Originally Posted by Venus
Just throw it in your new machine and it'll appear in My Computer as another drive, you can format it there.
You can use some tool to format it if you want, but a simple low level format (1 pass) from Windows is enough to make most recovery tools useless.
I agree that, for the OPs intended use as extra storage space, a simple Windows quick format will be sufficient.
I think Venus is using the wrong term, he means a full format, not a low-level format. There is no way to perform a low-level format on a modern drive installed in a system without special software. Low-level formatting is performed prior to partitioning and is typically done at the factory using specialized equipment and software.
In the early days of hdds, it was required to first perform a low-level format which required running DOS debug from the command line and accessing a low-level format routine embedded in the BIOS of the disk controller. After the low-level format was completed, then you could proceed with fdisk to partition the drive and finally use the OS's format routine to format the drive for use with the OS.
Low-level formatting a drive was no longer required (or possible by the end user without special software) once IDE drives came along.