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W7 HDD and Partition config

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 6, 2011 12:41:35 PM

Hi Tom’s Hardware folks from a newbie - as you will see I'm not the most expert of users and this is a long post especially for a newbie so apologies in advance.

1) Long story short. I can’t get Windows 7 to start because of a PFN_LIST_CORRUPT blue screen error, tried Safe Mode, Last Known Good Config, Memory Diagnostics Tool, same error. Nor can I get the W7 disk to repair or install. It loads files but fails on the first Windows splash screen and goes to a MEMORY_MANAGEMENT blue screen. So I’ve decided to delete existing partitions using an XP Home installation disc , quit the XP install, and then try again with a totally clean install of W7.

I put the XP disk in to have a look at the partitions before deleting them, but the partition screen was confusing (not that it’s hard to confuse me). My query is as follows:

2)There are 2 HDDs in the PC. When I got the PC, it had one Seagate HDD, W7 appeared in Windows on the C: drive and I placed applications there. Immediately afterwards I added a 2nd Hitachi HDD to hold data only, creating a single volume on it called G: data drive. This all seemed to be working fine until this current problem.

3) So, I thought I would see a C: ‘system’ partition, or maybe a 100MB ‘system reserve’ C: and another lettered part of that partition, and the G: partition/volume for data files (on the second HDD). However, what I saw on the partition screen via the XP installation disk was this:

476938 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]
D: Partition1 (System Rese) [NTFS] 100 MB ( 75 MB free)
E: Partition2 [NTFS] 476838 MB ( 419213 MB free)
476938 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]
C: Partition1 (data drive) [NTFS] 476937 MB ( 383546 MB free)

4) In the CMOS Features screen in the BIOS setup, the HDDs were configured like this (extract):

IDE Channel 0 Master [None]
IDE Channel 0 Slave [None]
IDE Channel 1 Master [Hitachi HDP725050GLA]
IDE Channel 1 Slave [None]
IDE Channel 2 Master [None]
IDE Channel 3 Master [None]
IDE Channel 4 Master [ST3500413AS]
IDE Channel 4 Slave [None]
IDE Channel 5 Master [Optiarc DVD RW AD-72]

The Hitachi HDD at channel 1 is the 2nd HDD, added by me after delivery to hold data files only, so I expected to see it below the Seagate HDD on this list.

5) Also, the Hitachi HDD was top of the Hard Disk Priority list on the BIOS Advanced screen. Again I would have expected to see the Seagate above the Hitachi in that list.

Question 1 – could someone explain what I’m looking at in the partition screen?
Question 2 – are the HDDs wrongly configured? Maybe I did something wrong putting the 2nd HDD in.

I’d be very grateful for any advice or assistance (or just comments) and sorry for the length of this first post and lack of knowledge. Thanks in advance.

PC details: - I don't know which details are relevant but motherboard is Gigabyte P67A-UD7, CPU is Intel 2600k, 8GB of RAM. Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM). The affected PC hasn't at any time been connected to the internet.

More about : hdd partition config

December 6, 2011 1:49:27 PM

To simplify things, unplug the data drive before you try to reformat. After you reinstall Windows you can plug it back in.

The E: Partition2 [NTFS] 476838 MB ( 419213 MB free) should be the drive with Windows 7. It is listed as Partition2, the 100 MB system reserve partition is always the first. Also if you look at the total size it appears that these are both 500GB HDDs. The C: Partition1 (data drive) [NTFS] 476937 MB ( 383546 MB free) is 99MB larger than the E:, it's a single partition and the label is data drive. If you unplug it and try again that one shouldn't show up anymore.
December 6, 2011 2:57:51 PM

kaa0653 said:
To simplify things, unplug the data drive before you try to reformat. After you reinstall Windows you can plug it back in.

The E: Partition2 [NTFS] 476838 MB ( 419213 MB free) should be the drive with Windows 7. It is listed as Partition2, the 100 MB system reserve partition is always the first. Also if you look at the total size it appears that these are both 500GB HDDs. The C: Partition1 (data drive) [NTFS] 476937 MB ( 383546 MB free) is 99MB larger than the E:, it's a single partition and the label is data drive. If you unplug it and try again that one shouldn't show up anymore.


Thanks - I didn't think of unplugging the data drive that will certainly clarify things a lot. And thanks for the advice on the partitions. I was thinking from what I've read that any Windows OS would always be assigned the C: partition, presumably that's incorrect. Cheers.

!