Installing Windows 7 on brand new hard drives

Hi, I am new to posting on this site, but have read many articles and discussions here that have been very helpful.

I have just recently built my first desktop (intel i7 860, ASUS P755D mb, 4 GB Corsair DDR3 RAM, Radeon 4670, and 3 Seagate HDs). The hard drive situation is a bit complex so I'll try my best to explain myself.

The three hard drives are:

-300 GB, PATA on cable select, I NTFS full formatted it with 1 full space partition before installing it to desktop
-1 TB, SATA, brand new, unformatted and unpartitioned
-1 TB, SATA, brand new, unformatted and unpartitioned

The PATA drive is where I installed Windows 7. However, when I installed it, it listed the drives in this order:

Disk 0 - new 1 TB drive
Disk 1 - 300 GB drive, 1 partition, already NTFS full formatted
Disk 2 - new 1 TB drive

So I chose Disk 1. However, for some reason, W7 also created a 100 MB partition on one of the 1 TB disks for "system resources."

Installation completes like normal, but I never messed with the Boot Order. Then I started Windows, went to Disk Management and NTFS full formatted the 1 TB drive with the 100 MB partition and the 1 TB drive without it.

What is strange is that after I formatted the two 1 TB drives, I noticed that the Disk Manager now lists the drives in this order:

Disk 0 - C drive - 300 GB PATA drive
Disk 1 - E drive - 1 TB SATA drive with two partitions (100 MB system space, and the remainder)
Disk 2 - F drive - 1 TB SATA drive with one partition with full space

Why did Disk 0 and Disk 1 switch drives that they were attached to? Maybe it's no big deal. But it gets weirder.

E drive (which has the "system resource" partition) has 118 MB of used space. F drive (with no "system resource" partition) also has 118 MB of used space. But I would like to have all three drives have just one partition each, and get rid of the secret 118 MB used space on each if possible.

To make matters worse, the C drive is making bad noises, so I will be replacing it with one exactly like it. I will need to somehow use the Windows 7 installation disk to format the new 300 GB drive before I install Windows to it, if that's possible.

So to recap:

-How do I use the Windows 7 installation disk to NTFS full format the brand new C drive replacement?
-How do I remove the 100 MB partition from the E drive?
-How do I free up the 118 MB of used space on both the E and F drives?
-Should I mess with any Boot Order stuff in the BIOS?
-Should I change the jumper on the new 300 GB PATA to something besides cable select?
-In what order should I do all these things? I haven't replaced the C drive yet, so I could still use Windows 7 to mess with the E and F drives before I put in the new C drive and reinstall Windows, if that would make it easier.

Any help here would be appreciated! Thank you!
2 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    If you do a clean install I would only plug in the drive your going to install the os on. After it is installed and all updates and drivers are installed, then install the other drives.
    Windows 7 will format the drive during install. You can even install to a totally blank drive, no partitions or anything, and the install will do it for you, if your using the whole drive.
    As for the 100 mb partitions, I noticed it on mine when I did a reinstall of windows 7 from within windows 7. I deleted both partitions from within the install program with no problems.

    As for the drive placement, I would try to put your boot drive in the lowest SATA port. On my board, SATA 0 is taken by the e-Sata cable. Sata 1 is next but I couldnt tell and the boot drive ended up on Sata 2. It doesn't really matter as long as you tell the bios to boot off the correct Sata port/drive. Thats where only having one drive installed at install comes into play.
  2. Ok then I will unplug all the drives except the boot drive when I reinstall Windows. However, it is a PATA drive, so should I place the jumper in something besides cable select?

    Is there a way to delete that 100 MB partition inside Windows 7? I'm not really sure how to do that. Or should i act like I'm going to install Windows for a third time, but only go far enough to delete the partition, and then quit?
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