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Windows 7 installation doesn't format SSD correctly

Last response: in Storage
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December 6, 2012 3:55:09 PM

So I have been running Windows 7 on a Kingston SSDNow drive for well over a year, but I am having some issues that appear to be OS related. Last night I decided to simply wipe the drive and start over, so at this point any previous OS issues are irrelevant.

The problem is when I get to the drive selection part of the w7 installation. I choose "drive options (advanced)" and delete the existing partitions on the SSD...the OS and the system reserved partitions. Once this is done Windows shows that I have 59.6 GB of total space and 59.6 GB of free space. However, when I try to format the drive Windows recreates the 100 MB system reserved and appears to recreate the previously existing OS partition and shows that I have only some free space (values have been between 18.5 GB and 22.5GB free space). It even names the partition OS as I had it before. If I try to install anyway or skip the format option and just click next, the installation errors with some corrupt file message and says it is reverting changes.

I have even attempted to use diskpart to create and format the drive as well as to set alignment. None of these steps helped.

Has anyone experienced this before? Is this a Windows issue or a drive problem? Should I just forget about it and buy a new SSD for my OS?

I am currently at work and do not have all the details available, but some information about my system is as follows. I intend to check the BIOS drive settings when I get home for ide/sata/ahci.

EX58 Extreme mobo with BIOS release F12 (there are 2 later version but both are beta releases)
6GB RAM
Kingston SSDNow (60GB, older model V100+ or something like that)
a b $ Windows 7
a c 119 G Storage
December 6, 2012 4:28:24 PM

The first thing you should do is decide if you want to get a new SSD or not , 60 gb is kind of small for the OS drive and the best size for an OS drive is around 256 gb. So if you got something that was 180gb or larger it wouls allow you to have the OS and quite a few games and/or programs depending on what you use the computer for.
I started out with a 64 gb SSD for the OS and it quickly became apparent that something larger would be better because you tend to want some things on the OS drive since it is a SSDand with updates and drivers it slowly starts to fill. You also don't want to go past 80% capacity because it can affect the performance of the SSD.

If you want to stay with what you have then you have to get that partition deleted so that the Windows install program can create and format a new one, you have to have a partition created before you can format. You also want to make sure that the sata mode is in AHCI. Since you are doing a fresh install you can try different approaches to the install and you can even install Windows on another drive so that you can clear what's on the SSD. You could go into disk management and delete the partition and create a new one and format it so that the Windows install will not be dealing with trying to do that which it seems to be having trouble with.
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December 6, 2012 5:08:58 PM

inzone said:
The first thing you should do is decide if you want to get a new SSD or not , 60 gb is kind of small for the OS drive and the best size for an OS drive is around 256 gb. So if you got something that was 180gb or larger it wouls allow you to have the OS and quite a few games and/or programs depending on what you use the computer for.
I started out with a 64 gb SSD for the OS and it quickly became apparent that something larger would be better because you tend to want some things on the OS drive since it is a SSDand with updates and drivers it slowly starts to fill. You also don't want to go past 80% capacity because it can affect the performance of the SSD.

If you want to stay with what you have then you have to get that partition deleted so that the Windows install program can create and format a new one, you have to have a partition created before you can format. You also want to make sure that the sata mode is in AHCI. Since you are doing a fresh install you can try different approaches to the install and you can even install Windows on another drive so that you can clear what's on the SSD. You could go into disk management and delete the partition and create a new one and format it so that the Windows install will not be dealing with trying to do that which it seems to be having trouble with.


I'll probably stick with the existing drive since it does what I need and its already paid for. That being said, you seem to get the feeling that the w7 installation is not actually doing anything to the drive. I am curious then why using the CleanAll function in diskpart would not achieve the desired results, but you feel that disk management inside of Windows 7 would. Instead of installing windows on another drive, do you think I would be able to accomplish this via BackTrack? I already have a couple of version of this Linux distro on disc anyway.
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Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
a c 119 G Storage
December 6, 2012 5:20:48 PM

If you have a Linux OS on a usb then you can accomplish the same thing using Linux and it's even better because Linux doesn't have any restrictions when it comes to deleting Windows folders so formating the SSD will not be a problem
I needed to do a secure erase of a drive and I loaded Linux on a bootable usb stick and was able to accomplich that So yes try the Linux option and see what happens..
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 353 G Storage
December 6, 2012 6:47:44 PM

1) I found diskpart much better than windows Diskmanager. Ran into cases that windows disk manager would not delete some partitions, but disk manager did.

2) Unless you stuck some wierd partition Diskpart should Have cleared ALL partition on the drive. Normally I would just use the Clear with out the ALL.

3) there are a number of 3rd party partition tools available, but have a feeling your problem now is with the drive.

4) As inzone recommened moving up in size, However I find that in all my systems the 128 gig size is fine, and yes I have 2 256 gig drives an M4 and a samsung 830 and am using them as a "work" drive (store my most used data files on). While your problems may be OS related, If you have been runing the drive at 90% filled there is a good chance that that has also contributed to your problem. Reloading windows may only temporarily solve your problem.

64 Gig SSd = 64 - 4 = 60 (Computer vs manuf method of counting), then you must subtract the "free" space if you want the drive to remain close to manuf specs in terms of performance. 1st they said 10% was a good %age, then 15%, latest That I've read is the ideal free space should be a wopping 25% of the drive.
60 - 15% leaves 51 Gigs max that can be used, Ideally that now translates to ONLY 45 Gigs.

GOOD READ: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6489/playing-with-op

Using the recommended space saving tweaks, all my systems use about 35 gigs for OS + programs.
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December 6, 2012 9:28:26 PM

@RetiredChief

1. I figure that diskpart is a more robust utility overall, or at least it doesn't have to contend with the fact that the OS is loaded.
2. Nothing weird that I am aware of, but even so cleanall should have written zeros across the drive so why this didn't work is beyond me.
3. I'll be trying gparted live when I get home.
4. So far 60gb has been enough as I have been installing programs on a separate drive. I want to say that before the wipe I was using about 40GB.
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December 6, 2012 10:54:51 PM

well...gparted live didn't work either. Same results as before. It looks like its clearing the partitions but then no change. Maybe dban will do it.

At this point I am thinking of just buying a new drive to avoid dealing with this...I can't contact Kingston phone support because they are closed for the day and at work I am currently too busy to call this in.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 119 G Storage
December 7, 2012 12:10:45 AM

Tomsharware is having as nice contest where they are giving away some Samsung SSDs with a drawing every week , you can enter here or on the front page.

http://blazonapp.com/bestofmedia--llc/samsung-ssd-givea...

It's huge compared to what you have now but if you win one then you wouldn't have to buy one.
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December 7, 2012 1:22:43 PM

So I contacted Kingston support and they suggested a low level format, but diskpart with clean all is essential what they were asking me to do. Anyway, he recommended I try HDD eraser and this didn't work either. I did get an error which I notated.

Quote:
The file or directory System Volume Information\Efadata\SYMEFA.DB is corrupt or unreadable. Please run the Chkdsk utility.


Running chkdsk /f and chkdsk /r return an "unexpected error" and stop. At this point I have contacted Kingston support again via email with this new information. Maybe they'll just replace the drive.

Regardless I entered the contest because why not. I have also ordered another drive to get my computer back up.

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