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Windows 7: Re-purposing an old hard drive

31 Jul 2014   #1
Senator

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Re-purposing an old hard drive

I have an old hard drive that was originally drive C in my laptop so it contained a recovery partition, a data partition and a couple of other smaller partitions. I'm admittedly confused about partitions, formatting, etc.

I'd like to use the drive to either be a new drive C and install Windows 7 or as an external data / backup device. I'm afraid I may have erased or corrupted some important files or partitions on the drive because I am unable to install Windows 7 on it.

I was hoping someone could either explain or point me to instructions for how I can return the drive to the condition it was in when it came from the hard drive manufacturer (not the laptop manufacturer).

Many thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
31 Jul 2014   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Senator View Post

I was hoping someone could either explain or point me to instructions for how I can return the drive to the condition it was in when it came from the hard drive manufacturer (not the laptop manufacturer).
Is it now connected to a PC of some type? If not, do you know how to connect it?

Do you have any reason to believe it is broken or defective?

If not broken, the general procedure would be to simply "reformat" the drive. That will wipe out all existing partitions and data. The drive would then be as it was from the hard drive manufacturer, less any wear and tear.

You'd connect it to another PC and then reformat using certain menus within Windows, taking care to select the drive in question and NOT SOME OTHER DRIVE.

You'd be left with an empty drive containing a single partition.

Here's a tutorial:

Format a HDD or USB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #3
BJB

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Just to clarify, use Windows Disk Management by typing diskmgmt.msc in Start > Search, right clicking and deleting each partition on the drive and then creating a new simple volume.

Be very sure you are deleting on the right disk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

31 Jul 2014   #4
Senator

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Here is what the drive looks like.

Re-purposing an old hard drive-2014-07-31_17-36-27.png

Because I am not confident in my understanding of formatting, partitioning, boot records, file managers, etc., I don't know if I should format both Drive L and Drive M. They are both on the same physical drive. Notice that drive M is a recovery partition from when this was Drive C in my old laptop. I believe the Recovery partition contains Windows XP, which I have no interest in using or saving.

What should I do with each of the four partitions?

Cheers


My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Senator View Post

What should I do with each of the four partitions?
IF, I say IF, repeat IF you want to clean that drive completely and put it in the state it was when it was built, you would DELETE all of those partitions.

That would leave you with 100 percent unallocated space.

You'd then make a partition (volume) from that unallocated space and format it.

You could then do what you want with the drive--put Windows on it, put data on it, etc.

Choose the "NTFS" file system when you format.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #6
Sergeant Steve

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Actually there are only three partitions, between the first and second there is 8Mb that is unallocated.

However the easiest thing to to is what BJB said to do. That is to right click drive L and drive M (separately) & left click Delete Volume, you will be notified that you will lose any data stored on these partitions, click OK or Yes, also delete that 1Gb partition at the end of the drive, no drive letter assigned to it so I assume you haven't written anything important there.

Once you have deleted all the partitions, again following what BJB said, right click the drive and left click Create New Simple Volume. It should automatically set it to be the maximum amount of space available, also not that it shows available space to partition in MB, as against GB as you may expect, so it can be confusing to people not expecting a large number.

Good luck, if you're still not sure after you've deleted the three partitions then post another screenshot of what you have left.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #7
Senator

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

This is a bit embarrassing. Could someone tell me how to use the Quote feature on this forum? I've just spent the last two hours and can't seem to figure it out.

But back to the issue at hand. Let's say that I plan to perform the steps we have been discussing using this computer, the one I'm on now, where the drive is currently connected. But I plan to use the drive in my other computer, a laptop, as the new Drive C, and I plan to install Windows 7 from a DVD.

Just to be clear, there is nothing on the drive now I want to keep, unless it is needed for some system-level function, like a master boot record or some basic file manager or directory. There is no data I need to save.

Should I delete all "volumes" all "partitions" so there is only one partition remaining?

If I intend to load Windows 7, should I create a new Recovery partition. If so, how big should it be? Is it a separate volume or just a partition?

Sorry to be so ignorant or anal about this.

Many thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #8
Senator

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Sorry, but I have no idea what you mean here "See the Youtube. The next one to the left # the next one is Quote."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Senator View Post

Just to be clear, there is nothing on the drive now I want to keep, unless it is needed for some system-level function, like a master boot record or some basic file manager or directory. There is no data I need to save.

Should I delete all "volumes" all "partitions" so there is only one partition remaining?

If I intend to load Windows 7, should I create a new Recovery partition. If so, how big should it be? Is it a separate volume or just a partition?
Yes, you should delete all partitions.

That will NOT leave you with one partition.

It will leave you with NO partitions. Just unallocated space. Unallocated space is NOT a partition.

You cannot create a recovery partition. That's something that manufacturers like HP and Dell do.

To install Windows, you'd then boot from the Windows installation disc with the drive connected. At that moment, the drive is 100 percent unallocated space.

You'd come to a screen where you are asked "where do you want to install Windows"? You choose the unallocated space. Windows will then automatically format that space and make partitions as necessary. You'd end up with a very small "system reserved" partition and a very large C partition covering the rest of the drive.

Alternatively, you could first make a single partition from that unallocated space and then tell Windows to install to that single partition. You'd end up with no system reserved and just a single C partition.

Either way will work. Take your pick. One way you have a system reserved and C. The other way you have just C. Most people have both system reserved and C. I don't.

For practical purposes, you can consider partitions and volumes as synonyms. Drives are not partitions. Partitions are not drives. Unallocated space is just that and nothing more.

Here's an analogy: a drive is an empty cigarette carton, originally containing only unallocated space. The cigarette packs within the carton are analogous to partitions within the drive. If you remove one pack of cigarettes from a full carton, you have 9 partitions left and some unallocated space where the 10th pack used to be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #10
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I remove that post because it was to hard to understand.

From your post #7

Quote:
This is a bit embarrassing. Could someone tell me how to use the Quote feature on this forum? I've just spent the last two hours and can't seem to figure it out.
I was trying to give instruction on how to post a QUOTE.

You will get this [quote][quote] when you tick on the quote in your replies.
Right tick between the two center brackets and paste the quote.

Re-purposing an old hard drive-quote.png

Sorry if I got in the way.


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