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Deleting Partitions to totally format Hd

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March 1, 2010 1:56:05 PM

I was given a WD 160 SATA Hd -internal to replace my damaged HD. I wanted to clean the drive and start with a fresh formated drive. So I went to fdisk the drive and notice there was a EXTdos partition with logical files. I went to delete the EXTdos partition and recieved a message saying the logical files must be removed first. So I went to deleting the logical files or partition or whatever it is, and the message came back that no logical files are defined. How can I define them if I cannot see them. When I try to display all partition info, I get an option to display logical files also. I enter yes and then recieve, again, no logical files defined. So I try just formating the hard drive to erase everything. format c: It seems to formats fine, and when I go back to fdisk it shows that the EXTdos partition is still there along with the future Dos partion. My restore disk doesn't seem to want to start until the EXTdos partion is removed. How in the heck can that be done? It would be cool if someone could point me in a direction of how to get the drive completely cleaned out. Thanks for you time.

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March 1, 2010 2:04:39 PM

Do you use XP or Windows 7?

You could use a Linux solution and live CDs or boot CDs with disk utilities would easily format it and then Windows could format again if desired.

Otherwise, do a full format. It should format everything NTFS. Are you trying to format using NTFS or FAT32?
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March 1, 2010 3:08:26 PM

Canuck1 said:
Do you use XP or Windows 7?

You could use a Linux solution and live CDs or boot CDs with disk utilities would easily format it and then Windows could format again if desired.

Otherwise, do a full format. It should format everything NTFS. Are you trying to format using NTFS or FAT32?


Well heres where it will probally get confusing, more. I will wind up in NTFS format. I have 2 ways that I can load Windows XP. Through the restore disk which won't work until I delete the EXT partition or install Millinium and then use a disk I made from my original Windows XP disk that doesn't boot but will upgrade or actually completely install erasing all the partition and formating it for NTFS, once a system is loaded. IThis is a completely legal Windows XP disk it just that I made a copy of the original as a back up and wound up needing it. I did this process last week on a P3 and it worked fine. Upgraded, authorized and all. The problem is that I believe I tried this a little while ago on the computer I am trying to fix and it being a P4 instead of a P3 acted diferent. as in. Millenium loaded fine and when restarting the computer to finish install the screen went blank. I could never get it to work. So a friend gave me his system restore disk for the same computer that I'm fixing, the P4, but I never tried it till now. So after many many many attempts I came to the belief that nothing is going to load until I clear the partition. And here we are back at the beginning again. Nothing seems to work except for the Millenium startup with gets me to a Dos prompt. From there I formated with 'format c:' and it did seem to format but working with fdisk the EXT partition is still there and I still can't start any install until it is gone. Is there any other way or command that will erase everything other than what I have tried?

Thanks so far for your help.
You mentioned a full format. Isn't that 'format c: ?
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a c 362 G Storage
March 2, 2010 2:09:26 PM

Not sure which way you are headed with this or what resources you have to work with. Do you have a functioning computer with an OS installed? Is it Win XP, or something else? What OS are you trying to install on the replacement drive? Or, are you trying to make it a data-only drive in a system with an OS already on a different drive unit?

The root of the problem appears to be that you have a used HDD with one or more Partitions on it defined originally by a more recent OS, but you are now trying to re-do the Partitioning using FDISK, an older technique. FDISK cannot recognize the Partitions it contains already.

I suggest the solution starts with using a modern modern version of Windows to Delete any and all Partitions on the used HDD. This means installing that unit, at least temporarily, in a working machine with a Windows XP (or more recent) OS. In that configuration use Windows Disk Management to go to that used HDD device in Disk Management's LOWER RIGHT pane and Delete any Partition(s) you find there.

Now, you have to choose your next step.
1. IF all you are trying to do is use this HDD as a data storage device in this machine or another under Win XP or more recent, you can Create a new Primary Partition on the drive now (set its size as you wish) without making it bootable, then Format it with the NTFS File System. Alternatively, you could move it first to the final machine location and THEN do this work.
2. IF you intend to have this unit be the boot drive on a different machine and will install some version of Windows on it, do NOT create a new Partition on the newly-empty drive. Move the unit to that machine and Install Windows on it. The very first stages of Windows Install will Create and format the rewuired Partition for you. You do NOT need to use FDISK or any other utility to create and Format a Partition before the Install.
3. If you intend, instead, to install an older Windows that actually needs FDISK to create a Partition BEFORE installation, you should be able to do that now that all traces of the old Partition have been deleted. So, don't create any new Partition. Move the drive first to its destinationmachine, then use your old FDISK and Windows Install tools to work there.
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