Format SSD from BIOS: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Formatting an SSD from BIOS can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. Essentially, you’ll need to enter your computer’s BIOS settings, navigate to the boot menu, and select your SSD as the primary boot device. Then, you’ll boot from a USB or CD containing the operating system installer, which will give you the option to format your SSD. Let’s break it down step by step.

Step by Step Tutorial: Format SSD from BIOS

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re aiming to achieve. By formatting your SSD from BIOS, you’re essentially wiping it clean and preparing it for a fresh installation of your operating system. This can be useful if you’re experiencing issues with your current setup, or if you’re upgrading to a larger or faster SSD.

Step 1: Enter BIOS

To begin, restart your computer and press the key that takes you into BIOS settings. This key is usually F2, F10, Del, or Esc, and you’ll need to press it as soon as your computer starts up.

Once you’ve pressed the correct key, you’ll find yourself in the BIOS menu. This is where you can adjust various settings related to your computer’s hardware.

Step 2: Navigate to Boot Menu

In the BIOS menu, use the arrow keys to find the boot menu. This is typically found under a ‘Boot’ or ‘Advanced’ tab, but it can vary depending on your computer’s manufacturer.

The boot menu is where you can change the order of your boot devices, which is necessary for booting from your USB or CD that contains the operating system installer.

Step 3: Select SSD as Primary Boot Device

Once you’re in the boot menu, you’ll want to select your SSD as the primary boot device. This might involve moving it to the top of the list, or setting it as the ‘first boot option.’

This step ensures that your computer will prioritize booting from your SSD when you restart it, which is necessary for formatting it through the operating system installer.

Step 4: Save and Exit BIOS

After you’ve made the necessary changes, save your settings and exit BIOS. This is usually done by pressing F10 or selecting the ‘Save and Exit’ option.

Saving your settings will make sure that the changes you’ve made to the boot order are preserved when you restart your computer.

Step 5: Boot from USB or CD

With your settings saved, restart your computer and boot from the USB or CD containing your operating system installer.

When your computer restarts, it should automatically boot from the installer, thanks to the changes you made in the BIOS settings. If it doesn’t, you may need to revisit the BIOS menu and double-check your boot order.

Step 6: Format SSD Through Installer

Once booted from the installer, follow the on-screen instructions to format your SSD. This will usually involve selecting the SSD as the target drive and choosing a file system format.

Formatting your SSD will erase all data on it, so make sure you’ve backed up any important files before reaching this stage.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a freshly formatted SSD, ready for a new operating system installation.

What happens after formatting

After formatting your SSD, your computer will be essentially empty, with no operating system or data on it. You’ll need to proceed with installing an operating system, which will involve following the installer’s prompts and potentially partitioning your SSD if necessary.

Tips: Format SSD from BIOS

  • Always back up your data before formatting your SSD, as the process will erase everything on the drive.
  • Make sure your BIOS is up to date before attempting to format your SSD from it.
  • If you’re unsure of any steps, consult your computer or motherboard’s manual for specific instructions.
  • Be patient, as formatting and installing a new operating system can take some time.
  • If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to seek out online forums or tech support for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I format an SSD from BIOS without a USB or CD?

No, you’ll need a USB or CD with an operating system installer on it to format your SSD from BIOS. The BIOS itself does not have the capability to format drives.

What file system should I format my SSD to?

This depends on your operating system. Windows typically uses NTFS, while macOS uses APFS or HFS+, and Linux uses a variety of file systems like ext4.

Will formatting my SSD from BIOS delete all my data?

Yes, formatting your SSD will erase all data on the drive. Be sure to back up any important files before proceeding.

Can I format an SSD from BIOS on a laptop?

Yes, the process for formatting an SSD from BIOS is the same on both desktops and laptops.

What if my computer doesn’t boot from the USB or CD after changing the BIOS settings?

Double-check your boot order in the BIOS settings to ensure your USB or CD is set as the primary boot device. Also, make sure your USB or CD is bootable and contains a valid operating system installer.


  1. Enter BIOS
  2. Navigate to Boot Menu
  3. Select SSD as Primary Boot Device
  4. Save and Exit BIOS
  5. Boot from USB or CD
  6. Format SSD Through Installer


Formatting your SSD from BIOS isn’t as scary as it might seem. With a little bit of know-how and some patience, you can wipe your drive clean and start fresh with a new operating system. Just remember to back up your data, follow the steps carefully, and don’t rush the process. And hey, if you ever get stuck, there’s a whole community of tech enthusiasts out there who are more than willing to lend a hand. So go ahead, give your SSD the clean slate it deserves and enjoy the speed and efficiency of a newly formatted drive.

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