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How to format a new laptop HDD (hard disk drive)?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by chickenwings, Jul 17, 2007.

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  1. chickenwings

    chickenwings Thread Starter

    Mar 13, 2003

    History (long story short):
    I bought a used HP Pavilion Ze4300. It gave good service for 2 years. Then the HDD died.

    I came to TSG forums for help. They recommended I buy a new HDD and install it. So I ordered a new HDD off NewEgg. I also bought one of those USB caddy thingies to plug in my hard disk into.

    I bought this HDD:

    And this USB enclosure:

    Note: I don't have the original XP CDs, nor do I have recovery CDs. I didn't bother ordering the recovery CDs from HP because I have access to a low-cost XP license (I teach at a university).

    Present time (i.e. today):
    I tried installing the new HDD into my HP laptop. My laptop gave the same error it was giving with the bad HDD. I thought maybe the new HDD needs to be formatted.

    Next, I plugged the old (dead) HDD into the USB enclosure and tried plugging it to my other, working laptop. It gave some kind of hardware installation error. Fair enough.

    Next, I plugged in the new HDD into the USB enclosure and tried plugging it to my other, working laptop. No error, it said my hardware was installed properly. HOWEVER, there was no new drive letter. I concluded that this was probably because that HDD is not formatted, so my other, working laptop cannot assign it a drive letter.

    So my questions:
    1) How do I format this new HDD of mine?
    2) Is my above analysis correct?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. bigbear


    Apr 27, 2004
    Go to start>run and type diskmgmt.msc and hit enter, you can format from here
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    You may have a problem with other than the hard disk. You should be able to put a non-initialized drive in the laptop, boot from the XP CD, and install XP.
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