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Windows 7: Formatting second hard drive

22 Apr 2012   #1
funk7997

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Formatting second hard drive

Hello there.
Wasn't sure where to post this, so if it's in the wrong area, sorry. I bought a Dell Precision 380 Workstation Desktop about a year ago that had two WD 160GB hard drives, one of which had Win XP installed and the other was blank but formatted to NTFS. I installed Windows 7 Home Premium x64 on the second hard drive so I could dual-boot 7 and XP. Now I've decided to just get rid of XP. I backed up the data on the second hard drive with Ashampoo Burning Studio 10 and went to the Disk Management Utility and told it to format the hard drive. It's drive letter was D. How ever it just said "Windows cannot format the system partition on this disk." Any help would be greatly appreciated.
-Funk7997


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #2
bbearren

7 Ultimate x64/7 Home Premium x64
 
 

My guess is that your BCD is on that disk. Have you tried to format that disk by booting to the Windows 7 DVD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #3
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Funk,
HOW TO POST A SNAPSHOT OF DISK MANAGEMENT DISPLAY
Run disk management:
WIN |
type DISKMGMT.MSC | ENTER
WIN=
key with Microsoft logo on top.


Maximize the output of Disk Management:
ALT-Spacebar
key combo | X key (selects Maximize) |
Drag the field separators (such as between Status and Capacity) to show entire field.


Make a snapshot:
WIN |
type SNIPPING | ENTER | New
Drag the cursor around the area you want to snip.
File | Save as | select save location and name | Save


Post the snapshot:
Post a File or Screenshot in Seven Forums

=========================================

Please post the snapshot.
thanks, karl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #4
funk7997

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Okay so I did what bbearren said to do and apparently that was the system disk so now my BIOS refuses to boot to the other hard drive. Any idea how to fix that? Thanks
P.S. Sorry karlsnooks. I had already done this by the time I realized you had posted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #5
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

funk,
System Repair.

Do you have either a Win 7 DVD or a System Repair Disc (this is made by Win 7 from within Win 7 and is NOT something from the supplier of your computer)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #6
funk7997

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I have my Windows 7 install disc. But would just swapping the SATA cables work?

EDIT: Swapping the SATA cables didn't work. Just resulted in a failure to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #7
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by funk7997 View Post
I have my Windows 7 install disc. But would just swapping the SATA cables work?

Do you have a Win 7 DVD? I do not know what an install disc is.

No, just swapping the cables will not work.

I will tell you that when we find out whether you have a Win 7 DVD from Microsoft, that one of the steps will be to disconnect the drive which does not have Win 7 installed. After your problem is fixed, then you will be able to reconnect and format the non-win 7 drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #8
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Unplug the XP HD, plug its data cable into Win7 HD, make sure it remains set to boot first in BIOS setup.

Now mark Active the Win7 partition: Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two). If it won't mark Active it might be a Logical partition (which is why we needed to see the Disk Mgmt screenshot first). Boot into free Partition Wizard bootable CD, post back a camera snap of drive map with listings, or just convert to Primary the Logical Win7 partition so it can be then marked Active.

Now from the DVD run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 starts and holds the System Active boot flags in Disk Management.

You can now plug back in the XP HD if it is not formatted to access it's data from Win7 explorer, or boot it if needed by tapping the Dell F12 one-time BIOS Boot Menu key at boot to choose XP HD to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #9
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

funk,
Please follow Greg's detailed procedure.
Let us know if you have any questions.
karl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #10
funk7997

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
It would have helped to have the Disk Management screenshot requested so we can see what the config is.

Absent that, unplug the XP HD, plug its data cable into Win7 HD, make sure it remains set to boot first in BIOS setup.

Now mark the Win7 HD Active: Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)

Now from the DVD run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 starts and holds the System Active boot flags in Disk Management.

You can now plug back in the XP HD to access it's data from Win7 explorer, or boot it if needed by tapping the Acer F12 one-time BIOS Boot Menu key at boot.
I did try this but Dell's BIOS only gives the options to boot from "Onboard or USB Hard Drive" or "Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive" so I can't tell it to boot to a certain hard drive. If I just one of them plugged in, It says no boot device available. What if I just reinstalled XP?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Formatting second hard drive




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