As a friend of mine texted me this query, I realized that a lot of people also undergo a similar situation. It doesn’t matter if you are a Windows or a Mac user, you might encounter unwanted problems while formatting a hard drive. A solid-state drive is known for its high-end features and should be protected. Therefore, when you format SSD on Windows or Mac, make sure that you follow the right protocols. To help you do the same, we have come up with this detailed guide on how to format SSD on Windows 10 and Mac like a pro.
Before we dive into the details and cover how to format SSD for Mac or Windows, it is important to know the need to do the same. Ideally, you can undergo the following scenarios, causing the formatting of your SSD drive.
If you have stored some vital content on your SSD that can’t be leaked, then you can consider formatting it a few times. This will make it tough for a recovery tool to extract its content.
In case if you wish to resell your SSD drive, then make sure that you format it beforehand. This will wipe its existing content and make it brand new to be used by someone else.
An SSD has to be formatted in a certain file format to be used. For instance, if the SSD has earlier been formatted in the HFS+ format and now you wish to use it on Windows, then you need to reformat SSD in a compatible format like NTFS or exFAT.
It is quite normal to get an SSD corrupt, just like any other storage unit. Apart from that, if the SSD is undergoing any other issue, then you can consider formatting it to fix it.
Needless to say, if your SSD has been corrupted by a deadly malware or virus, then format it immediately. This will flush the malware presence from your SSD, most likely.
There could be numerous other reasons for one to format an SSD drive. Before you do the same, ask yourself “do I need to format a new SSD”. If it has a compatible file system and is brand new, then you can just skip formatting it.
If you are a regular Windows user, then you must already be aware of the tons of options that the OS provides. Ideally, you can format SSD from BIOS, Command Prompt, or even the Disk Management tool. Let’s learn how to format SSD in Windows 10 in detail by covering the possible options.
This is the most basic and certainly a foolproof way to format an SSD drive. In this, we will use the Command Prompt (Windows’ Command Line Interface) to enter certain commands to format an SSD. To do this, we will take the assistance of the Disk Partition Utility. Here’s how to format SSD on Windows 10 via CMD.
1. To start with, launch the Command Prompt from the Start menu or through the Run prompt. Once it is launched, enter the “diskpart” command to launch the Disk Partition Utility.
2. The command prompt will now change to “DISKPART>”. Once it is done, enter the “list disk” command to see the connected drives to your system.
3. As the list of the internal and external disks would be listed, select the SSD you wish to format. It can be disk 0, disk 1, disk 2, and so on. To pick the disk, enter the “select” command followed by the disk number.
4. Now, our first step is to clean up all the files and folders present in the disk. Once the disk is selected, just enter the “clean” command to do it.
5. Afterward, we need to create a partition on the disk. To do this, just enter the “create partition primary” command. If everything would go well, you will get a success prompt like this.
6. That’s it! After the partition is created, type the “format” command followed by its desired file system like NTFS, exFAT, etc. For instance, to format it in the NTFS file system you would enter the “format fs=ntfs” command.
This will start the formatting and will let you know its progress. In the end, you can use the “assign” command to assign the formatted SSD an available drive letter.
As the name suggests, Disk Management is a dedicated application in Windows that helps us manage the disk space in it. You can visit the Disk Management tool to assign space to a drive, format it, merge partitions, perform disk defragmentation, and do so much more. Since it has a simple user interface, it is easier to format SSD for Windows 10 this way than the Command Prompt.
1. Firstly, go to the Start menu and look for the “Disk Management” tool. Once you find it, launch it on your Windows 10 system.
2. Here, you can view all the available partitions with their details. Just select a partition, right-click, and click on the “Format” option.
3. A pop-up window will open, letting you select the file system for the partition. Confirm your choice and format the SSD partition.
4. If it is a new disk, then you need to make partitions on it first. To do this, select the unallocated space, right-click, and click on the “Initialize Disk” option. Simply select the partition style (GUID or MBR) to initialize it.
5. Afterward, right-click the initialized space and select the “New Simple Volume” option.
6. This will launch a dedicated wizard, letting you select the size, drive letter, file system, etc. to the partition.
The Basic Input/Output System in Windows provides tons of features related to the system’s booting. There are numerous third-party tools available as well as native solutions to format SSD from BIOS. Here’s a simple solution to do the same.
1. Turn on your system and press the BIOS key (like F8 or DEL) to launch the System Recovery Options. From here, select the Command Prompt feature.
2. Once the command prompt window is opened, type the “format” command followed by the drive name and the file system you wish to format it too. For instance, if you wish to format the C drive to NTFS, then enter “format c: /fs: NTFS”
If you wish to format SSD to be used on Windows 10, then just be sure of the file system and the partition scheme. Ideally, the GUID partitioning scheme is considered universal and would work with Windows 10. Apart from that, the file system should be NTFS, exFAT, or FAT32. Although APFS is entirely not supported, HFS+ is only supported for booting. While formatting a disk, you would get an option to pick a file system. Just make sure that you pick a compatible file system from the provided list.
