How to Format a Drive Install for Windows XP
After you install a hard drive in your machine, you need to format it for the Windows XP operating system. Luckily, Windows XP comes with an application that makes it easy to format your new hard drive. Once a drive is formatted, you can store information on it. The Disk Management tool is included with your Computer Management console list of applications. The tool allows you to create partitions, format and delete storage space on your Windows XP machine.
Disk Management formats your hard drive in Windows XP.
Click the Windows "Start" button and select "Control Panel." In the Control Panel, double-click "Administrative Tools." In this window, double-click "Computer Management."
Click the "Disk Management" icon on the left side of the window. It may take several minutes for the operating system to assess the hard drive information on your computer. Once it's finished, the window displays your current hard drive configurations and any free space available on the machine, which includes your newly installed hard drive.
Right-click the newly installed free space and select "Format." In the dialog box that pops up, select a volume letter for the drive. This can be any letter you want to display on your machine.
Select "NTFS" for the file system. This is the file system that allows you to set security on files and folders, and it's preferred over the FAT32 system for Windows XP. Press the "Ok" button to save the settings. The hard drive is formatted, and you can now save information on the device.