How To Initialize a USB Hard Drive

USB hard drive

Sometimes when you have a brand new USB hard drive and you plug it into your computer, it doesn’t show up in My Computer right away. How can you use it if it doesn’t show up? Chances are, your USB hard drive needs to be initialized first. There’s no need to worry or call an expert, though. You can do it yourself and it won’t take longer than a minute. Just follow these steps.

This is mostly for Windows users, but Vista users can also use this as a guide.

  1. Plug your USB hard drive into the USB hub. Make sure your USB hard drive is plugged in first.
  2. Go to My Computer. In your desktop or through the Start menu, right click the My Computer icon. A menu will appear.
  3. Click Manage. From the menu, click Manage. A Computer Management window will appear showing icons and tasks.
  4. Select Disc Management. Look to the left side of the Computer Management window and click Disc Management once from the list of tasks. It is under the heading of Storage. Once you have clicked on it, it will load up and show two parts: a list of all your hard drives including information about them on the upper part, and partitions on the lower part if ever there are any. Your new hard drive should also show up on both parts.
  5. Check the status of your USB hard drive. Look again at the list of your hard drives. Your installed hard drives should indicate “Healthy”. Your new one however, might indicate “Uninitialized” or “Unformatted”.
  6. Initialize your USB hard drive. On either the upper or lower part, right click your USB hard drive. From the menu that appears, click Initialize. If it hasn’t been formatted yet, you can right click on it again and select Format. A prompt may appear telling you it has to be initialized first and if you want it to be formatted as well, click Yes.
  7. Your USB hard drive is up and ready. Once it has been initialized, your USB hard drive will show up on My Computer. In some instances, you might be prompted to restart your computer, but usually you can use your new hard drive right away.

It doesn’t take a genius to initialize your brand new USB hard drive. Once you’ve followed all these necessary steps, your USB hard drive is now ready to be utilized.


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