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Windows 7: Format partition before installing Win7, or not?


29 Mar 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM X64
 
 
Format partition before installing Win7, or not?

I have two SATA 250GB hard drives. Drive0 contains C: and J: - Drive1 contains D:, E:, F:, G:, H: and I: When I install Win 7, I intend to install it as the primary OS on drive C:. During the setup phase of any OS, I always delete the C: partition and then create a new partition in its place within the installer. What I want to know is, should I also format the partition after recreating it? I am worried that formatting the partition will cause me to lose the information on the other partitions. I managed to do that many years ago much to my great loss! I don't want anything like that to happen again. Thanks for your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Mar 2009   #2

 
 

Deleting & re-creating the partition applys the format automatically so no re-format is needed. You can only format 1 partition at a time so other partitions would not/should not be affected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Orbital Shark View Post
Deleting & re-creating the partition applys the format automatically so no re-format is needed. You can only format 1 partition at a time so other partitions would not/should not be affected.
thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Mar 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by apex2000 View Post
I have two SATA 250GB hard drives. Drive0 contains C: and J: - Drive1 contains D:, E:, F:, G:, H: and I: When I install Win 7, I intend to install it as the primary OS on drive C:. During the setup phase of any OS, I always delete the C: partition and then create a new partition in its place within the installer. What I want to know is, should I also format the partition after recreating it? I am worried that formatting the partition will cause me to lose the information on the other partitions. I managed to do that many years ago much to my great loss! I don't want anything like that to happen again. Thanks for your help.
Best to delete the partition from within setup and tell setup to install Windows into the empty space that way setup will determine the best way to partition the space you give it. Many folks don't know that Windows 7 is the first Windows to use TWO partitions as a best practice. I will create a 100 or 200MB system partition depending on the build, and the rest of the space for the boot partition. So bootmgr and Boot folders are on this 100/200MB partition with no drive assigned in Windows by default and everything else ends up on the second partition as C:.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2009   #5

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by baarod View Post
Many folks don't know that Windows 7 is the first Windows to use TWO partitions as a best practice. I will create a 100 or 200MB system partition depending on the build, and the rest of the space for the boot partition. So bootmgr and Boot folders are on this 100/200MB partition with no drive assigned in Windows by default and everything else ends up on the second partition as C:.
Just to clear things up that partition holds the recovery environment, and is only created if the drive does not have an existing partition. If a partition is present the recovery environment is created in a directory labeled "recovery" in the root of the drive. This recovery directory does not get wiped if you do an upgrade or clean install(without formatting) and will keep the WinRe.wim from all previous builds thus increasing in size with each new build. If your concerned about space take ownership of the recovery directory and delete older WinRe.wim's, or format before you install a new build.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by YupYup View Post
Just to clear things up that partition holds the recovery environment, and is only created if the drive does not have an existing partition. If a partition is present the recovery environment is created in a directory labeled "recovery" in the root of the drive. This recovery directory does not get wiped if you do an upgrade or clean install(without formatting) and will keep the WinRe.wim from all previous builds thus increasing in size with each new build. If your concerned about space take ownership of the recovery directory and delete older WinRe.wim's, or format before you install a new build.
That partition does not ALWAYS contain the recovery environment. Install will put it on the C: partition if you don't allow it to create partitions the way it wants to. Also that partition will be created regardless of the prior existence of partition(s) on the drive with the possible exception of scenarios where creating it would exceed the maximum number of primary partitions on a fixed MBR disk -- 4. I routinely (as in every time a new build comes out) use install to delete the 100/200MB system partition and my boot partition (C and direct the installer to use the free space created by their deletion. My data partition (D on the same drive holding my userprofile remains present and unchanged across every install. Install creates both the 100/200MB system partition as well as the boot partition where it installs Windows 7. Upon first login, before I do ANYTHING else, I
1) enable the default Administrator account
2) logout
3) login as Administrator
4) use User control panel to delete the account the install forced me to create along with it's entire profile
5) change HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\ProfilesDirectory to d:\
6) use User control panel to create a new account for myself
7) rename the old userprofile directory on D:
8) logout of Administrator
9) login as the new account
10) disable administrator and restore the default value of the ProfilesDirectory key
11) delete the administrator profile
12) run a script I have to move relevant files from the old renamed userprofile to the newly created one -- it then deletes the old essentially empty userprofile and reinstalls all my core applications.

