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Can't Format Laptop Hard drive

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November 19, 2012 11:53:49 PM

I recently bought a lenovo z585 laptop that came preloaded with windows 7 64 bit. Everything was great until I decided to take advantage of the free upgrade to windows 8. I installed windows 8 as an upgrade since I had little to nothing installed on the laptop. However, I immediately ran into compatibility issues (specifically, the touchpad scrolling features).

I decided that I wanted to go back to windows 7. I downloaded the official home premium 64 bit iso and burned it to a disc. I booted the laptop from the disk (with windows 8 still installed) and the windows 7 installation screen loaded up. I went into custom/advanced options to the screen where the hard drive partitions are shown. I saw the Lenovo partitions as well as the windows partitions.

I deleted all of the partitions so that only 1 disk 0 unallocated space remained. However, the format option was then greyed out and it said that windows could not be installed on this partition. I created a new partition by simply clicking the "new" button on this screen and leaving the default capacity. This created what appeared to be 3 blank partitions (2 small ones, one big main one). However, I was not able to format any of them. Whenever I clicked on format, the loading icon would appear for 3-4 seconds and then it would return to the partition screen and show all partitions being completely blank.

I know that it did not properly format since I still had/have windows 8 installed...it would have to take more than 3 seconds for a proper format. I can still click next and it brings me to the installing files page...but it skips the copying files step and goes straight to expanding files.

Can anyone help me properly format my drive so that I can perform a clean installation of windows 7?

Thank you.
November 20, 2012 1:31:22 AM

It actually appears to have worked. I find it very hard to believe that it performed a format, but I went ahead and let the windows 7 installation complete. It boots to a completely clean version of windows and my HDD shows as 680gb free of 698gb (I have a 750gb HDD).

Is it possible it is just hiding the other ~50gb of HDD and that windows 8 is still installed on another partition? In any case, I am booting from my HDD and showing a clean copy of windows. I installed microsoft security essentials and the first scan took about 5 minutes and scanned about 2000 files (mostly in system32). I was watching the file names and I didn't see anything that would seem to be windows 8 related.

Does this sound right, or do you think windows 8 is still installed on some sort of hidden partition?

Thanks.
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
a b G Storage
November 20, 2012 1:36:41 AM

No you don't have to uninstall windows 8. That would be silly. And you can't "uninstall" windows anyway.

Yes it did a format. If you deleted the partitions it would take seconds as it doesn't have to do anything. select the big one and install 7
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
a c 80 G Storage
November 20, 2012 1:38:54 AM

A 750GB drive only has about 699Gb of usable space, there isn't 50GB hidden - it isn't even there.
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
a b G Storage
November 20, 2012 1:40:00 AM

You probably still have the original windows 7 recovery partition or something. Look in disk management. You can always extend your partition there if you messed up and have free space. If you deleted the windows 8 partition it is gone
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
a b G Storage
November 20, 2012 1:47:16 AM

ss202sl said:
A 750GB drive only has about 699Gb of usable space, there isn't 50GB hidden - it isn't even there.


Yea, this. GiB vs GB. Thought there was still some but my conversion was off. So it's fine.

FYI formatting takes almost no time and is an extremely simple operation. Especially on a blank partition. It only takes a while if a full format, which does a full disk surface scan, is used
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November 20, 2012 11:14:50 AM

Best answer selected by Foolycooly.
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November 20, 2012 11:20:17 AM

unksol said:
You probably still have the original windows 7 recovery partition or something. Look in disk management.


I'm guessing this. It was probably something lenovo built in when they ship the laptops with w7 installed. There doesn't seem to be any other explanation for why it skipped the "copying files" step on the windows install screen.

In any case, I'm up and running and will shelve my copy of windows 8 for at least a while. Thanks.
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