which erases the whole disk surface and makes data restoration impossible!

No matter which way you'll need to format a disk, to protect important data from completely erasing, always create a backup in advance. 

  1. Method 1. Open the target hard drive and manually copy useful files and documents to another device. 
  2. Method 2. Use Windows backup software to automatically back up the whole disk/partition or target files and folders to another device at one time.

#1. EaseUS Partition Master - Best Hard Disk Formatting Software Free Download for PC

  • Supported file system: NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, EXT2, EXT3, and EXT4
  • User interface: simple, graphical, clean and user-friendly to beginners

EaseUS Partition Master Free is an all-around disk & partition management tool that includes but not limited to a disk formatting feature. It's placed on the top position of the best hard drive format tool due to the facts of the following:

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Pros:

  • Free to download and format a disk
  • Support all Windows operating systems and servers
  • Format a drive that is RAW, not showing up or not recognized by Windows
  • Format a disk even when the Windows was unable to complete the format
  • Allow you to create a bootable hard drive format tool
  • Format 64/128/256GB USB hard drive to the FAT32 file system
  • Convert FAT32 to NTFS without formatting or losing data
  • Build with other powerful features: resize, move, create, merge, delete, wipe, or recover lost partition

Cons:

Guide - How to format a disk with EaseUS format tool:

 

Step 1: Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: Then you will see a warning window, click "OK" in it 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 the partition on your hard drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4
Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

#2. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool - Windows XP Disk Formatter

  • Supported file system: FAT, FAT32, and NTFS
  • User interface: kind of outdated but relatively easy-to-use

hp usb disk storage format tool - best hard drive format tool

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is a Windows-based disk format utility to format any drive. It should work on all the older and newer Windows OS versions, but viewing from the formatting speed and performance, it stands out on usually the Windows XP operating system. With HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, you can format any USB Flash drive, hard drive, or memory card in FAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems. Moreover, create DOS startup disks that can help boot a PC after it dies.

Pros:

  • It is best used on USB drives and it strips and re-formats your drives
  • The GUI is very familiar because it looks just like the Windows XP formatting tool

Cons:

  • It may cause crashes on modern computers with newer operating systems
  • It needs you to run it under Administrator

Guide - How to format a hard drive with HP Disk Storage Format Tool

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your Windows XP computer, click Devices and select the USB drive you want to format.

Step 2. From the File System menu, select a file system and enter a name for the reformatted disk in the Volume Label input box.

Step 3. Click the Quick Format option to enable a quick format. If you leave this option unchecked, a slower, low-level format will be performed.

Step 4. Click Start to begin the USB formatting.

#3. HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool - Best Low-level Hard Disk Drive Formatting Software

  • Supported operating system: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2008R2
  • User interface: kind of outdated and complex to use

HDD Low Level Format Tool is a utility exclusively designed for low-level hard disk drive formatting. After running this low level format tool, the whole disk surface will be erased. As a result, data restoration is impossible after using this utility! This HDD Low Level Format utility is free for personal/home use, but the speed is restricted at 80GB per hour, which is 50 MB/s.

hdd low level format tool - best hard drive format tool

Pros:

The only disk format tool for a low level format

Cons:

Almost paid software. Personal license without speed limit is $3.30 while the commercial license is $27.00 per seat (PC)

Guide - How to format a disk with HDD Low Level Format Tool:

Step 1. Download and run HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool on your computer.

Step 2. Plug your HDD or USB drive into the computer and launch the low-level format tool.

Step 3. Select the desired drive and click Continue. Confirm the option by clicking Yes.

Step 4. Select Low-Level Format in the tab to start the low-level formatting process.

#4. Windows File Explorer - The Simplest Drive Formatting Option in Windows 10/8/7

  • Supported operating system: NTFS, exFAT and FAT32
  • User interface: Simple design and operation throughout the formatting procedure

It's the first native Windows disk formatting choice we'll introduce. Press Windows + E keys so we can easily evoke the File Explorer. The local disk drives and the externally connected drives will appear there. As long as the drive you tend to format is visible, you can use the Format option to start a quick format with a few simple steps.

