I noticed that the process to initialize a new hard drive on Windows Vista is not particularly intuitive – at least for a first time user – myself included! (I’ve just always used GNU/Linux, LiveCD or boot disk from the Win9X era.) However, in Windows 2000 and above, including Vista:
- Launch the Computer Management: [Win]+[r] or simply [Win] and enter compmgmt.msc in the run/search box
- Go to Storage -> Disk Management
- Find the drive from the list (colored black if unformatted)
- Right-click on the “Disk Label” on the left (displays the drive name and size, not the drive image) and select Initialize Disk
- Then you can right-click on the drive image to Create New Simple Volume
This “where to right-click” actually caught me! Typically clicking on the “Disk Label” only has the option of “Properties…” or “Help” which is not typically useful, at least for me.
FYI background: I just bought a couple new WD Green SATA 1TB hard drives ($85) and a nifty Cavalry USB hard drive dock ($40). Should be handy for backing up and accessing my data on multiple hard drives!