Unable to format old drive Win7

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by BigBlockTowncar, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. BigBlockTowncar

    BigBlockTowncar Ancient Guru

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    I have an old HDD that used to be my OS drive before I bought my SSD. Now I want to just use it as storage since I am booting from my SSD.

    I went into the disk management tool and tried to format the G:\ drive as it is named, but "format" is not selectable.

    I googled and it seemed that other people had tried the same thing. It was recommended to make my C:\ as the active partition. For whatever reason, my computer would not boot after doing that as the BOOTMGR was missing.

    After doing a system repair, I am back up and running. I still want to wipe that old drive. I found a regedit that ads the "take ownership" command to the context menus. I was able to delete everything manually except for the Windows folder.

    I really just want to format so I can move things onto a clean drive. I guess you are unable to format what Windows still sees as a system drive. Or would it be because I moved my page file to that drive?

    How?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  2. k1net1cs

    k1net1cs Ancient Guru

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    Well, just disable the page file, restart, then try to format it; you won't notice anything different with 12GB of RAM.
     
  3. BABA-The Hacker

    BABA-The Hacker Banned

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  4. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    Actually what it sounds like is when you installed on to the SSD, it acted as if it was installing a 'second' copy of Windows, so instead of creating the 100mb system partition on the new drive, it just added to the info already on the existing drive. If you delete that partition, wipe the partition info, or remove that drive from the system, Windows won't boot...

    Sounds like you need to reinstall Windows again. In the Windows setup, delete the SSD partition, and delete the 100mb partition on the old drive (as well was the other normal partition). Rreboot, run Windows setup again, and install on the SSD. This should then create the 100mb partition on the SSD where it is supposed to be. I have heard of 1 instance where Windows refused to create the 100mb partition, meaning Windows couldn't install properly, but that shouldn't happen as it is obviously a bug.
     

  5. BigBlockTowncar

    BigBlockTowncar Ancient Guru

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    This may be what has happened. I have two "system reserved" 100mb partitions in disk management. I don't really want to reinstall my OS right now, so maybe I'll take a look at another utility or move the drive to another PC to format.
     
  6. Psychlone

    Psychlone Ancient Guru

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    First of all, back up your important data!

    Next, do a system repair WITHOUT the second drive even plugged in. This should force the OS to install itself only on your SSD.
    If that happens to fail, you can do an "in-place-upgrade" and not lose anything - you WILL have to put your stuff back in it's normal place from the newly created "Windows.old" folder, but everything will still be there.


    Then:

    HDDGuru's LLFTool.

    Low Level Format will zero-fill the entire drive, sector by sector, completely wiping EVERYTHING that was on it.

    I've used it extensively to repatriate HDDs to put in my own recertified computers to resell.
    Some of my customers actually require a DOD 5220.22m level destruction before I repatriate the drive, but I usually just drill a hole in them and toss them since that level of refilling takes hours and hours to complete (usually on the order of an entire day or more). That type of destruction has a definite benefit (beyond the obvious data destruction) - it quarantines all bad sectors on a drive and clears them from the drive's memory. Often, even HDTune will show no errors or out-of-threshold values on a drive that has previously been on the brink of failure.

    I would check into a low-level-format. The free version is capped at 50MB/s, but if you drop $4 to the dev, it's unlocked to however fast your drive can move. Even at 50MB/s, it should only take a couple hours depending on how big the drive actually is.
    LLF will kill any previous partition information that was previously on the drive, and even wipes any boot-sector viruses that survive standard formatting procedures.
    http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  7. BigBlockTowncar

    BigBlockTowncar Ancient Guru

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    Why do a repair on my OS SSD if the system is bootable and operating normally? I don't want to have to reinstall the OS for a small problem. Can I not just use this utility to 0-write the old OS HDD and then format it?
     
  8. The Goose

    The Goose Ancient Guru

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    Boot windows installion cd/remove partitions/cancel installation and reboot ssd os then format hdd
     
  9. FatBoyNL

    FatBoyNL Maha Guru

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    A repair will be necessary if you format or disconnect the old drive, because the 'boot files' being used seem to be located on that drive.
    You can verify this by disconnecting the old drive and see if Windows will still boot from your SSD. If it doesn't, start a repair directly from the Windows installation media. That will simply re-create the 'boot files' on the correct drive (the SSD this time). The Windows installation itself should stay untouched by this procedure (if there's nothing wrong with it anyway).
    Good luck!
     
  10. Psychlone

    Psychlone Ancient Guru

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    What FatBoyNL said.
    You seem to somehow (possibly) have installed Windows on your SSD, but the boot files were installed to the other drive.
    I have no idea how this happened, but you can check it easily by unplugging your HDD and booting. If it boots, then no worries, just zero-fill the HDD. If it doesn't boot, then you HAVE to do a repair install or in-place-upgrade **WITHOUT** the HDD plugged in to correct the boot files placement.

    Repair is one thing and in-place upgrade is another, but it's not like you lose anything... it's much like placing a fresh copy of the OS over the top of itself, except this time, ALL the files needed will exist on only ONE drive.


    Good luck!

    Psyclone
     

  11. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    A repair isn't necessary to move boot files.

    OP- open a cmd prompt and type bcdboot G:\windows /s C:
     
  12. BigBlockTowncar

    BigBlockTowncar Ancient Guru

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    The SSD boots on its own without the other drives plugged in. I was able to fix that problem doing a repair on the SSD. I did have the other drives plugged in at the time, but I did test everything unplugged less my OS SSD and it was fine.

    I did a quick format on the suspect HDD and am going to copy some files onto it tomorrow while I am at work.
     
  13. alanm

    alanm Ancient Guru

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    Since its not locked bootfiles, as someone stated, the drive is probably in use for page file. Go to system > advanced > performance > advanced, and disable any pagefiles on that drive.

    Ah, you formatted it already.
     
  14. BABA-The Hacker

    BABA-The Hacker Banned

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    .....give a try.... change drive letters...for all drives...in "disk management".....(try in SAFE mode also)..
    while disabling all hdisk software monitoring utilities...
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012

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