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Two OS's: "Windows cannot format the system partition on this disk"

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 20, 2011 11:25:26 AM



Awhile ago I got myself two SSD drives and installed Windows 7 on one of them. I didn't move over my OS from my old 1TB drive or anything I just did a clean install. Today I finally finished making sure I'd transfered over all my files from the disk and I was about to format it when I got the message that can be seen in the above picture. It seems the old Windows (D: drive) is still set as the System drive and my new Windows OS (SSD C: drive) is just set as Boot but not System.

This makes me unable to format it and I have no clue on how to fix this. Does anyone know how I can give my new SSD drive the System status so I can format the old drive?

More about : windows format system partition disk

a b $ Windows 7
January 27, 2011 3:58:39 PM

Yes!

The problem is that your system is initially booting off the old drive, which is then passing control to your new installation.

The good news is that this is really easy to fix; you won't even have to re-install Win7. Unplug all HDs and SSDs except the one on which you just installed Win7. Boot from the Win7 disk and choose to do a repair. It will notice that you have no MBR or boot loader and make them for you. Reconnect the other drives, and set the BIOS to boot off the SSD.

To make things simpler in the future: Put the boot SSD in the first SATA socket, so that if you lose your boot order it will still boot off it. Make the old 1TB unbootable by removing the "active" flag from any partitions, or reformatting the entire drive.

ONE NOTE: If you do it this way, you will not have a hidden 100MB partition at the front of your hard drive. Win7 creates this partition to hide and protect the boot loading process. If you want that partition to exist, you have to wipe the disk and re-install Win7 while that's the only drive on the system, letting Win7 do the partitioning as part of the installation. There are slight advantages in flexibility to having that partition. Some people consider it a pain in the tush.
November 13, 2011 4:22:08 AM

can u elaborate it in steps to follow..??
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a b $ Windows 7
November 14, 2011 12:38:13 PM

manhasr said:
can u elaborate it in steps to follow..??

Umm, I thought I did.
Quote:
Unplug all HDs and SSDs except the one on which you just installed Win7. Boot from the Win7 disk and choose to do a repair. It will notice that you have no MBR or boot loader and make them for you. Reconnect the other drives, and set the BIOS to boot off the SSD.

To make things simpler in the future: Put the boot SSD in the first SATA socket, so that if you lose your boot order it will still boot off it. Make the old 1TB unbootable by removing the "active" flag from any partitions, or reformatting the entire drive.

Let me know what's unclear, or missing, and I will try to elaborate.
November 17, 2011 3:11:48 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Umm, I thought I did.
Quote:
Unplug all HDs and SSDs except the one on which you just installed Win7. Boot from the Win7 disk and choose to do a repair. It will notice that you have no MBR or boot loader and make them for you. Reconnect the other drives, and set the BIOS to boot off the SSD.

To make things simpler in the future: Put the boot SSD in the first SATA socket, so that if you lose your boot order it will still boot off it. Make the old 1TB unbootable by removing the "active" flag from any partitions, or reformatting the entire drive.

Let me know what's unclear, or missing, and I will try to elaborate.


I have the same problem, except i installed a new windows 7 on an empty partition. The other half of the partition has the old XP system on it. The problem is i cant physically un-plug the old system when booting to repair as it is on the same physical drive. What do i do now?!
Ta :) 
August 24, 2012 11:39:00 PM

Just to simplify.

1-Disconnect all hard drives except for the one with Windows 7 installation.
2-Start computer and boot with "Windows 7 Repair Disc" NOT the windows installation disc! (I wish I had known the difference)
3-Set BIOS to boot with CD, then the hard drive that contains Windows 7
4-Reconnect all other hard drives.
DONE!


WyomingKnott said:
Yes!

The problem is that your system is initially booting off the old drive, which is then passing control to your new installation.

The good news is that this is really easy to fix; you won't even have to re-install Win7. Unplug all HDs and SSDs except the one on which you just installed Win7. Boot from the Win7 disk and choose to do a repair. It will notice that you have no MBR or boot loader and make them for you. Reconnect the other drives, and set the BIOS to boot off the SSD.

To make things simpler in the future: Put the boot SSD in the first SATA socket, so that if you lose your boot order it will still boot off it. Make the old 1TB unbootable by removing the "active" flag from any partitions, or reformatting the entire drive.

ONE NOTE: If you do it this way, you will not have a hidden 100MB partition at the front of your hard drive. Win7 creates this partition to hide and protect the boot loading process. If you want that partition to exist, you have to wipe the disk and re-install Win7 while that's the only drive on the system, letting Win7 do the partitioning as part of the installation. There are slight advantages in flexibility to having that partition. Some people consider it a pain in the tush.