I know all of this by rote as I've done it as many times as there have been leaked builds since the middle of last year.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP

Vista and now 7 in 32 and 64 bit.
 
 

Quote:
"Deleting & re-creating the partition applies the format automatically so no re-format is needed"
? I have not had that experience. over the years. Of the partition programs I have used - not many, but including Microsoft's built in manager, I always have to format the partition again. But, perhaps I have not understood what you are indicating by "recreating", or again, is this with SATA drives. I don't have that facility (yet).

Quote:
"Many folks don't know that Windows 7 is the first Windows to use TWO partitions as a best practice. I will create a 100 or 200MB system partition depending on the build, and the rest of the space for the boot partition. So bootmgr and Boot folders are on this 100/200MB partition with no drive assigned in Windows by default and everything else ends up on the second partition as C:. "
This folk don't know. I have installed Windows 7, more times than I can count. I have never had it create another partition, nor had it asked during the initial installation. Maybe, as I remarked in an earlier post in this thread, this is a SATA function?
Windows 7 invariably puts a folder (not partiton), on the hard disk. It is always empty and gets wiped on a subsequent installation. I have tested this by copying files to the folder.
I should say that I always do a clean install, on a partition on my first hard disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2009   #8

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by davehc View Post
Maybe, as I remarked in an earlier post in this thread, this is a SATA function?
It has nothing to do with SATA it only depends on an active partition being present on a drive (it does not have to be the drive you put windows 7 on).

Perhaps this will explain it better. Translated version of http://msmvps.com/blogs/dmartin/archive/2008/11/16/sobre-la-nueva-partici-243-n-de-sistema-de-windows-7.aspx
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista and now 7 in 32 and 64 bit.
 
 

Thanks for the link YUPYup. Unfortunately it did not help my confusion!
The page is translated of course. I tracked down the Author's original, and it seems he specialises, almost 100%, in Vista. Possibly his explanation is off the top of his head? I can see that the date of the post was pretty much around the first release of 7.
I am not querying anything being offered here, I just would like to know.
Since my first posting, I have googled extensively and, for some odd reason, cannot find any remarks on this features in Microsoft's pages. perhaps a poster could enlighten me?
I then reinstalled 7 on another computer which has two hard disks, with the first (where I installed) being split into two. Same result! I have appended a picture.
Closest I got to any explanation was that if you installed on a parttiton which was already active, you would not get the "boot" partition. As I did a full format from within the installation, this could not have been the case. - Totally confused. I wish I had never read this thread -lol.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2009   #10
Microsoft MVP

Vista and now 7 in 32 and 64 bit.
 
 

Ok. I think I am getting it now. I got this (official ) from the technet forum.

" In order to skip or avoid the 200M partition to be automatically created during installation, follow a few rules when choosing where to install Windows 7. Basically, choose a custom install:
Do not install Windows 7 to a hard disk that not been partitioned or to unallocated space (If you install Windows 7 to unallocated space, no warning pop-up or confirmation is asked, and setup will immediately create a 200 MB special partition without notification).
  1. If possible, create all the necessary partition(s) before attempting to install Windows 7.
  2. If you’re installing Windows 7 into a new hard disk, or a blank hard disk with no partition defined yet, or if you must delete all existing partitions to start afresh, chose Drive options (advanced). Delete (if applicable) unwanted partitions. Then, click New to create the single partition or multiple partitions according to your own preference.
    When prompted with dialog box saying “To ensure that all Windows features work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files”, click on Cancel button. Optionally, to be double confirm, Format the partition before selecting it to install Windows 7.
If Windows 7 is prevented, by use of these means, from creating the special 200MB partition, the WinRE recovery environment is stored in a folder in the root of Windows 7 installation drive. For example, C:Recovery"

I always use the custom installation, and do not allow the installation to make any decisions. That is probably the simple answer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Format partition before installing Win7, or not?




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