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Just installed a SSD, proper way to format old HDD?

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January 13, 2011 3:46:40 AM

Hey fellas,

I just installed a SSD and did a fresh Windows install and I hooked up my old HDD to use as a data drive.

I backed up all my important data to an external already, and I want to get a fresh start on my old HDD, but I'm not sure what the best way to format it is.

In My Computer I currently see:
  1. Local Disk (C:)
  2. DVD RW Drive (D:)
  3. System Reserved (E:)
  4. Local Disk (F:)
The E: drive is what's confusing me about formatting. I think it's a remnant of having that drive as my boot drive, but I'm not sure what to do with it.

Also, I switched to AHCI mode before doing the installs.

Thanks!

EDIT: Added the bit about AHCI.
a c 121 G Storage
January 13, 2011 12:33:34 PM

Since you did not assign any special drive letter to the old HDD, the computer assigned the drive letter "E" to it. To change this "E" to some other unused drive letter of your choice, go to Control Panel ---> Administrative Tools ---> Computer management ---> Disk Management. All the installed disks will be listed.

Select the disk "E" and right click on it. Then you have the option of formatting this disk. Go ahead and NTFS format it (this will wipe out all existing data on it).

After formatting, right click on this again, and choose "Change drive letter and paths" - from here you can change the drive letter to any available letter from the drop down list.

Hope this answers your questions regarding formatting, as well as how to change the drive letter to any letter of your choice.
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January 13, 2011 2:41:30 PM

The E: and F: drive are both from the same HDD. Will formatting E: format F: also, giving me one complete drive?
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January 13, 2011 4:18:53 PM

I did it by going into the Disk Management tool, Deleting both Volumes, then doing a Quick NTFS format.
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a c 121 G Storage
January 13, 2011 4:26:18 PM

daweinah said:
The E: and F: drive are both from the same HDD. Will formatting E: format F: also, giving me one complete drive?

It is either "E" or "F", but cannot be both. When you transfer an HDD from one computer to another, if the drive does not have a pre-assigned drive letter, then the computer will assign the next sequential drive letter. Therefore it is possible that while it was "F" (or some other drive letter) in the earlier setup, the drive letter changed to "E" in the new setup.

Check and see what the current drive letter for this HDD is, and then format that drive. It will be unique - either "E", "F", or some other letter. Use Windows Explorer if you need to, in order to determine the correct drive that you are formatting. (The only exception to this rule is if the drive has been partitioned into 2 or more logical drives. This practice is not common these days)
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January 14, 2011 1:20:45 PM

It was both.

The HDD was my C: drive before. It was my only hard drive, and thus my boot drive. The E: and F: were both listed on Disk 1 on the Disk Manager. By deleting both volumes, it made all of Disk 1 unpartitioned space, so I did a quick format and now all is well.
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a c 121 G Storage
January 14, 2011 4:59:50 PM

Great!
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!