Occasionally, a hard drive may not be detected by a computer running Windows XP. If that is the case, you may need to initialize (write a signature to) the drive. The drive could be a newly purchased internal drive or an internal/external drive that you have done a Write Zeros to.

If your drive is not detected by Windows XP when you check My Computer or Windows Explorer, the following instructions can be useful to you:

* Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop or in the Start Menu.

* Left-click on Manage.

* Left-click on Disk Management.

* Usually, the Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard will appear automatically when you open Disk Management. If the wizard does show up, go to step 5. If the wizard does not show up, please see the Note and additional images directly below.

initialize-and-convert-disk-wizard
Note: If you do not see the Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard. Then you will need to start the initialization on your own. The drive that needs to be initialized should have a little red circle with a white dash in like the image below.

computer-management
When you find it. Right-click on the little red circle with the white dash and choose Initialize Disk

initialize-disk
* This is where you select what drives you want to initialize. If you have more than one blank drive that needs to be initialized it will list them. Make sure that there is a check in the box of the drive that needs to be initialized and then left-click on the Next button.

initialize-and-convert-disk-wizard-2
* This windows just gives an overview of what is going to be done to the disk according to what you chose in the previous screens. Left-click on Finish.

initialize-complete

* The drive is now initialized. The disk should have a black bar and say that it is unallocated. You should now be able to create a partition and format the hard drive.

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