Format hard drive with file explorer.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Works on all Windows computers
  • Applies to Windows beginners
  • 3-step formatting

Cons:

  • Doesn't work when the hard drive is not showing up
  • FAT32 is not available for a storage drive over 32GB

Guide - How to Format a Hard Drive in File Explorer

Step 1. Open Windows File Explorer, locate and right-click on the target hard drive which you need to format, select "Format".

Step 2. Rename the hard drive, reset its file system to NTFS or other formats. 

Step 3. Click "Start" to begin the formatting.

#5. Windows Disk Management - Free Built-in Disk Formatter for Advanced Use

  • Supported operating system: NTFS, exFAT and FAT32 
  • User interface: Designed with a couple of useful disk management features in the clean organization

Windows Disk Management is a free Windows built-in tool, which means you can easily open it on your computer without downloading. It comes to use when you're trying to format a drive that is not showing up in the File Explorer. It's good at formatting some storage devices that have something wrong, like file system corruption, not formatted error, not accessible, etc.

Format a hard drive in Disk Management

Pros:

  • Free
  • Available to all Windows operating system
  • Be able to format a RAW drive

Cons

  • Doesn't support to format a Linux drive
  • FAT32 is not available for a storage drive over 32GB

Guide - How to Format a Hard Drive Partition in Disk Management

Step 1. Right-click "This PC" and choose "Manage".

Step 2. Go to "Disk Management".

Step 3. Right-click the target hard drive partition and choose "Format".

Step 4. Set the volume label, file system and click "OK" to start formatting the drive.

#6. Windows Command Prompt - The Most Capable Built-in Formatting Tool for Professionals

  • Supported file system: NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, EXT2, EXT3, and EXT4
  • User interface: Very unfamiliar to beginners

Windows Command Prompt, for average computer users, is a hidden but powerful computer troubleshooting program that is able to solve most of the computer and hard drive problems. You can apply a variety of command lines to examine, check or repair computer issues. For example, to format a disk drive, you'll use the diskpart command lines.

Format hard drive with diskpart command.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Format any drive to every file system that is available to use on Windows, macOS or Linux

Cons:

  • Applies to experienced users only
  • Any false operation will cause serious computer problems

Guide - How to Format a Hard Drive with DiskPart command

Step 1. Open Command Prompt by right-clicking on Windows icon, select "Search" and type: command prompt.

Right-click on Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator".

Step 2. Type diskpart in Command Prompt and hit Enter.

Step 3. Hit Enter each time when you type below command lines in DiskPart to quick format hard drive:

  • list disk
  • select disk 2 (Replace 2 with your disk number)
  • list volume
  • select volume 10 (Replace 10 with the volume number of the partition that you want to format)
  • format fs=ntfs quick (If you need to format a hard drive partition to FAT32 or other file systems, replace ntfs with fat32exfat, etc.)
Click to copy

 Warning
If you accidentally input format without fs=ntfs quick or fs=fat32 quick in DiskPart command prompt, it will execute a full format on your selected hard drive partition.
This command will erase all saved data sector by sector. In other words, you'll permanently lose all erased data on the drive with no recovery chance.

Step 4. Type exit and hit Enter to close the program when DiskPart reports it has successfully formatted the volume.

Conclusion: What To Do with Hard Drive After Formatting

Some of you may have the same question about what to do after formatting the hard drive. Here is a list that you can follow to make full use of your formatted hard drive:

# 1. Re-partition hard drive to make full use of space on your hard drive.

To do so, you may need a reliable partition management tool like EaseUS Partition Master Free to partition hard drive on your computer for free. You may also use this tool to merge partitions or extend hard drive partition based on your needs.

# 2. Save files to the formatted hard drive.

# 3. Recover lost files due to formatting.

If you didn't back up data before formatting and lost valuable files, you may apply professional data recovery software to recover data after formatting

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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