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Windows 7: Can't format secondary drive (old system drive)

16 May 2015   #1
sasquatchalex

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Can't format secondary drive (old system drive)

Hey sevenforums,
very sorry if this thread is a double, I have seen others with a similar problem but unfortunately none of their fixes have been able to help me.

I have upgraded my computer to use solid state drive for the operating system. as other walkthroughs have suggested I have removed my separate hard drive in order to do a clean install. windows installed fine but when I went to attach and format my secondary drive I ran into some problems. formatting from within Windows told me that the hard drive was already in use and I had to shut down other applications. then I tried formatting it from within the Windows 7 Installer and it told me that I could not because I had my system files and what not on there. then I tried to use diskpart but it told me the same thing when I ran the clean up it said I had my page files and system files and other things on there.

is it possible that my computer is confusing the new system files with the old? they both have installed the identical copy of Windows.

I have backed up my old drive so recovering the files off of it is not an issue at this point I would just like to do a big dirty format

sorry for the formatting and punctuation errors I am using my phone


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2015   #2
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You can use Partition Wizard free to wipe that old disk. If it doesn't do it inside windows, create the bootable media and boot into PW, format there.

Windows most probably just sees that system files etc/could be marked as active also and stops format.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2015   #3
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

You should be able to delete the drive in Disk Management too if you have everything backed up. Then right click on the drive and choose New Simple Volume to add it back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 May 2015   #4
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

did you change the boot order in BIOS after installing to the SSD? If you are booted into the old hard drive, you can't format it inside Windows. Look and see which drive you are booted into.

Please post a screenshot of disk management Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #5
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Even if you`re booted into your new install on the ssd, windows won`t let you format the other drive because it`s still marked active, just install and use Partition Wizard as suggested to delete it to unallocated space and create a new partition. Make sure you get any data you want off before you delete it.

Best Professional Partition Manager | MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #6
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
Even if you`re booted into your new install on the ssd, windows won`t let you format the other drive because it`s still marked active, just install and use Partition Wizard as suggested to delete it
The Disk Management option works too to delete an Active partition, I used it to delete my W10 install last Friday.

Steve's advice is worth following in post #4.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #7
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Boozad View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
Even if you`re booted into your new install on the ssd, windows won`t let you format the other drive because it`s still marked active, just install and use Partition Wizard as suggested to delete it
The Disk Management option works too to delete an Active partition, I used it to delete my W10 install last Friday.

Steve's advice is worth following in post #4.
Gav is right. Even a complete install can be completely wiped, if you are booted into another Windows. Windows just will not, and cannot delete itself. If you are trying to format or wipe a drive you are booted into, it won't do it. You are in effect asking it to delete itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #8
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

I had just assumed he was trying to do it from his new install on the ssd and still giving him trouble, what`s really odd is he can`t format it with the installer, not the simplest way, but it should have worked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #9
sasquatchalex

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

sorry for not getting back sooner, but i actually figured it out (and now i feel silly....)

Im not sure why, but when in attached my HDD, it created (or found the old) pagefiles on it. I just had to remove them within disk management and replace them on my SSD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't format secondary drive (old system drive)




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