It's an even big risk on another computer to format/create partitions. Data can be (and is already) lost that way, no? Once you start working with computers, it's a risk.
I've done these steps in LinuxMCE. Ok, with fdisk/mkfs in a console, but nevertheless it was on my 'linuxMCE machine'. If for a dark reason sdb was replace with sda, is linuxMCE responsible? At the most, it was Murphy's law...
And like Thom said, enough failproof things can be build in.
It would be a nice addon for linuxMCE. You add physical your new disk, and you're on your way. No worries about partitions, filesystems, formats... Another step closer for a dummy userfriendly linuxMCE?
For those who have doubts?
Are you Sure?
This could destroy any existing data.
A remote backup would be advisable...
Click YES for linuxMCE to prepare you disk:
YES / NO