If you cannot initialize disk in Windows 10/8/7 and found 'Initialize disk' option greyed out in Disk Management snap-in, here is how to fix.

In Windows, when you add new hard drive, you must initialize the disk before you can use. Initialization process configure the newly added disk with partition style such as Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT). The MBR partition is usually recommended, in case if you’ve to later use the disk with previous versions of Windows. As soon as you add the new disk and start Disk Management snap-in, you’ll be automatically asked to initialize the disk.

However, recently we came around the issue where we were not able to initialize the disk. In this case, we were not asked to initialize disk after opening Disk Management. Also, when we right click on the disk, Initialize disk option was greyed out (refer below shown screenshot). In short, we’ve no way now to initialize the disk.

FIX Cannot Initialize Disk In Windows 10

If you’re also facing same problem, you can try below mentioned suggestions and see if they helps you.

FIX: Cannot Initialize Disk In Windows 10/8/7

FIX 1 – Via Command Prompt

1. In Windows 10, right click on Start Button and select Command Prompt (Admin). On older Windows editions such as Windows 8/7, you can open Command Prompt as administrator, using search.

2. In the administrative Command Prompt window, type commands mentioned in bold and press Enter key:

diskpart                            Opens command-line Disk Management (DiskPart)
list disk                                Lists all disks available
select disk #                       Replace # with disk number you want to initialize
clean                                 Cleans the selected drive
exit                                     Exit from DiskPart tool

FIX Cannot Initialize Disk In Windows 10

3. You can now close Command Prompt and open Disk Management snap-in. You’ll now directly asked to Initialize Disk as shown below. You can now manually initialize the disk as well, by doing a right click on the disk and select Initialize disk option.

FIX Cannot Initialize Disk In Windows 10

If you still have the issue, refer FIX 2 below.

FIX 2 – Replace The Faulty Disk

Usually, if the disk is still not ready to initialization, you must plug it to another machine and check if it works on that. In case, if you receive same result on another machine, the disk might have hardware fault. You must contact the hard disk vendor for support on this or ask them to replace the disk, in case if it is under warranty.

Hope this helps!

Related: ‘The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable’ error in Windows 10.


  • I followed this, but I still get a “a device which does not exist was specified” when I try to initialize the disk drive.

    I’m pretty sure the disk drive is not an issue. I’ve tried 2 brand new disk drives with the same result.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Please mention which command give you that result. I’ll check.

  • I also followed this and still got the same message. I get the error when I click the OK button to initialize the disk.

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