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Windows 7: Unable to format a system drive?


29 May 2009   #1

Windows 7/Windows XP
 
 
Unable to format a system drive?



So to give an idea of whats going on: D: Drive is where Vista USED to be. C: Is where I put 7. E: Is a small drive I dropped in for XP.

Now that 7 is on C: I have no real use for Vista and want to format D: for storage of all non-system files. However its not letting me delete all the files (it shows about 50+ GB os files in D:\Program Files\ and D:\Windows from the old installation) OR Format the drive because it treats is as a system drive. Any way around this? Any help appreciated.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c1...ard/error1.jpg is the error I get when I try to format

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c1...ard/error2.jpg the error I get when trying to delete

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

First off welcome to the sevenforums! ccwildcard

You are in a bit of fix there! First off if you delete the former Vista C primary neither XP or 7 will start up! The main boot files are located on the now seen by as D primary. Apparently you first saw an install of XP following Vista by the looks of the setup there.

In order to see a working dual boot of XP with 7 now you would need to follow a few steps I can outline for you here. But that will mean another slight change in the way things are setup.

1)You have two options of first seeing a second 7 installation on the first primary originally used by Vista. Or you can backup the two primaries and delete both the Vista and 7 primaries in order to see one larger new one for a fresh install of 7.

2)If you elect the later once you have the new primary created and formatted in order to be ready for use you first perform a repair install of XP in order to see the new mbr entries along with the new boot files placed at the root of the new C drive. How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

3)Once XP is up and running again following the repair install which will preserve the existing XP installation you can then install a fresh copy of 7 on the new primary then becoming the default OS as well as seeing XP added into the 7 boot loader seen as "previous version of Windows".

The BCD editor tool can be downloaded separately in order to rename that to XP Home or Professional depending on the edition. The free tool will also work on Windows 7 as well as Vista for both 32bit and 64bit RCs. System Tools - BCD Editor

To rename the previous versions item you simply click on the "set descriptions" button and enter the new name that will be seen on the 7 boot options screen. You can also set which will be the default OS as well as the amount of display time as you can see how that looks from the image on the download page there.

If you elect to save time by seeing the second copy of 7 installed on the existing first primary you can elect to reformat the now C primary in order to see the first removed. The BCD editing tool also sees the delete option for removing the entry for that as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Oct 2009   #3

Win 7
 
 

I want to do the same thing except my new Win 7 install is on drive C and an old vista install is on Drive D... Does that make it any easier? I would rather not re-install if i dont have to. I would like to just wipe the D drive clean.


Thanks!


Attached Thumbnails
Unable to format a system drive?-drives.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Oct 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Once you wipe the first drive there seen as Disk 0 you will have to peform an upgrade repair install on 7 without the first drive plugged in since your mbr entries and boot files are still on the first drive seen in 7 as D.

If you had installed 7 as a stand alone on the second drive with the first unplugged you would have no worries since all that will still be intact on the second drive. But you likely installed 7 with the Vista drive still plugged in didn't you?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2009   #5

windows 7, Vista
 
 

use diskpart dude. on the desktop click start button.
on the search bar type in CMD then press CTRL+SHIFT+enter to run as administrator.

then the CMD will pop up as administrator. type in diskpart.<enter>

now when you are prompted to diskpart type in LIST DISK plus the correspondent no. which you want to select.


once your inside the drive type in LIST PARTITION
you will see all of your partition
Now, select the partition you want type in SELECT PARTITION and no. correspond to the partition you want to format.

once you are in the selected partition, TYPE in FORMAT then <ENTER>

and thats it...

remeber once you format the partition all files in that partition will be remove permanently so if you have important files on it better back it up..


hope this will help you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2009   #6

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Once you wipe the first drive there seen as Disk 0 you will have to peform an upgrade repair install on 7 without the first drive plugged in since your mbr entries and boot files are still on the first drive seen in 7 as D.

If you had installed 7 as a stand alone on the second drive with the first unplugged you would have no worries since all that will still be intact on the second drive. But you likely installed 7 with the Vista drive still plugged in didn't you?
Yes I did install 7 on C drive with D drive plugged in... what about what april said? How can I tell if 7 installed the mbr entries and boot files on the D drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

You have to look to see if D is the first drive on the system as it looks as well as which drive is set as the default boot device. If the 7 drive is the second the mbr and boot files went onto the first D meaning a format of that will make 7 unavailable since it won't load.

To know for sure look at the root of D and see if the "Boot" folder is seen at the root as well as the bootmgr, hiderfil.sys, SAVEBCD, config.xml files. If those are present there but not on the 7 root... ut oh!

Either a clean install of 7 or the repair install by upgrade without the Vista drive plugged to see if the installer will place a new BCD store and boot information on the 7 drive are your options. That's the one drawback when dual or multibooting across more then one drive. If you don't make each installation a stand alone OS you are relying on one host drive for everything!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2009   #8

 
 
Dual Boot in the bottom

I have the same issue, and find this to be great post. So, if I remove my Device 0 drive, and turn the computer back on with the install cd in the cd rom drive, run and upgrade, will that make the device 1 drive my stand alone boot drive? Will I loose my configurations I have spent hours on? Will I loose any data in my documents and such? Will applications not work properly and need to be reinstalled? Boy, if I would have known!

Again, thank you for your advice and help. It is very good to find answers. THANK YOU!!!

When I put the old drive back in, are there any special things I must know? Can I then format the second drive that HAD XP running on it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by recentrisk View Post
I want to do the same thing except my new Win 7 install is on drive C and an old vista install is on Drive D... Does that make it any easier? I would rather not re-install if i dont have to. I would like to just wipe the D drive clean.


Thanks!
Mark the C: drive active in Disk Management.

Unplug the D: drive and plug C: drive into its cable, or change BIOS to boot D: drive first.

Boot into the Windows 7 installer and run Startup Repair 3 times, as it needs to fix multiple issues.

You can now plug D; drive back in and format.

If Disk management fails to perform any of these functions, use free Partition Wizard bootable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2009   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Wanting to keep the 7 RC running on one drive here but still see a clean install of the retail 7 on sata #4 I swapped data cables with sata #1 which had been used for a test drive but a WD Green Power model good for storage/backup not performance.

Once Drive 3 saw the cable swap with the former Drive 0 and made the default boot device the installation proceeded from there. Note prior to having arrived GParted live was used to wipe both of those drives while the RC sat intact on the now Drive 1.

The interesting to note about that is that the fresh install of the retail 7 did not add the RC into it's own BCD store as it would have for XP or Vista if one of those was the OS instead. Once you have the data cables swapped you can elect to have Vista in as the second OS on then Drive 1 instead when seeing a fresh install of 7.

When performing a quick test install of the RC on a 3rd drive in order to use the Windows Easy Transfer tool formerly seen as Files and Settings Transfer Wizard in XP and Vista the bcd entries where still on the first RC's drive where attempts to export the BCD over to the test install to make that drive bootable as a stand alone failed. That's the drive that now sees a clean install of the retail 7!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Unable to format a system drive?




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