If I format my primary hard drive, will it effect a second data drive?

Last weekend, my system crashed. Thankfully, most of my data was stored on a separate drive which appears unaffected. I had to use the recovery discs to reload the OS and start again. This was not a total reformat.

Since then, things have been better, but I am unable to reload the required XP system updates. I know the equipment is old and the os is nearly obsolete, but I am trying to make it limp along a bit longer.

If necessary, as my last resort I will reformat the main drive as it was in the beginning. ... IF it will ensure I can reload the updates as they should.

I may lose some programs I loaded over time which I downloaded, or where I no longer have installation CDs.

My main concern is, will this in any way effect access to data on the separate drive? I really would like some guidance on this matter before I start messing things up worse than they already are.

I have included some of the basic System Information below.

I hope someone can help. Thanks.

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 10 Stepping 0 AuthenticAMD ~2199 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies, LTD 3.11, 02/09/2004
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB

Drive C:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 180.50 GB (193,806,946,304 bytes)
Free Space 102.82 GB (110,399,512,576 bytes)

Drive D:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 465.76 GB (500,104,732,672 bytes)
Free Space 143.65 GB (154,246,025,216 bytes)
2 answers Last reply
More about format primary hard drive effect data drive
  1. If you format the primary disk it will not affect the secondary disk. heck if you want you can unplug the secondary disk until you are done formatting and then plug it back in later.
  2. That's what I thought. I needed to make sure.

    I'm tired of messing with XP for the past week as can't get it to download & install a key file from Microsoft, despite various attempts. It's the file, Update for Windows XP (KB898461).
    And it seems a key file to downloading security updates, etc.

    Looks like starting over at square one.
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