Formatting a hard disk drive (HDD) in an external hard drive enclosure is done the same way like an internal drive. Simply connect the external drive via Thunderbolt, USB, FireWire or eSATA to your computer, turn on the power and then use the native disk utility of the Operating System or a 3rd party program. In case your hard drive enclosure has a built-in RAID controller, make sure to set your preferred RAID mode before you format the hard drives.

Removing partitions and formatting a hard drive will destroy all existing data on that particular disk! Make sure you have a backup of all your data in a different location prior to making any changes to the external drive.


Win 98SE/ME

Format a drive on Windows 98SE & Windows ME

The tool used to format or reformat the drive on Windows 98 is the so called DOS command prompt and "fdisk". You can start it by going to Start/Program Files/Accessories and selecting "MS-DOS" or you can go to Run and type "fdisk" instead.

  1. The first window will be the blank MS-DOS command prompt. Type fdisk and press Enter. Skip this step if you came via Run.
    MS-DOS command fdisk
  2. Select Y to enable the large disk support and press Enter.
    Enable large disk support
  3. Enter 5 to change the current disk drive and press Enter.
    Change current drive
  4. Select the drive you want to format but make sure to select the correct one. In this example it is disk 2 but that may be different in your case!
    Enter fixed disk drive number
  5. Enter 1 to create a primary DOS partition and follow the on-screen instructions. After you have created the partition according to your requirement, close the MS-DOS command prompt by typing exit.
    Create primary DOS partition
  6. Restart your computer and then go to My Computer. The new drive should now appear and after double-clicking on the drive icon, you will be prompted to format it. Choose FAT32 and full format, enter a name for it and format the drive. Your external hard drive is now ready to use! Note: The FAT32 file system can be used on most Operating Systems including Win98SE, WinME, Win2000, WinXP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Linux Systems but the maximum size of a single file is limited to 4GB.


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