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Windows 7: Problems Formatting HDD

16 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 
Problems Formatting HDD

Hey guys, I have two HDD in my computer, a WD 1TB Black with Windows 7 Professional on it and an older WD 320GB. The 320 was used as a backup for vista when I had it installed and now that I have 7 installed I would like to format that drive and use it as a backup for 7. When I try to format the 320 windows says it can't format the drive. Why? There is nothing that I need anymore on this drive and would really like to prepare it for backing up my 1TB. FYI.....I did a clean install of 7 from the upgrade version of 7......if this makes any diference. I did have the 320 plugged in while the clean install was taking place. I thought Iread something about this a few months ago but I can't seem to find what I maybe read. Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
 
 

If you really don't need anything on the drive start "Computer Management" then click on "Disk Management" highlight the 320GB Drive and delete the partition. Once that is done re-create the partition and format it. Note: You will need to do this with Administrator Rights.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Perhaps the new install is using the old drive as the boot drive. Attaching a picture of your Disk Management window might help us see what is happening.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jan 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

It's likely the 320gb contains the boot critical files for Windows 7 if it won't delete in Disk Mgmt.

Post back a screenshot of your full Disk Management drive map, using the Snipping Tool in Start Menu, attaching file using paper clip in Reply box. We can advise you the exact steps to fix this then.

Normally the procedure is to mark the drive inactive, mark Windows 7 HD active, then run Startup Repair from the booted Windows 7 DVD up to 3 separate times with reboots to write the MBR to the Windows 7 partition.

However we need to see the screenshot to advise you with certainty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

Here's the Disk Managment.
Problems Formatting HDD-1-16-2010-12-41-06-am.png

Now I remember what I read about that but I still need to fix it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post

Normally the procedure is to mark the drive inactive, mark Windows 7 HD active, then run Startup Repair from the booted Windows 7 DVD up to 3 separate times with reboots to write the MBR to the Windows 7 partition.
How do I mark the 320 as inactive and the 1TB with Windows 7 on it as active?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

First set Windows 7 HD as first HD to boot in BIOS, or swap HD cables, making sure Windows 7 HD is first HD to boot in BIOS boot order, after DVD drive.

Boot into Windows 7 DVD, select Repair my Computer on second screen, click through to Recovery Tools list, open a Command line and type:

DISKPART
LIST DISK
SELECT DISK # (# for Backup HD)
LIST PARTITION
SELECT PARTITION # (# for Backup partition)
INACTIVE
SELECT DISK # (for Windows 7 HD)
LIST PARTITION
SELECT PARTITION # (# for Windows 7 partition)
ACTIVE
EXIT

Now return to DVD Recovery Tools list, run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboot to write the MBR to Windows 7 partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Boot into Windows 7 DVD, select Repair my Computer on second screen, click through to Recovery Tools list, open a Command line and type:

DISKPART
LIST DISK
SELECT DISK # (# for Backup HD)
LIST PARTITION
SELECT PARTITION # (# for Backup partition)
INACTIVE
SELECT DISK # (for Windows 7 HD)
LIST PARTITION
SELECT PARTITION # (# for Windows 7 partition)
ACTIVE
EXIT

Now return to DVD Recovery Tools list, run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboot to write the MBR to Windows 7 partition.
I list disk 0 as inactive and disk one as active? Why is disk 0 the backup? Wouldn't the drive with 7 on it be listed as 0?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Spikemaul View Post
I list disk 0 as inactive and disk one as active? Why is disk 0 the backup? Wouldn't the drive with 7 on it be listed as 0?
It has to do with what port you plugged HD's on mobo.

The screenshot shows Backup partition as System Active which means the MBR was derailed to there during Windows 7 install, as installer looks for first active partition to place MBR. It now needs to be marked inactive using diskpart or free bootable Partition Wizard CD, so that MBR can be recovered to Windows 7 partition where it belongs.

If you want to make Backup DISK1 so that it can't derail the boot again by accidentally becoming marked active, then swap the cables to HD's. Make sure Windows 7 is HD set to boot first in BIOS boot order, after DVD.

using DISKPART commands given earlier or Partition Wizard booted CD, Determine which HD is which by size and partitioning, then select backup partition to mark inactive using exact DISKPART commands given or rightclick in PW to Modify>Set Inactive.

As Windows 7 partition is already marked active, as long as it is set first HD to boot in BIOS boot order (after DVD), the MBR should be recovered by booting Windows 7 DVD Repair console to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboot, to write the MBR to Windows 7 partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

Thanks for all your help so far. I've done everything you told me but I still can't format the 320 gb HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Problems Formatting HDD




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