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Cant format hard drive

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March 20, 2012 12:06:40 PM

Hi

I had a windows 7 home basic installation on a 40GB (C Drive) drive. This did not let me share files on a home network and the drive was practically full of OS stuff.

So I though I'd solve the problem by getting an 80GB HD (D drive) and installing windows 7 Ultimate on it.

plan worked until I tried to format the old drive. It doesnt allow me to. If i make it "inactive" from cmd prompt, the computer wont boot.

In disk management, it says "system" for the old C drive.

I even tried unplugging the C drive, in the hope inserting the windows CD would repair the D drive and it would boot up, but no such luck. failed to start windows full stop.

any ideas?

thanks

More about : format hard drive

a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 20, 2012 12:29:47 PM

It sounds like you accidentally installed windows 7 ultimate as a dual boot?
On your C drive you have 2 partitions, one is System and one is the actual C drive.
The "System" partition is where all the boot stuff resides.
It sounds like you installed Win7 Ultimate, but it put its boot stuff in the system partition on the C drive.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you have to reinstall win7 ultimate, on your D drive, leave your C drive disconnected for now, until you get win7 ultimate up and running.
And for a little speed boost, put your page file on your "C" drive(which will become your D drive) after install.

March 20, 2012 7:55:51 PM

Nooooo !!!!

please dont tell me i have to install windows AGAIN !!!

I'm really trying to avoid this. surely theres some way round?

Why did the boot stuff decide to go to a different location to that of my Windows 7 ultimate installation? of its own accord no less!

Is there no way of copying or creating the boot stuff on the 80GB drive?
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March 20, 2012 8:07:13 PM

if win7 ult is installed on your 80GB just put in the cd run like your going to install when you get to the screen to select drives just select the 40GB drive and delete or format then exit install and reboot. you may also want to change the boot order in your bios.
March 20, 2012 8:23:03 PM

daysyang said:
if win7 ult is installed on your 80GB just put in the cd run like your going to install when you get to the screen to select drives just select the 40GB drive and delete or format then exit install and reboot. you may also want to change the boot order in your bios.



Thing is, if I disconnect the 40gb drive I can't boot up at all. if I do as u say I could be stuck outside my ultimate installation forever couldn't I? Or is this a foolproof fix? Everything is backed up. Just the thought of reinstalling Windows and all the software kills me
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 20, 2012 9:07:37 PM

If you do what day says, then your C drive will still be the boot drive(system partition on C drive)
So, if you remove or get rid of your "C drive"( not the C partition) then you will be screwed.
March 20, 2012 9:23:31 PM

memadmax is correct it seems like you installed win7 on your 40GB drive... if you have installed it on your 80GB drive you should be able to boot without with the 40GB disconnected. Anyways this shouldn't be a problem for you if everything is working, unless you want to install it on the 80GB drive. if im not correct you only have OS boot if you search msconfig.exe and go to boot tab it should say windows 7(c:\windows);current os;default os... when you installed ult it probably installed over your basic version and now you have a windows.old witch can be removed if you do a disk cleanup.
March 21, 2012 1:53:04 AM

I promise you the windows 7 ultimate is installed on my 80GB drive!

But something crucial is on that 40GB drive that I cannot boot without. I ust looked at ms config and it had my 80GB at the top (Current/Default OS), but it also has Home basic (recovered) there.

There is no sign of windows.old. The 2 installtions are on 2 different disks
March 21, 2012 2:19:26 AM

Step one, remove 40GB and dont touch it.
Step two, slap wrist for doing this wrong, just kidding, connect 80GB drive to primary connector and boot with Windows 7 CD in the drive.
Step three, enter the repair my computer option and it should detect you have a Windows 7 installation, if it doesnt, you are screwed and you did it wrong, most of what you need ended up on the 40GB. If it tried to repair, then you are correct and the 80GB does have the install, but the 80GB doesnt have the System Partition needed to boot up properly. Multiple (IIRC about 3 times), should eventually correct this by letting the repair make the attempts. It will take a couple of attempts because it needs to make a couple of changes that will necessitate a reboot of the system.

If this fails, you can either a) go back to using the 40GB, or b) suck it up and do it all over again. It did this because by default Windows cannot install the System partition to anything but the first drive your BIOS is configured to boot from and considers HDD 0. You can install the Windows FILES to any drive you want, but the boot manager that boots windows ALWAYS puts its files on the first drive the BIOS can see, and you made the mistake of doing this with the C drive still connected which is a no no.