December 22, 2012 7:09:53 AM

hi there, i have the same issue and I'm desperate for some assistance. I have 6 drives in total:

1x SSD with windows installed
1x 10,000rpm drive which for some reason is required for booting but is not showing up in my computer amd is showing without a drive letter in disk management
4x 7200rpm drives which all show up fine.

I cant format the 10,000rpm drive to use it in windows (can't format the system partition message) but when I did as suggested in this thread and disconnected all drives except the OS SSD and then set it to boot using that drive only in the bios, it will not boot (says insert bootable media). When I disconnect the 10,000rpm drive, it boots ok (and still doesnt show that drive in my computer)

PLEASE HELP!
January 14, 2013 1:51:10 AM

WyomingKnott said:



Unplug all HDs and SSDs except the one on which you just installed Win7. Boot from the Win7 disk and choose to do a repair. It will notice that you have no MBR or boot loader and make them for you. Reconnect the other drives, and set the BIOS to boot off the SSD.






I have exact same problem...I'm trying to format an SDD with Win XP after installing Win 7 on 2nd sata hard drive. I followed your instructions and chose "startup repair". Repair disc completes and diagnostic reads "root cause found the partition table does not have a valid system partition". When PC restarts I still get an error reading "No IDE Master H.D.D. Detected! Press F1 to resume." I even tried just installing Win 8 over the XP drive and I get an error!!

SO IF THE INSTALLATION DISC DOESN'T REPAIR THE PROBLEM...WHAT THEN?

Please forward any replies to saycheze@gmail.com in case I cant find this webpage again...LOL.
January 14, 2013 1:55:11 AM

saphoto said:
Just to simplify.

1-Disconnect all hard drives except for the one with Windows 7 installation.
2-Start computer and boot with "Windows 7 Repair Disc" NOT the windows installation disc! (I wish I had known the difference)
3-Set BIOS to boot with CD, then the hard drive that contains Windows 7
4-Reconnect all other hard drives.
DONE!



Um...I dont HAVE a "repair" disc, just installation disc. It gives the choice to "repair" , but its definitely the installation disc. Could that be my problem?
April 20, 2013 7:46:28 PM

It is best to make your main boot disk the one connected in the first physical connector. Personnally I always remove the old system disk before i install my system (unless i waould the end up with two OSes, and then I reconnect that old one in the second physical connector and boot in repair mode and delete the files from the old system disk, after which i reboot and can reformat.
Look for information on hidden files in the root of the main system disk : boot.ini, NTDETECT.COM and ntldr, boot.ini contains the actual boot information.
After some fiddling i can even make my boot.ini manually, though i have to start over everytime in finding my steps to do it.
my boot.ini looks like this :
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer

with only one boot disk, if i had a second boot disk there would be a second line in [operating systems] section with disk(1)... with "Microsoft Windows 7 etc..." or whatever OS you have there.
I know this is all a bit vague, but that's a good start for you to google and find more details on the way the bios works its way in the chain drives of to boot from using these files
Good luck
Zigomar
May 2, 2014 5:51:51 AM

WyomingKnott said:
Yes!

The problem is that your system is initially booting off the old drive, which is then passing control to your new installation.

The good news is that this is really easy to fix; you won't even have to re-install Win7. Unplug all HDs and SSDs except the one on which you just installed Win7. Boot from the Win7 disk and choose to do a repair. It will notice that you have no MBR or boot loader and make them for you. Reconnect the other drives, and set the BIOS to boot off the SSD.

To make things simpler in the future: Put the boot SSD in the first SATA socket, so that if you lose your boot order it will still boot off it. Make the old 1TB unbootable by removing the "active" flag from any partitions, or reformatting the entire drive.

ONE NOTE: If you do it this way, you will not have a hidden 100MB partition at the front of your hard drive. Win7 creates this partition to hide and protect the boot loading process. If you want that partition to exist, you have to wipe the disk and re-install Win7 while that's the only drive on the system, letting Win7 do the partitioning as part of the installation. There are slight advantages in flexibility to having that partition. Some people consider it a pain in the tush.


I have the same problem and did exactly as you suggest. Windows did a repair (missing partition or something) but I still cannot boot directly off the new disk. The BIOS will not let me change the drive configuration or boot order. I have DELL dimension 8300 with BIOS revision A03. I cannot update it as I get message "flash access denied" even though I am logged on as administrator. I believe it can be done from DOS but I don't know how. Can you help?
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