After getting to know ways to format SSD on Windows 10, let’s discuss the same for Mac as well. If you are a Mac user, then you might already know how restricted the macOS environment can be. While there are third-party tools available to format SSD on Mac, it also has a native application that you can try. Let’s get to know how to format SSD for Mac in detail.
To make it easier for us to format SSD on Mac, Apple has developed a dedicated application – Disk Utility. You can access it from Applications or via macOS Startup Option. It will let you manage partitions, format storage units, and even run diagnostics on the source. To learn how to format SSD on Mac, follow these basic steps:
1. Turn on your Mac and from its Finder, go to Applications > Utilities. From the provided list, find the “Disk Utility” option and open it.
2. This will launch the Disk Utility application with the SSD drive and the connected media storage options on the left. Just select the SSD drive to proceed.
3. On the right, this will further display all kinds of operations that we can perform. Click on the “Erase” button to format the SSD on Mac.
4. As the following pop-up window would be launched, you can select the file format and the partition scheme for the drive. Click on the “Erase” button to confirm your choice and wait as the SSD drive would be formatted.
While formatting an SSD on Mac, just make sure that you select its file system (format) carefully. That is, the file system and the partition style should be compatible with macOS. Ideally, NTFS is considered as a universal file system that supports both Mac and Windows. On the other hand, you can also pick Mac’s exclusive file systems like HFS+ or APFS (Apple File System).
Sometimes, while formatting an SSD, users get the “Can’t Format SSD” prompt. While it is mostly related to Windows, Mac users can also encounter a similar situation as well. Let’s learn what to do when SSD won’t format by looking at its triggers and common fixes.
Most of the solid-state drives come with a write-protection feature. As the name suggests, if it is turned on, then you can’t write or erase anything from the SSD. Therefore, if you can’t format SSD on your system, then use the Disk Partition Utility to turn the feature off.
1. Go to the Start menu on your system and launch the Command Prompt. Firstly, enter the “diskpart” command to launch the Disk Partition Utility.
2. Now, enter the “list disk” command and identify the SSD drive you wish to format.
3. Subsequently, pick the disk by entering the “select” command followed by its identifier. For instance, to pick disk 1, you can enter “select disk 1”.
4. Great! Once the disk is selected, enter the “attributes disk clear readonly” command to turn off the write-protection feature on it. After running it successfully, you can try to format the SSD again.
Ideally, you should avoid using third-party tools to format the SSD drive. While Windows also provides a GUI solution to do the same (via Disk Management), it can malfunction at times. The best solution to format SSD for Windows 10 is by using the Diskpart utility on Command Prompt. Therefore, if you are getting the “can’t format SSD” error the usual way, then launch the Command Prompt and take the assistance of Diskpart.
You may also like: How To Format or Wipe SSD From BIOS
If you want to get positive results while formatting an SSD, then consider following some expert tips. Here are some of these easy yet thoughtful suggestions that will help you format an SSD like a pro.
First things first – make sure that you have already taken a backup of your important data beforehand. When we format a hard disk, all the saved content in it is wiped off and it becomes harder to restore this data. To avoid this, consider taking a backup of your data to another source (like an external hard disk). You can also upload your data to a cloud service like iCloud or Google Drive as well.
While formatting a hard drive or an external data source, we get an option to perform a “quick format”. You can simply turn on this option to optimize the entire process. Not only will it save time in formatting, but would also yield better results. On the other hand, if you want to customize the process, then you can simply disable it.
Windows 7 and the later operating systems have a feature known as TRIM that speeds-up the performance of an SSD. In this, when something is deleted from the SSD drive, Windows directly send messages to it to erase the content. Therefore, to get better results while formatting, you can simply enable the TRIM feature. To do this, just launch Command Prompt on your Windows and enter the following command to forcefully turn it on.
fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0
There are times when users end up formatting their solid-state drives accidentally. If you have deleted your data by mistake, then use Recoverit Mac Data Recovery. It is a highly trusted data recovery solution that runs on both Mac and Windows systems. You can use it to recover all kinds of lost, deleted or inaccessible content from your computer’s hard disk or any other external source. The tool has one of the highest recovery rates and is extremely easy to use. By following a simple click-through process, you can perform data recovery on your SSD easily.
Last, but most importantly, make sure that all the drivers and security patches are up to date on your system. Consider upgrading the firmware to the latest stable version, making sure that it is not outdated or lacks any important component. This will make sure you have a seamless experience with your SSD and would also improve its security as well.
That’s a wrap, everyone! After reading this guide, you would be able to format SSD drive like a pro. To make things easier for you, we have listed stepwise solutions on how to format SSD on both Windows and Mac. Apart from that, we have also included ways to resolve formatting issues and tips to make the entire process more seamless. Go ahead and try some of these suggestions and makes sure you keep a recovery tool like Recoverit handy. It will help you get back the lost data from a formatted SSD pretty easily.