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How to Use Disk Management to Set Up Hard Drive or SSD in 2022

Updated by Tracy King on Dec 08, 2021
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This page explains what Disk Management is, how to open Disk Management, and presents you with a complete guide to set up a new hard drive or SSD to extend storage capacity or migrate OS in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 successfully.

Let's get started.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Confirm Hard Drive Is Installed Correctly 1. Open the computer case, and find the power cable and SATA cable...Full steps
2. Open Disk Management Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon, and the system will bring up a menu list...Full steps
3. Use Disk Management to Set Up Hard Drive #1. Set Up New Hard Drive for Expanding Storage Capacity...Full steps

Guide 1. Confirm New Hard Drive or SSD Is Installed Correctly

Before you start, it's essential to confirm that you've installed the new hard drive or SSD correctly on your computer. Here are the steps:

On Desktop Computer:

1. Open the computer case, and find the power cable and SATA cable.

2. Check if the hard drive is correctly plugged into your computer with the two cables.

If not, replug your drive into the computer tightly.

Confirm if hard drive is installed correctly.

On Laptop Computer:

1. Open the laptop computer back case.

2. Locate the SSD or hard drive slot, check if the drive is correctly installed.

If not, re-inset the SSD or hard drive to the laptop computer, tight it up.

Confirm if SSD is installed correctly

For someone who needs a guide to install a new SSD to your computer, refer to this tutorial guide for help:

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How Do I Install a Second Hard Drive

Follow to learn how to install a disk and make use of it on your own now.

install new hard drive

Guide 2. Open Disk Management for Setting Up Hard Drive or SSD

According to Microsoft, Disk Management is a system utility that enables Windows users to perform advanced storage tasks. For example, for free, you can apply Disk Management with its features to set up a new hard drive, extend, shrink, create, format volumes, change drive letters, etc.

Here we'll show you the quickest access to open Disk Management on your computer:

Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon, and the system will bring up a menu list.

Step 2. Click "Disk Management," and it will launch automatically.

Open Disk Management

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How Do I Open Disk Management in Windows 11

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Open Disk Management

Guide 3. How to Use Disk Management to Set Up Hard Drive/SSD (Free)

To get started, you'll need to figure out what would you use the new drive for and refer to the respective guide here to set up the disk:

  1. #1. Set up a new hard drive for expanding data storage capacity
  2. #2. Set up a new hard drive or SSD for transferring OS

Now, you can refer to the relative guidelines below to set up your new hard drive or SSD using Disk Management on your own:

#1. Set Up New Hard Drive for Expanding Storage Capacity

Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon and select "Disk Management" from the pop-up menu.

Step 2. Find the new hard drive in Disk Management, right-click the disk, and select "Initialize Disk".

Step 3. Check the disk capacity and set the right disk type for your new hard drive or SSD.

  • If the disk is 2TB or smaller, select "MBR", and click "OK".
  • If the drive is 3TB or even bigger, select "GPT", and click "OK".

Initialize Disk

After this, you are free to go and create partitions for extending the storage capacity of your computer.

Step 4. Right-click the unallocated space on your new hard drive or SSD, select "New Simple Volume".

Step 5. Follow the onscreen guide to set up new volume size, drive letter, and file system format (NTFS by default) and click "Finish" to confirm.

Create new partition to set up hard drive in Disk Management

If you tend to create more partitions, repeat the steps to create as many partitions as you want in the new hard drive.

Later, you can save and store new files and data flexibly to the new drive.

#2. Set Up Hard Drive or SSD for Migrating System without Reinstallation

Step 1. Open Disk Management, right-click the source system disk, and select "Properties".

Step 2. Go to the Volumes tab, and check the partition style of the original OS disk.

Check if it's Master Boot Record (MBR) Or GUID Partition Table (GPT)

Check disk partition style of the source drive

Step 3. Now, right-click the new hard drive or SSD, select "Initialize Disk", and select the same partition style as the OS disk.

Once done, your new hard drive or SSD is ready for OS migration. In order to do so, you'll need the help of third-party disk management software for help. Here EaseUS Partition Master, with its OS migration feature, is ready to help.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Tutorial to Migrate OS to New Hard Drive or SSD:

Steps to migrate OS to HDD/SSD:

  • Run EaseUS Partition Master, select Migrate OS from the top menu.
  • Select the SSD or HDD as the destination disk and click Next.
  • Check Warning: the data and partitions on the target disk will be deleted. Make sure that you've backed up important data in advance. If not, do it now.
  • Then click Continue.
  • Preview the layout of your target disk. Then click Proceed to start migrating your OS to a new disk

Note: The operation of migrating OS to SSD or HDD will delete and remove existing partitions and data on your target disk when there is not enough unallocated space on the target disk. If you saved important data there, back up them to an external hard drive in advance.

After this, you are good to use the new hard drive on your computer now. 

Bonus Tip: Disk Management Software Free Download (for Windows Beginners)

For most experienced Windows users, Disk Management with its features is fair enough to apply and manage hard drive partition space. 

However, for Windows beginners, Disk Management software like EaseUS Partition Master with its disk partition features is easier to apply.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

This software is fully featured in disk management, disk conversion, optimize disk performance in multiple ways. In addition, it simplifies the operations to set up a hard drive or SSD with the following features:

#1. Initialize Disk

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master. Connect the hard drive or SSD to PC.

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

Step 2. A pending operation of initializing disk to MBR or GPT disk will be added. Execute the operation and click "Apply".

0:00-0:22 Initialize to MBR; 0:23-0:49 Initialize to GPT;

#2. Partition New Disk in 1-Click

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master, once it detects the new disk, it will pop up a New Disk Guide window, and select "Partition the drive" next to the "I have a new HDD/SSD, I want to" section. 

new disk guide partition external hard drive step 1

Step 2. You can continue customize how many partitions you want to create, and set the partition style you want, MBR or GPT.

Or, you can accept the default setting offered by EaseUS Partiton Maste. Once the customization is done, click "Proceed".

new disk guide partition external hard drive step 2

Step 3. Click "Execute 1 Operation" on the top menu and then "Apply" to finalize partitioning the new HDD/SSD or external disk.

new disk guide partition external hard drive step 4

#3. Clone or Upgrade Disk without Data Loss

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How to Clone a Hard Drive in Windows 11

Here are a bunch of tips you should know before letting the clone happen. Follow them one by one for data protection.

Image of Initialize disk before cloning hard drive

Setting Up New Hard Drive with Disk Management Is Easy, You Can Make It

On this page, we provide you with a full guide to open Disk Management and show you the complete procedure in setting up a hard drive or SSD for two different purposes.

For mature Windows users, we suggest that you can directly apply Disk Management to use hard drive space.

However, for a secure and even more accessible solution in setting up a disk for expanding computer storage capacity or migrating OS, the third-party disk management software - EaseUS Partition Master is good for you to try.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

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About the Author

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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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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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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