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"Format" At Installation Grayed Out

Last response: in Windows 7
February 8, 2010 4:25:23 PM

I have Windows XP installed with two partitions.

After booting Windows 7, I choose the "Custom (advanced)" installation, I click on the partition marked "System", but the "Format" and "Delete" buttons are grayed out. The other partition is marked "Logical" and formatting and deleting is enabled for it.

Does anyone know why this may be? Installing and moving the system files to Windows.old works, but I'm looking for a clean install.
a b $ Windows 7
February 8, 2010 4:37:28 PM

You aren't trying to format the drive from inside windows are you? You can't format the system partition when you are on it. You have to boot off the windows 7 disc to do the format/install.
a b $ Windows 7
February 9, 2010 1:27:49 AM

Go to your BIOS & change the boot priority to CD/DVD drive first!
Boot form the Windows 7 Cd & then try to format!
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February 11, 2010 8:20:00 AM

Sorry for the very late reply.

I should have said "after booting off Windows 7". And yes, the booting process started off the Windows 7 disc. Thanks for the replies anyway.

When I posted this, I had only tried formatting off the disc once. After posting, I tried it again, and for some reason it let me format and delete the system partition. Formatting only loaded for a few seconds, but nothing happened. Deleting, though, actually deleted the partition, and gave me the free space to allocate. I had Windows make a new drive and install on it, and it made itself a third drive of 100MB marked System, and the actual system drive was marked Primary. Now, the System drive could be formatted and deleted, but the Primary drive couldn't, the options were grayed out again. I thought I'd try restarting the setup again, to see if I could format it. After restarting, it let me format or delete, but again, formatting only loaded for a few settings, without anything popping up, whereas when booting off XP formatting took quite a while. I gave up and installed Windows, and it works fine. I still can't figure out what the problem was though.
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 10:56:54 AM

Try deleting all existing partitions, then formatting the unallocated space.
February 11, 2010 11:05:12 AM

Meaning that Windows 7's format would only work on a full hard disk format?
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 12:52:12 PM

No, it can install on partitions. From what you described, windows is installed on a smaller partition. It sounded like you wanted to install it on the drive with no partitions. If you delete the existing partitions, you can allocate the entire drive to the main OS install.
February 11, 2010 1:05:57 PM

For some reason, I kept writing "drive" when I meant "partition".

And rephrasing my last post: "Meaning that formatting from Windows 7's setup would only work by formatting the whole hard disk?".

I have a hard disk drive split into two partitions, C: for the operating system and D: for general storage. D: doesn't need to be formatted. I had problems formatting C:, then I managed to delete it. I used the unalocated space to make a new C: partition, which still won't format properly. By this, I mean that clicking the "format" button prompts me to acknowledge that I want to format the partition, and following that nothing happens. I suspect the issue is with the Windows 7 setup, but I can't figure out what it is.

Sorry for the confusion, if it's still unclear feel free to ask. :) 
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 1:27:41 PM

It should then wipe the drive when installing windows.
February 11, 2010 1:33:16 PM

It's a 40GB partition, and I have also thought that maybe Windows 7 formats "better", but comparing to the fact that Windows XP takes much longer to format the same partition, I'm not sure.

Aside from this, I'm also wondering what the sometimes grayed out buttons issue was from, since it always took a restart to "un-gray" them.
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 1:55:49 PM

Windows 7 is a little 'prettier' during the format/install process.