Folks out there, never install Windows with other drives connected if you dont want this to happen to you. If you are unsure, only install with the drive you want to end up with connected. All other drives can be connected afterwards. This is why pagefile.sys and hibernation files, active partitions and system partitions end up on the wrong drive/partition. Just dont do it.
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 21, 2012 5:34:14 AM

mickey just summed everything that I just said in one paragraph.....

.............
.....................
>_>
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 21, 2012 5:34:48 AM

So, it seems that you want to keep the 40gb drive in the system right?
March 21, 2012 8:32:47 AM

mickey21 said:
Step one, remove 40GB and dont touch it.
Step two, slap wrist for doing this wrong, just kidding, connect 80GB drive to primary connector and boot with Windows 7 CD in the drive.
Step three, enter the repair my computer option and it should detect you have a Windows 7 installation, if it doesnt, you are screwed and you did it wrong, most of what you need ended up on the 40GB. If it tried to repair, then you are correct and the 80GB does have the install, but the 80GB doesnt have the System Partition needed to boot up properly. Multiple (IIRC about 3 times), should eventually correct this by letting the repair make the attempts. It will take a couple of attempts because it needs to make a couple of changes that will necessitate a reboot of the system.

If this fails, you can either a) go back to using the 40GB, or b) suck it up and do it all over again. It did this because by default Windows cannot install the System partition to anything but the first drive your BIOS is configured to boot from and considers HDD 0. You can install the Windows FILES to any drive you want, but the boot manager that boots windows ALWAYS puts its files on the first drive the BIOS can see, and you made the mistake of doing this with the C drive still connected which is a no no.

Folks out there, never install Windows with other drives connected if you dont want this to happen to you. If you are unsure, only install with the drive you want to end up with connected. All other drives can be connected afterwards. This is why pagefile.sys and hibernation files, active partitions and system partitions end up on the wrong drive/partition. Just dont do it.


I read somewhere once that you should disconnect all extenal drives when installing windows.
Now I understand why!
Thanks for the advice mickey. consider my wrist slap.

So here's the plan. One day, when I dont have to go to work, I disconnect the 40GB and try to start up they system with my 80GB and the windows CD in. I have no idea what iirc is but i'll google it in a sec. But i'll attempt this a few times.

consider my wrist slapped! I just hope that the primary connector reaches the 80GB drive. I tried switching them before in one of my feeble attempts and I remember it was quite a stretch!

thanks again. Will keep you posted on results!
March 21, 2012 11:14:40 AM

1914099,9,39962 said:
Step one, remove 40GB and dont touch it.
Step two, slap wrist for doing this wrong, just kidding, connect 80GB drive to primary connector and boot with Windows 7 CD in the drive.
Step three, enter the repair my computer option and it should detect you have a Windows 7 installation, if it doesnt, you are screwed and you did it wrong, most of what you need ended up on the 40GB.


Ok, I did the above. It recognised the two windows installations. When i selected the 80GB one to repair, it said:

"This version of system recover options is not compatible with the version of windows you are trying to repair. Try using a recovery disc that is compatible with this version of windows."

Therefore im guessing with the right CD there could well be a repair solution out there?!

Odd thing is that this was the CD i installed with? however, many updates went on immediately after.
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 21, 2012 1:14:41 PM

Yea, the CD you used to install was pre-SP1, when you updated, you got SP1 at some point, changing the windows install version. Thats why it tripped out.
March 24, 2012 6:11:16 AM

Hi guys - its been an interesting morning!

So I put windows 7 onto a DVD and ran the repair.

it worked and now I can boot without my old 40GB drive connected! This is a success of sorts!

However, it still wont let me format it from disk management! It is now only labelled as "system" and "primary partition"....even after going to cmd and making it "inactive", when I try to format, it says:

"format is not allowed on the current boot, system, pagefil, crashdump, or hibernation volume"

I guess we need to stop this from being a "system" drive. I can feel we're gettin close guys! We can do this without a time consuming reinstall !! stay with me!
March 26, 2012 2:16:44 AM

if you dont need anything on your 40GB hhd and can't reformat/delete in windows... then use your windows install disk to run through install (only to the part where you can select drive) select the 40GB drive and delete/format... simple as that if your not sure what drive is what unplug the 80GB drive first.
March 26, 2012 2:32:26 AM

solved folks
!