How do you initialize or format an external disk you want to use on a laptop?
Plug in the disk you want to initialise In Windows XP/Vista: Go to Start>Run (the search box in Vista).
Type 'mmc' (without quotes).
The Microsoft Management console will appear.
Press Ctrl+M. Select the Disk Management icon from the list on the left, click 'Add>', then 'OK'.
Right click on the disk you want to initialise and select 'Initialise' from the menu.
Follow the prompts.
If unsure, go with the default values.