HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.18

A disk-storage formatting tool for older computers built before 2012 or those running Windows XP

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  • Version:


  • Works under:

    Windows 7 / Windows 2003 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 2000 / Windows 8

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    6.4 (75)
HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.18
HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.2.3

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is a Windows utility to format external USB hard drives.

If you have an external USB hard drive that needs to be formatted or reformatted, then the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is a solution for Windows XP systems. The drives supported include both external hard disks and internal hard disks contained in external enclosures. When it runs, the program prepares the disk for usage with Windows, and if this is reformat operation, all folders and files are deleted. However, be mindful that this is not a secure delete if such is required.

To use this program, boot your computer, and then, connect the drive you want to format to your PC via a USB cable. Under the Device label, a dropdown box will enumerate all of the drives available for formatting. Select the appropriate drive. Then, choose the File System, such as NTFS or FAT32. Next, create a Volume Label, or use the default one provided. Lastly, select or unselect any of the Format Options provided, and finally, click Format to begin the process.

Note that the format process can be very fast or take a long time depending on the size of the drive. The program provides a reasonably accurate progress bar that will give you a sense of how much time remains. When the process is complete, the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool provides a dialog box that indicates information about the drive, such as total bytes, bytes available and so forth. Click the Accept button to finish the process and be able to close down the tool or use it again.

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is actually the USB format tool provided with Windows XP by Microsoft. This version is lightly rebranded for the purposes of HP computers, but it works on any Windows XP machine. Note that there are many alternatives available, including a built-in Windows 10 tool. It’s not recommended to use this app except in Windows XP-specific scenarios if for no other reason than that the operation is considerably slow compared to newer format solutions. If you do choose to use it, run it in compatibility and safe mode in order to ensure proper operation.


  • Reformats external drives


  • Slow operation

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool goes beyond the format capability built-in to Microsoft Windows. This application can take any USB device and format it to your specifications. The application run from a USB drive and, thus, makes it an essential tool for any technician that travels between locations.

The utility goes beyond the basic formatting tools available in Windows, while still providing the same basic functions. You can still do a quick format and enable compression on supported disks. Additionally, you can create a DOS start up disk so that you can work in DOS. The format tool makes it possible to select the location on your disk where the DOS files are stored. This prevents the need for having to manually input the location when you boot your computer.

The actual process for formatting a disk is simple. Plug in the device and select your device from the "Device" drop-down menu. Choose a file system from the "File System" drop-down menu and input a label for the device if desired in the "Volume Label" text area. The Format Options include the ability to Quick Format, Enable Compression and Create a DOS start up Disk. Check any of the boxes to apply those options to the device before formatting. Once you are ready to format the device, click the "Start" button to begin. The "Formatting the Device" progress bar appears and allows you to view the current progress. Pressing the "Stop" button allows you to interrupt the format process. However, once you start formatting the device, all data is removed and it may result in an unusable drive until you complete a full format.

Once the formatting process completes, a dialog box displays showing you crucial information about the formatting. The dialog shows the volume label, the serial number, the type of file system, the device name, and the bytes available in each allocation unit. It also shows the total number of allocations available on the disk and the total number of allocation units. A huge disparity between these numbers may show problems with the disk.

The application does what it's meant to do. It formats removable drives and allows you to change the format of drives in a destructive way. In other words, you cannot maintain the files on a disk once you format the drive. Any files on the drive should be backed up since they will be destroyed during the process of formatting.


  • Includes the ability to format to a bootable DOS partition.
  • Provides an option to install the software to an external USB drive.
  • Comes with quick format options. Provides additional options not provided by the Windows formatting tool.


  • Formatting the drive results in the deletion of all data on your drive.
  • No option to create partitions or change the byte allocation of a drive without deleting data.
  • Does not provide a disk checking utility to check the integrity of the drive.

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